It is 2am and for the past hour I have been fighting a losing battle. Billy woke up just after 1am. I woke up to find him sitting on my legs.
I reach out for him and tucked him in next to me. He is cuddly and is a bit giggly as he buries himself under the blankets. It seems he may settle as he digs himself closer to me. I say a little prayer. I don’t, however, fool myself, I am familiar with this spectacle.
I am so still, I feel stiff. My neck and shoulders are starting to ache, but I remain still as to not wake the sleeping giant.
Then Billy lets out a massive chuckle.
I still don’t move. I have a little giggle under my breath. He makes me laugh even during these testing times. I know I’m kidding myself, but I can’t give up, not yet anyway. I decide to go ahead with my next trick of the trade. I pretend I am asleep. I slow my breathing down and up the anti by throwing in some deep breaths. Billy starts to giggle and squirm.
I wonder if I will hear the alarm. I wonder how I will make it through the next day. I wonder if I can do this. How many more nights of this can I possibly cope with? I pull myself out of those thoughts and remember I have done this before. I have heard the alarm and I have made it through the day many times.
Suddenly I feel in control again.
Billy is moving around a bit now. I decide it’s time to bring out the big guns. So I pretend to snore and even throw in a couple of snort’s, just so it sounds really authentic! Billy sits up and starts to flap his arms. A tear rolls down my cheek. I sit up, pull him close and plead with him “Billy sleep, Mummy needs sleep.” Billy moves to the edge of the bed lays down and starts flapping his arms and legs.
I watch him flapping. “It must be sensory,” I say to myself as I get out of bed to find Billy’s brush which is used for thee Wilbarger Brushing Protocol. I sit with Billy to brush him. He is angry and grabs the brush and throws it across the room.
Some tight squeezes may work. I try to give him a big hug, but he pushes me away. I try again. He pulls my hair. I get frustrated and I say in a stern voice, “Billy sleep, Billy go school tomorrow.’ Billy has a little whinge. He gets off the bed and leaves the room. I stay there sitting on my bed and another tear rolls down my cheek.
My mind wanders and I wonder if these sleepless nights will age me beyond my years. I giggle because I realise I have already aged so much in the last 10 years. I think of these years since I gave birth to Billy. He has given me so much, I feel blessed and at the same time I feel exhausted from the rollercoaster of emotions. Just like the ones I’ve experienced in the last couple of hours.
Billy is back and he is searching for something.
I ignore this behaviour and continue to ask Billy to go to sleep. He is searching me. He spins me around to see if I’m hiding it. My plan is to ignore his requests, I figure he will give up soon. Then I realise he is storming towards Sienna’s room. He hears me just short of his sisters room and stops. He has his eyes closed and is standing still like a statue. I can’t help but giggle because I’m sure he thinks I can’t see him. “Okay Billy’ I say as we walk back to my bedroom.
I always knew what he wanted. I hand him my phone and he snatches it, moves to the edge of my bed and starts listening to his music. I lay down next to him. How will I get through tomorrow on a couple of hours sleep? How will I do what needs to be done with a smile for my children?
I wake up dazed and Billy is still listening to his music next to me. It’s time to get up and surprisingly I don’t feel too bad. I send the kids off to school and the tiredness starts to creep in. I take it easy today and realise this may never change. This is life. Shit happens and no one is immune to the bad that comes with the good.
The only change we can make, is how we respond to these testing times.
The kids come home from school and we are all lazy. We have an early night and I go to bed smiling and feeling great as I know I can manage this. I have and I do.
As always the best information comes from other parents and carers. Tell us about the testing times you experience and how you get through these times by commenting below.