I had had this bed to myself.
L had woken up and was inconsolable. M’s choices were to try to soothe her, which can take forever and thereby make him forever more delayed on accomplishing his work task before his own sleep could come; or to convince me to soothe her. I was asleep. So I brought her to sleep with me.
I’ve said it before; I don’t believe in the family bed. But soothing while sleeping: that’s multitasking.
I don’t know when M finally came to bed and I don’t know when it was that E decided the more, the merrier but I woke up to her pulling my arm as leverage to join the other three us in the not-family bed. And then she squealed with delight and with many decibels to find out that oh how exciting, L was already there! It’s a darkness party!
And L, who had been appropriately snoring softly, heard the squeal, opened her eyes, sat up and started clapping.
I see dimly that M is indeed here in bed but he’s either very asleep or very faking it, and I’m shushing solo.
Now these girls, one on either side of me, they are such optimists. They don’t believe the consequences of cranky and irritable that I am predicting to them if they don’t stop playing and go back to sleep. I’m so, so tired. And I’m trying so, so hard not to cross the line to fully awake, but I’m being pulled over it against my will. I’m in limbo between the silent ignorance of non-consciousness I’m clinging to and the cold, mean alertness of children climbing on me, using my pajama pants for handgrips.
I’m following up and down and up the red bobbing lava lamp blobs inside my eyelids, wondering if these are the first stage in exhaustion-induced hallucinations. I feebly wish my beloved insomniac monsters would magically fall asleep and when it doesn’t work I come to the tragic conclusion that I’m going to have to open my eyes for an extended period. I curse the irony that to assure their sleep I’m going to have wake myself up.
Damn, I think. I open my eyes to assess the circumstances and I see these two wriggly masses, one on either side of me, and the reason I feel so jostly is that they’re holding hands across my stomach. Damn, I think. That’s the sweetest thing.