Oh sweet, sweet sleep, how special you are, and how little I appreciated you before.
I’ve had flu. Not covid. I’ve been doing relentless LFTs and received my negative PCR just before Christmas adventures began, but I was still a snot-cough-ball of grossness. It moved to the stage where it would only rear its disgusting head when I would lie down to fall asleep at night.
We were having a sleepover at my sister’s house, and we were all in one room together.
If you read my 7 Tips for Taking a Toddler on Holiday post, you will chortle at how I am clearly going against my own advice here.
My toddler, however, has had many practice nights on his sleepover bed, so he slept like a peaceful angel all night. As did my husband (almost). The two of them are silent, still sleepers, so bunk in together quite nicely.
My baby and I are the loud, restless sleepers who do not bunk in together nicely, at all.
I started coughing. I hid beneath the duvet to squash the noise. I anticipated this happening, because I’d been doing it for the past week, so I turned up the white noise machine to maximum and left it running all night in the hope it would drown me out.
The baby was overjoyed to be woken. He was also very keen to wake everyone else up too. I tried to cuddle him in with us, which worked, but every time I tried to transfer him back to the travel cot, his eyes popped open like something from a horror movie.
He was awake, so he thought he might as well defecate some solids while there was the opportunity.
It was one of those nights where you lie the baby down, and in less than a second, they’re scrambling to get back up again. You try it for the ninth time and it’s the same story, so you try all the tricks you’ve got up your sleeve: lots of singing, shushing, swaying etc.
We woke the dog.
We woke my sister.
We woke my husband (less bothered about that).
After about two hours, the baby fell back to sleep. I decided to sleep on the sofa, and it was sweet relief. I got a solid hour. Then the husband and toddler came in to wish me a delightful good morning.
Every night of the Christmas break was like this. Sometimes it was my fault, other times it was poo related, or excitement related. My sister let me have a big nap on Christmas day… with my husband and baby, but it was essential. The past week has been reminiscent of the newborn phase, but I’ve been much less accepting of it, and I’ve been out of training.
Last night was our return home. Our beautiful, messy nook that has our smells, space, and things in. We all slept all night. I don’t think that’s every happened before. I suppose the culmination of the past four nights caught up with all of us, and we got some serious sleep pay-back. My husband fell asleep at 8.30pm! He got a full 10 hours. And even though he had 10 hours, if I offered him a nap today, he’d take it.
My sister and her kids have barely slept this Christmas. They’re 9 and 6 years old, so night-time isn’t for sleeping, it’s just a long wait until morning. At one point she just gave up and popped a movie on. She accepted that sleep wasn’t going to happen, so they may as well do something.
On our last Christmas sleepover we stayed at my brother’s house, and they had it worse than the rest of us. My brother and his wife were up all night with their little ones… mainly poo related.
I asked my Mum what we were like with sleep around Christmas time and she just said, “Awful. You were all awful.”