Letter to My Children About Their Sleeping Habits

 

First off, I have to tell you both how much I love you. You have surpassed my wildest expectations about what it would be like to have kids. It sounds trite, but I really feel like the luckiest mom in the world.

But, you sweet boys, please know that I’m tired. It’s not because you are newborns, waking every few hours to suckle at my breasts. I had expected that. And I had assumed there would be an end to the sleep deprivation. But no. It’s been five years since I first became a mom, and I’ve been waking up around 5:30 a.m. for almost every day since. That’s a lot of hours of lost sleep. A lot.

I’ve talked to my friends about this and was pretty surprised to learn that this is not the case in all families. Did you know that some kids sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning on a regular basis? I even have a couple friends who have to wake their kids at 8:00 a.m. to get them dressed and ready for preschool. I hate those friends.

Can you imagine the woman I would be if I slept two and a half hours more each morning? I would, obviously, be rested. I would smell fresher, more like shampoo and soap. I might even wear cute sundresses in the summer with strappy sandals. And I hope you don’t take offense but I think your clothes would coordinate better as well and your hair would look… brushed.

Our house would be a lot cleaner if I slept more. I would definitely exercise more. (Okay, who am I kidding with the ‘more’? I would exercise. Period.) I would learn to knit. And crochet. And sew. I would sew all of my clothes and your clothes and I’d make baby clothes for all of our friends with new babies. I would learn a foreign language. I heard that RosettaStone is great. I could learn Japanese and then teach it to you. You would both get into Ivy League schools if I slept more.

I would be more patient, more tolerant and just plain nicer if I slept more. I used to like to think of myself as fairly easy going (I’m not saying that I was easy going – but I did like to think of myself that way) but now… not so much.

I’d get fewer colds and fewer parking tickets. I’d be better at making small talk. I’d be a better listener and a better dancer. I wouldn’t lose as many things around the house. I’d be better at finding things too. I’d be more philanthropic, diplomatic and patriotic. I’d be more observant. I’d know the words to more songs and I’d remember the punch lines to more jokes. I’d be able to fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee. I could say, “I’m good. How are you?” and mean it. I could solve Rubik’s Cube. I’d know where Waldo was.

Both of you are so vigorous and full of energy, and that’s great. I bet that when you’re older your joint requirement for such little sleep will be a real plus. I sometimes daydream that one day the two of you will, together, find a cure for cancer.

Who knows, maybe you will have made your world-changing discovery in the wee hours of the morning when most of the world (well, not in Australia but you get the point) was asleep? Maybe, for you my angels, the early morning will be a special time when your brain circuitry crackles and pops like Rice Krispies and scientific history is made. But if you are up that early, and you do cure cancer, feel free to wait to call me after nine o’clock.

Love,

Mom