Sunday, November 9, 2008

Longing for Sleep, but Loving the Memories

Last night marked day seven of smileys on Emma's responsibility chart. Most of you know how that goes, but for those who don't, Emma has a chart where she earns smiley face magnets every day for things like finishing her dinner and showing respect. If she gets all of her smileys every day for seven days in a row, she gets a special treat. We have gone to Chuck E. Cheese, pitched the tent in the yard, pitched the tent in the living room, taken her into town and gone wherever she wanted to go, basically she gets to pick what she does, within reason. Disneyland is not within reason. This time, she was set on sleeping in bed with Marty and I. She has only done that one time before, when we all had the stomach flu and she threw up in her own bed too many times during the night. That was a year ago, and she still talks about it. Letting her choose her reward has opened up our eyes to what is important to her, and we are amazed at what she values most.

We made a night out of it, snuggling in bed and watching Air Bud, eating popcorn, ice cream, and candy. She was so happy, cuddled up between us, loving the movie and everything about the night. We talked, we laughed, and really enjoyed the one-on-one time with her. As usual on nights like these, we stayed up way too late and didn't get to sleep until almost midnight. Well, she didn't sleep till then, Marty and I had a harder time.

We do not have a king sized bed. We have a queen, which is just fine for two normal people. It is crowded with one normal person and one pregnant person who insists on sleeping with four pillows, and it is downright cramped with three people. Emma is very much like me in that we both like to sprawl in bed. I have learned to contain my sprawling for the most part after Marty and I got married, but Emma is still an all-out-sprawler. And she talks. And she tosses and turns, and will snuggle right in your face while she is sleeping. There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to discover someone else's face an inch from your own, breathing your air and creating a stuffy cloud around you so you feel like you are suffocating. When she wasn't doing that, I swear she was sleeping sideways. Grant seemed to sense there was something fun going on, since he woke up several times and screamed for a while that I would not bring him into our bed as well. What can I say, our kids like to snuggle.

Anywhoo, Marty and I both did not sleep well, Emma slept great, Grant was awake a good part of the night and ended up taking a four hour nap today, and Ben never knew what was going on. These are the times that years down the road, we will remember the snuggling, the laughter, the movie and the popcorn, but will completely forget about the lack of sleep, or just thinking you have found a comfortable spot to find that there is a popcorn kernel stuck to your leg, and the movement it takes to dislodge the popcorn causes your darling daughter to turn one more time and throw a knee into the small of your back. The fun is what I hope to remember, as these days will too soon be gone, and we will be left longing for the days when our children's greatest joy is to spend the night with us. Even if we get no sleep, and wake with bruises. It's a small price to pay.

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