Do you remember the carnival game, “Whack-A-Mole?” If you drop a quarter in, little brown painted moles pop out of their various holes and you try to whack them with a padded foam mallet tied to an 18 inch rope. Just when you whack them all back into their holes, they pop up and taunt you again.
That is what nights are like in our home.
11:17 p.m. The 2 year old wanders over to snuggle. I take him back to his bed and rub his back for a few minutes to get him back to sleep. Whack.
12:22 a.m. The 4 year old rolls over on Yoda who scratches his ear. He cries and asks for his lightsaber. I comfort him and use my force to quiet him so he doesn’t wake up the 2 year old. Whack.
12:25 a.m. He woke up the 2 year old. I rub his back again. Whack.
1:14 a.m. The 6 year old wakes up to pee and announces it. “Mom, I just peed and now I’m going back to bed.” Whack.
2:03 a.m. The 2 year old comes over to snuggle again. He crawls up so stealthily that I barley know he is there until he puts his chubby, dimpled toddler hand on my cheek and whispers in my ear, “Mommy, you cozy.” Sometimes sleep is about quality, not quantity. Sometimes. Whack.
2:06 a.m. The 2 year old squirms, wiggles and soccer kicks my husband in the nuts. He cries. I giggle. Whack.
2:16 a.m. I enjoy another 10 minutes of toddler breath on my cheek and then take him back to his own bed and rub his back again. Whack.
3:05 a.m. The 6 year old wakes up crying with growing pains. I heat up the rice-pack in the microwave, place it on her shins and snuggle with her for a few minutes until she falls back asleep. Whack.
3:48 a.m. The 4 year old miraculously pees sideways out of his diaper and it is time for a wardrobe and bedding change. And since I’m awake, I might as well start that load of laundry. Whack.
4:01 a.m. My husband whispers, “They are all asleep and we aren’t…” I’m gonna need a bigger mallet for this mole. Whack. Whack. Whack.