When you're pregnant, everyone tells you that their best advice is to sleep when your baby sleeps. When you have a new baby, the first thing they ask is how he or she is sleeping at night. With babies, it's just assumed that you're going to be tired. What no one tells you is that it's actually not about babies. It's about motherhood. Yes, it begins with pregnancy and no, it never ends. Moms are tired. All the time. Forever.
I've decided there are levels of tired. There's "dog tired", which I imagine is just a step above plain tired. Then comes "bone tired", meaning you've yawned more than once in an hour. After "bone tired" comes "exhausted". This is somewhere around the vicinity of a car that is getting low on gas and starting to sputter. Then there's "dead tired". At "dead tired" the average human being requires sleep or, ya know, they die. But it keeps going. Below "dead tired" you have the "walking zombie tired". This is where I spend a majority of my life. I'm alive, I'm moving, but there is very little reasoning going on in my brain. And unlike normal zombies, sleep zombies don't crave brains...they crave pillows. And just a tiiiiiiny bit below "walking zombie tired" is "mom tired". "Mom tired" is when you have been "walking zombie tired" for so long that you don't care if the world itself stops turning, you have GOT to have a nap.
Today, I was "mom tired". I wanted that nap. I needed that nap. I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it wasn't going to happen but sometimes you just can't help but dream...oh wait, dreaming requires sleep.
But then, miraculously, it looked like a nap might be in the realm of possibility. Child 5 was napping. Children 2, 3 and 4 were outside playing (in the back yard that is fully enclosed by a six foot privacy fence and pad locked on the outside), Child 1 was playing the Wii and Child 6 was ready to snuggle up and nap with Mama on the couch. This is going to happen! I'm going to do it! I'm going to NAP!
I get comfy on the couch. Child 6 falls asleep. It's peaceful and pretty quiet. Life is good. Until...
The alarm goes off. Not the fire alarm. The child alarm, the one they all have inside of them that goes off when their mother is trying to rest (or pee alone).
All of the sudden, the children who were outside come running inside (loudly) demanding a container for a frog. "What? No! Put the frog back where you found it!" Discontented sighs, a few "but mom"s, heavy footsteps.
It's quiet again...for about twenty seconds.
Then the children come back in and run up the stairs, loudly. This wakes Child 5. Child 5 then comes down and demands everything. A snack, a binky, a rag, a spatula, a walrus, a private jet...oh, and his Mickey Mouse cup. This cup is like a stray dog. It turns up everywhere. It follows us on walks and then waits at our front door. I think I've tried to throw it away like thirteen times but it just keeps finding it's way into my cupboard. And the thing is, Child 5 isn't even attached to this cup. He doesn't even use a sippy cup, we have to take the lid off. But today? Today, right now in fact, he wants the "Mee Mows" cup. JUST the "Mee Mows" cup. And where is the "Mee Mows" cup? Your guess is as good as mine. Under normal circumstances, Child 5 would just accept another cup. But his alarm has gone off. He knows that mom wants a nap. This must.not.happen.
After placating him with a green cup and a popsicle, every other child needs a snack, a drink, and answers to every question that they've ever had in their entire lives. I think they keep a list stored in a compartment in their brains reserved for when I'm "mom tired".
After meeting their requests, Child 4 starts doing the potty dance and completely forgets that he actually knows how to walk the whole five steps to the bathroom alone.
I manage to close my eyes again, just long enough for Child 5 to rip a pancake to shreds on the living room carpet and Child 4 to feed part of a banana chocolate chip bar to the dog because "him love it". Great, now I can plan how to console them tomorrow.
At this point everyone was loud and playing this game where they stack themselves on each other and roll down the stairs or something like that. I was actually afraid to go look.
I finally gave up. I'd say I'll try again tomorrow but I'll probably be busy burying the dog.