Someone asked me the other day about how much my life has changed after having a child. I gave a pretty knee-jerk reaction answer but it was my honest response at the time. “Sleep. Your ability to sleep changes. And you get very little of it.” Really? That’s my best response? I couldn’t say something about how much love I have for my child or how her budding sense of humor makes me laugh like I’ve never laughed before? No? I couldn’t have conjured up something sweet about how my heart has changed forever? I respond about how little sleep I’m getting? Well, I’m here to say it’s the truth. I love my child to the ends of the earth but I would give anything right now for two solid days of uninterrupted sleep!
Unless you have been there, you may not realize the vast difference between lack of sleep and broken sleep. We’ve all pulled an all-nighter or two and made it through. Yes, it’s rough but lack of sleep is bearable compared to broken sleep. Broken sleep not only makes you tried but it plays with your mind in crazy ways. Your body could and would sleep if it weren’t for the toddler in the next room wanting to wake up to watch Mickey….at 4am. Your body could and would sleep if it weren’t for the wacko cat who launches himself off of the dresser landing squarely on your sleeping back at 3 am, startling you out of a deep sleep. Once Evil Cat-nevil wakes you, you can forget about ever getting back to sleep. There is nothing more frustrating. Oh the sweet dream I was having! I just want to fall back into sweet dreamland!
I should be fair, lately Pickle has been sleeping very well. So, my comments to this person really didn’t reflect motherhood, more like cat parenting. Truly, my sleep has been mostly affected by the crazy cat. He weighs about 12 pounds but somehow manages to land on me with the force of a small bear. I seriously think he launches himself off of the television or maybe hangs from the ceiling fan. I haven’t caught him in the act either way so I’m not certain. I am certain that he picks the worst times to come and play. At 4:30 one morning he landed on me and then brought me his stuffed chicken. He started batting it around, chasing it across the bed. I reached over and grabbed the chicken and stuffed it under my pillow. That would be fine expect he thought this was a game and I soon found myself with both the chicken and the cat under my pillow. Not my idea of fun. He’s done this before with the stuffed mouse, stuffed vulture…I know, Brian reminds me that maybe he’s not the only responsible party here. It’s not as though Felix can buy these fun things on his own. Maybe the cat mother shouldn’t buy so many toys. Maybe.
Thankfully after I dropped him off the side of the bed he left me and went to play in our bathtub. Not sure what he’s up to in there but I do find my razor is usually out of place. Maybe he’s doing some grooming, either way at least he’s not in my bed. Still, as I gently fall back into a nice deep sleep, I’m jolted out of bed by the sound of screaming. Yes, screaming. It was actually more like the sound (as I would imagine) of a cat in a garbage can rolling down a hill. It was screeches and scowls like I’ve never heard in my life. Brian throws back the covers and jumps out of bed, I follow behind but failed to put on my glasses so I can’t really make out much.
Take a minute and try to remember the scene with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible….rememebr when he was hanging by one hand on the edge of a cliff? Does that sounds vaguely familiar? Okay, well, it was sort of like that except Felix has a much flabbier stomach. What happened was, he was digging in my vanity drawer trying to pry out a rubber band to play with. (Anything is a toy to him. I live with the q-tip jar half empty because he jacks them from me daily. Imagine a little orange tabby with 3 or 4 q-tips in his mouth running out of the room like he just stole something…which he did.) Anyway, he tucked his little paw into the drawer that was just slightly open and then he fell off the counter. There he was, a little tiger-stripped Tom Cruise hanging by one paw from the cliff of my vanity.
We caught him in time and he was fine. Thankfully nothing was seriously hurt. My heart was racing and mind was reeling about the possibility of having a cat with a broken paw. How the hell am I supposed to deal with that? Kitty crutches? I can’t even go there…he lets me bend it and rub it, all the technical vet movements, I’m sure, and he’s fine. Okay, so let’s get back to bed, I’m thinking, it’s till way early. I could totally use another hour, at least. We climb back in bed and settle in. Just as I hit that dream-like state that is just barely sleep, “Mommy! Mommy! I wake up! It’s wake up time Mommy!”
Oh sweet jesus, please. I don’t ask for much. I’d been in and out of sleep four times in three hours and I just want, well it doesn’t really matter what I want, right? Rise and shine! So I rise and I shine and revel in what is a very blessed life. I guess there will be plenty of time to sleep later when life is not so exciting…and I’m sure when we get there I will miss this…