Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Sleep disturbances

Two nights ago, I slept all the way from when I went to bed until when I intended to wake up in the morning, with no interruptions from children at any time during that period. It was amazingly restorative and also singularly disorienting. When I woke up, I couldn't remember where I was or why it was light outside. Sleeping through the night just isn't something that happens very often at our house (my kids hate sleep, remember?). Because even when babies (or kids, as the case may be) "sleep through the night," they don't. Not really. What we mean is, the baby/kid sleeps through the night - except for all those times he/she doesn't.

And in our house at least, even with "only" two kids, it's astounding what can disturb your sleep, via your children. There's no apparent pattern to their night wakings that can be identified and then remedied. Sometimes it's Miriam. Sometimes it's Magdalena. Sometimes it's a bad dream. Sometimes it's a bug bite that itches. Sometimes it's Miriam with a cough. Sometimes it's Magdalena with a stuffy nose. Sometimes Magdalena has to go potty and all parents who have recently gone through potty training know you can never say no to that, no matter what time it is. And sometimes, I have no idea what wakes them up. All I know is that - to take a recent example - it's ten o'clock at night and Magdalena just came sauntering into our bedroom wearing her pajamas and flip-flops, ready to go somewhere.

The frustrating part is that unlike most other unwelcome behavior in children, these night disturbances are maddeningly difficult to get rid of. Because by the time they wake us up, the damage is done. I don't have a chance to prevent it right before it happens. I can't see warning signs and re-route the way things are going. They wake up, and that's it - we're all a lot more tired the next morning.

Now I'll share with you something that I probably intended to blog about over a year ago but which must have been too disheartening at the time. Jeremy and I created a Google Doc in October 2009 titled "Sleep Disturbances." It was a grid of all the night wakings we experienced over a two-week period, and it listed the perpetrator and the time of the waking. And it looked like THIS:
Things are much better now, but doesn't this seem to anyone else like a heretofore untapped method of teaching birth control in high schools, via scare tactics? Or do teenagers only get pregnant with babies who automatically sleep through the night from birth? That must be it, otherwise high school health teachers would be all over this.

The new normal

Sharjah public decency rules