7 hours. In a row. That's how much uninterrupted sleep I got last night....I still can't quite believe it. While that doesn't seem all that monumental, I can probably count on two hands the number of times that's happened in the past twelve years. Between being pregnant or having a nursling without stop over the last decade, my brain (as a part of my body) has atrophied and all that remains of a once great ability to sleep is a vague shadow of remembrance. So even on the freak occurrence when all of the children sleep through the night, my body sputters and coughs itself awake, protecting me from the danger of getting more than four hours of continuous sleep, or from the threat of sleeping past six o'clock.
Our youngest, Andrew, will be two in February - information which I am sure extrapolates into a particular number of months, but knowing that detailed information is reserved to parents of far fewer children. I'm doing well just to know how many children I've got, and to have a general idea of where they are. You'd think in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house I'd always know where everyone is, but oddly this is not so. Anyway, so this two year old, was a pretty good sleeper post-womb eviction. It might have been Zoloft laden breastmilk, or perhaps that he hadn't yet had enough exposure to The Others yet to watch and learn that sleep is something which a child avoids at all costs.
For awhile a couple years ago, some of the older children had decided to try out the phrase "What the!?" as a regular interjection. As if in prophecy of how influenced he'd be by The Others, Andrew was born and the expression which he most normally wore couldn't be mistaken for anything else but, "What the!?". He had a freakish ability to stare and watch without blinking; it was unnerving at times. We thought perhaps that he was wondering what he'd done to get here, or that he'd be one of those "easy", "laid back" children about whom we'd heard others speak.
Now here in the dark lands of Toddlerhood, the truth has been unearthed. Andrew wasn't judging The Others with detached disdain. He was studying. Studying hard. The kid is the paragon of childhood. He is truly a prodigy. To illustrate: the other night while the rest of us were curled up by Christmas tree light chanting along to choruses of "You'll shoot your eye out!", Andrew had slipped quietly away, down the hall to the dress-ups. Stealthily, he crept back exploding into the living room pirate hatted and sword brandished, letting out a hearty "Arrrhhhhh!", before running through both me and one of his sisters before he could be relieved of his weapon. Recall: he is not. even. two.
Andrew knows where everything is, which shoes, clothes and toys belong to whom, how to play tea party, how to climb to pretty much wherever he wants to go- using multiple chairs and make shift step stools if needed. To keep the climbing in perspective, The Others are prodigious climbers. They climb the walls, literally. They climb fences, they climb metal poles, they climb so high in trees that I simply must turn away because it makes me so nauseous to watch. So when I say that Andrew climbs, I mean he climbs. In his absolute determination to be included in everything The Others do, he is just absolute destruction in motion.
As I type he is playing tea party with his just-turned-four-year-old sister. It starts out that he carried the supplies to her piece by piece, came to me and shoved a plate in my face insisting that I "eat" (make chewing and yum noises). Somewhere in the middle of this, a flip is switched, his body remembered that he is an inhabitant of Toddlerhood, and he summarily threw everything behind him in a methodical fury. Nothing must be left to remain. This is his whole day. Everyday. A trail of carnage left in his wake.
This morning I was lamenting about how chaotic the house looks, as well as how I can't seem to get anything accomplished. As I looked at the piles of my stuff I just can't seem to get put away I thought, "What the!? Why can't I get this done when I just got seven hours of sleep. I ought to be invincible today. I really ought to be able to be more productive" And then I got whacked in the head by a tomahawk.