Friday, June 7, 2013

Why I May Never Get a Normal Night's Sleep Around Here

The other night, on my way to bed, I crept into Iris’s room to check on her while she slept.  Which does not distinguish it from any other night.  I’m always sneaking in there to watch her sleep because….well, because I’m a mom.  Besides, she looks so damned cute while she sleeps. 

But, what does distinguish it from other nights is that, on that particular night, quite unexpectly, Iris spoke to me.

Iris: Don’t let Daddy get in your bed with you.
Me: (taken aback, having not been prepared for a conversation just then) Umm…well…ummm…actually, it’s his bed, too, sweetie.
Iris: You have to share?
Me: (pulling her blanket back up to cover her arms and noticing that her eyes are not open) Yes, sweetie, Daddy and I share our bed.
Iris: THAT's not good.
Me: (laughing) I’m okay with it, sweet pea. 
Iris: I’m so proud of you!!  (pause)  Now you have to go to Daddy.  He needs you.

Whereupon, she began to snore a soft baby snore.  Which is when I realized that, at no point during our conversation, had Iris actually been awake. 

I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I’ve encountered this sort of thing before. 

You see, my husband is also a night talker.  Which I discovered way back when Quinten and I were still just dating.  One night, after spending a lovely evening together, he and I were asleep in bed.  Now, I’m a light sleeper.  I wake up several times a night as a matter of course.  And just about anything can do it…the dog softly whining downstairs, Quinten rolling over in his sleep, a car driving down the street outside, the barometric pressure changing, a caterpillar crawling across a leaf on a tree two miles from my house. You know, the usual.

Anyway, on this particular night, at about two in the morning, I woke up for a reason I was unable to identify, and, instead of trying to figure it out, I just decided to roll over and go back to sleep. As I was mid-roll, I heard:

Quinten: Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
Me: What?
Quinten: Listen!
Me: (straining to listen...I mean, maybe he heard someone in the house, or the dogs whining in the other room)
Quinten: (silence)
Me: (still listening) What are we listening for?
Quinten: The bees. They could be building a hive around the building.
Me: (rolling over to look at him, confused) The BEES?
Quinten: Yeah. Like that time we were in that building with all of those bees.
Me: Baby, we were never in a building with a lot of bees. (pause) And it's winter. There won't be bees outside right now.
Quinten: Okay.

And then he was sleeping soundly again. And I was giggling uncontrollably.  (
Just so you know, I spent the next few years teasing him unmercifully about that.)

Then, later, after we were married, Quinten would sometimes shout out a single word in his sleep like “Durango!”  (To this day, he cannot tell me if he meant the Dodge SUV or the city in Colorado).  Or, sometimes, we’d have another conversation:

Quinten: I'm really proud of you.
Me: (surprised) You are? Why?
Quinten: For bringing up all that wood.
Me: What wood?
Quinten: All that wood.
Me: (giggling) Sweetie, I didn't bring up any wood. You're not awake.
Quinten: Okay.

And then, a few years later, this happened:

Quinten: (suddenly and unexpectedly sits bolt upright in bed, waking me up)
Me: What is it?
Quinten: (getting out of bed, purposefully)
Me: Quinten?  What is it?  Did you hear something?
Quinten: (striding partway down the hall, then squatting in a football-player’s three-point stance)
Me: What’s going on?  Is something wrong?
Quinten: (looking back and forth, rapidly)
Me: Are you awake?
Quinten: (standing up, walking back, and getting back into bed)
Me: What was that?
Quinten: (lying down and covering himself with the blankets) I don’t know.
Me: (starting to laugh)
Quinten: (snoring)

Does it make it funnier when I tell you that he was completely, bare-assed naked while this was happening?  Because I think it makes it way funnier. 

Quinten disagrees.

Anyway, genetics being what they are, I should have known the next step would be what happened two nights ago, when, at 1:30am, I woke up to Iris crying in her bedroom.  Or, rather, sobbing.  Sobbing is a better description.  Adrenaline pumping, I threw myself out of my bed and sprinted down the hall.  Where I found Iris, still lying down and covered with her blankets, just like I’d left her when I put her to bed. 

Me: Iris?  What’s wrong, honey?
Iris: (crying harder)
Me: (sitting down next to her on the bed and softly smoothing the hair on her head)  Sweet pea?  Is there something the matter?
Iris: (through great, heaving sobs) The….El...E...Phant….Toooooook….My….Ballooooooooooooonnnn!!!!!!
Me: (suppressing a giggle)  Honey, there’s no elephant and you didn’t have a balloon.
Iris: (howling angrily at me) No!!!!  My….BALLLOOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!
Me: (trying to remain reasonable) There is no balloon, baby.
Iris: (screeching unintelligibly at me like a banshee on meth, starting to kick her feet and flail her arms)
Me: (in my most soothing voice) Iris, sweetie….There is no elephant.  There.  Is.  No.  Balloon.
Iris: (continuing to screech, kick and flail)  I!!!!  Want!!!!!  My!!!!!  Balloooooon!!!!!
Me: (sitting back and waiting for about 30 more seconds of crying and thrashing until Iris stops and stills, then kissing Iris’s cheek, leaving her room and collapsing in a heap of giggles in the hallway)

So, yeah, thanks to Quinten and his stupid genes, Iris can even have tantrums in her sleep. 

And, apparently, we’re still on about the balloons.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever thought about just getting that child a LOT of balloons??

    ReplyDelete