Easter Bunny, Louie the Leprechaun, Santa, The Tooth Fairy, Cupid, The Great Pumpkin, Elf on the Shelf, all creatures/people of myth that we encourage our kids to believe in, and I love them all. But there is another. A person of myth that is making me unholy pissed and I am about to declare “Mommy War” upon him. It’s the Sandman. Yes, that bringer of sleep from the Land of Nod is on my hit list.
I admit, as a young child I was . . . not fond of the Sandman. Okay, I hated him. I avoided him at all costs, and barred the door against him. As a teenager, he seduced me, and I fell in love with him. I defended his actions to all who complained about him, I begged him to spend more time with me, and he did, on the weekends. But when I reached college we grew apart, went our separate ways but for brief periods of time. (Isn’t that how it always goes with first loves?) Then I became an adult and craved his presence again. I yearned for his visits every night, and he usually arrived and gave me what I needed. Our relationship had changed, matured, but was still solid, until I had children.
When I had children, Sandman turned on me like a stalker served with a restraining order. He was obviously pissed when Snark Girl was born, he visited and made her sleep, but for so long that we had to break the “never wake a sleeping baby” rule on a daily (if not multiple times daily) basis. She slept for more than 12 hours a night! I realize now that Sandman is a master manipulator, because Snark Girl’s ability to sleep anytime anywhere was not the blessing it seemed, no, it was a prelude to the torture that was coming.
With the arrival of each of my other three children, Sandman showed himself for the vengeful bastard he is. OCDiva did not sleep through the night consistently until she started Kindergarten. This was the Sandman’s opening salvo in our battle. She hated naps, would nap only on my lap, and gave up daily naps at age 3. (She is still fond of getting up after 8 or 9 hours of sleep, I can’t tell you how many times I thought we had an intruder only to discover her giggling at Uncle Jesse while eating dry cereal.) Once again, with The Boy, Sandman lulled us into a false sense of calm. The Boy slept through the night by 4 months old, but would only cat nap during the day. This when I began to dislike Sandman. This is when I realized he was bitter about our college break up. Then came Hulkster, Sandman made it clear that he was gearing up for a full battle. It’s not that Hulkster didn’t sleep, he did, but he never seemed to be on on any sort of sleep schedule until he was past his first birthday. Once he did, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought perhaps Sandman was done punishing me. Then, his sinister plan was revealed. Instead of messing with the sleep patterns of my children, he began to mess with MY sleep. If that were not enough, he started messing with that most sacred time of day to all SAHMs, Nap Time.
Yes, The Boy is no longer napping consistently. Hulkster is, but we all know that when one gives up his daily nap the other is not far behind him. It wouldn’t be a problem if Sandman were giving me the eight hours (hell I’d settle for 6 hours) of UNINTERRUPTED sleep I crave a night. But no, he makes sure I wake several times a night to visit the bathroom, adjust my covers, or just for fun. So as I slowly descend into the madness of a severely sleep deprived SAHM, I say to Sandman;