Past Tense

I read this article yesterday and sent it to a friend of mine who is in a similar situation. I wish I’d found it back when I had little kids and an infant to deal with. Bedtime right now is the most frustrating time of the night, but in reality it’s nothing compared to some of the nights we went through a few years back. I honestly wonder how in the world I made it through a day at the office. I ran across an e-mail I sent on December 1, 2005. At this point David was five, Cameron was three, and Justin was two months old. Reading it kind of brings on some post-traumatic stress.

I’m starting to lose it. Today David’s teacher called because he tried to convince her he was supposed to go home on a different bus. Cameron is constantly into mischief. I think my mind is taking a stroll.

Last night David wanted to sleep on the bottom double bunk with Cammy. Of course, just like the last time he did that, poor Cameron came upstairs at 1:42 am because he was cold. I went downstairs to get his blanket for him, and David had taken over the entire bed. So I let Cameron sleep with me. Barry bailed and slept in the twin bed in Justin’s room.

Cameron would not sleep. He fidgeted, played, messed around, tossed, turned, stood on his head, got out of the covers, got under the covers, lost his Scooby-Doo toys, found his Scooby-Doo toys, wanted a pillow, didn’t want a pillow, played with my hair, looked at my ears, snuggled up with me, scolded me for touching him, wanted milk, wanted to kiss Justin, wanted Daddy.

Barry and I switched places while I fed the baby, but that didn’t work at all. At three something, David came up and decided he wanted to sleep in my bed too. He was sleeping at the foot of the bed until Cameron thought it would be fun to kick his head. Finally David went back to sleep, but Cameron was still awake.

At five am, I completely freaked out, screamed at Cameron, and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind me. Then David woke up. He was upset that the door was shut. Barry got up and calmed them while I tried to sleep on the couch. At last, after three and a half hours, they were both asleep. He went to work out, I laid down in Justin’s room. I couldn’t fall asleep right away because I was listening to his noises.

So at 5:3o, I finally fell asleep. Right before I woke up around 7:00, I had a dream that felt so real. At some point while I was sleeping, I realized that Cameron never actually went to sleep. I heard him doing something, and went to check on him. He’d taken out every medicine bottle we have. They were all lined up on the kitchen counter. I couldn’t tell if he’d taken anything. I kept asking him what he ate, but he wouldn’t tell me. Then I thought he looked all lethargic because he wouldn’t answer me. I went downstairs to interrupt Barry’s workout and said I think we should call 911. Barry didn’t think I needed to (Barry not panicking? Obviously a dream.), so I went back upstairs. Cameron was following me, and bouncing around just fine. I went to put away the medicine bottles, opened my cabinet, and all of the shelves were empty. I didn’t know where Cameron had put everything. I just laid down on the kitchen floor and sobbed.

Eventually I woke up. Barry was trying to get those two out of bed, dressed, and ready to go. Naturally they didn’t want to get up.

©  Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011


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