With the spate of sickness that has recently plagued our household, regular night time adventures have become common place. While Evie is still up a couple of times most nights (yes, I employ a steady stream of toothpicks to make it from 6am-ish-8.30pm-ish), croup and a cold plus the always exciting addition of her brother wandering the halls and deciding to make our bed his own, adds a whole new flavour to the mix. As Craig David once sang; ‘What’s your flava, tell me what’s your flava?’ At the moment it’s ‘tired with a side of coffee.’ I’ve identified 7 key stages to the night time dance. I experience the majority of these most nights. Some nights I skip from 1 to 6 pretty quickly. Other nights it’s a more steady progression. I like to mix things up.

1. Denial – Did I just hear that? No, I couldn’t have. It’s that ‘phantom crying’ happening again. Or maybe it’s the cat. No, wait, that’s definitely ‘waking up’ grunting. But it couldn’t be. I mean I was just in there before I fell back into the blissful oblivion of sleep for approximately 25 minutes. She’s got a full belly. Nappy is dry(ish), cough has settled. Vaporizer is creating a soothing and frankly delicious smelling ambience. Heater is on. Has Adam heard it? (Lean over and check husband) he is snoring. No. But that might’d mean anything. I’m so tired.

2. Hope – Ok she’s awake. Maybe she’ll settle again. Maybe it’s just ‘sleep grunting’. She did settle herself.. once. It was glorious. She can do it again. I’ll just swing one leg out from under the doona. I’ll leave the other one underneath though. Hedging my bets. Come on Evie, you can do it. I’m sending sleep vibes your way. I’m so tired.

3. Anger – Right, it’s not ‘sleep grunting’ or ‘phantom crying’. She’s awake. And oh God, she’ll soon need a boob. And my boobs are so warm and happy, tucked away beneath my PJ top. They don’t want to come out for the eleven billionth time tonight. It’s so dark. Has it always been this dark in here? I wonder how cold it is outside? I wonder if it’ll rain tomorrow? Did I take the leg of lamb out last night to put in the slow cooker in the morning? Gah, I just want to sleeeeep. Why do children hate sleep? Don’t they realise it’s God damn delicious? Seriously, I could happily sleep for 12 hours every night without complaint. Sleep is divine. WHHHHY do they not seem to get that message?

4. Guilt – I know night waking is normal.I shouldn’t be cranky. I know she just needs me (and my boobs). I know this won’t last forever and before I’m ready, she won’t want to be cuddled up in my arms at 1am/2am/3am/4am. Maybe we should bed share again? But she hates it. And I end up with a knot in my back the size of a golf ball. And cold boobs. I hate cold boobs.

5. Bargaining – If she’ll just go back to sleep for another hour or two, I’ll prance with gay abandon into her room, refreshed and elated to perform the mama-bubba booby dance. Come on universe, is that really too much to ask for? Another measly 90 minutes. Practically nothing. Seriously, think about it. Think how much of a better person I’ll be.

6. Irrationality (and desolation) – So that’s it then. I will never sleep properly again. I entered into a sacred contract when my children made their exit out into the world that sleep would be an optional extra. Like getting that added ‘pine fresh’ or ‘new car’ scent when you take your car to the carwash. It’s a nice addition but not really essential. Except sleep isn’t like car freshener. I NEEEEED it. I am a crazed harpy without it. [Wake husband up to share desolation] We will never sleep again. NEVER. She will never sleep through the night. I will be boobing in primary school. So much woe.

7. Acceptance – I’m up. And well done me for putting the bar heater on in her room. It’s lovely and warm in here. Ohhh that fleecy blanket. It’s quite nice to snuggle under. And look at her little face. And her warm little head. And listen to her sleepy feeding noises. Remember this because it’ll be over all too soon. This is what you signed up for lady. Let’s try and hold onto some perspective. [Dozes in chair] And she’s done. And she’s so peaceful. Right, back to bed. God this bedroom is cold. I think we need a bar heater….

Tell me, do you experience the 7 stages of night waking? Or are you serene enough to just float on through on 2 hours sleep a night quite happily?

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