Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Joys of Sleeping In?

Last weekend, for the first time since July 20, 2008, I got to sleep in.

Immediately after Eleanor was born, there was not much sleeping to be done by anyone. In the middle of the night, when we awoke bleary-eyed for a feeding and would wake up Eleanor, she would start screaming her adorable little head off. Beckett would sometimes just lift his head balefully and stare at us, wondering why we had to go and change things when they were so nice before. Often he would sigh and head down to the living room for some shut-eye.

When she was 6 weeks old, I remember thinking to myself that it had been 6 weeks since I'd slept more than 4 hours in one stretch. But by the third month, Eleanor was sleeping pretty well throughout the night. I was starting to remember what it felt like to be a normal, rested human being. But I was breastfeeding, so I was still always the one to get up for her first feeding of the day.

Well, that was the state of things until the beginning of April, when we finished breastfeeding. But Keith still gets up early every Saturday to get his long run out of the way and get back home by mid-morning. So I didn't immediately want to make him get up early both days on the weekend—once for his long run and once for Eleanor—after going to work all week. I thought we'd wait until after the marathon to discuss our weekend routine.

But he offered to let me sleep in last Sunday, so I wasn't going to say "no"! It was Easter Sunday and we had to be to the other side of town by 12, so there was a limit on the sleeping-in to be done. Strangely, though, that proved to be irrelevant, because I couldn't do it.

Eleanor woke up about 7 o'clock, and Keith went downstairs to get the bottle while I stretched and luxuriated in being able to roll over and snuggle back under the covers as he went about the business of getting her out of the crib, changing her diaper, feeding her, etc. Except I couldn't go back to sleep.

I kept listening to them. The morning is such a wonderful time; she is so excited to be awake for another day. She eats and happily plays ... I really like spending the morning with her. Snatches of laughter, baby babble, and Keith's deeper voice drifted upstairs to me. I was missing out!

I think I managed to stay in bed maybe an hour or so after Keith and Eleanor got up? I tossed and turned for awhile, sometimes lightly sleeping. Then I sat up and finished reading the novel I had started the day before. (That was much more enjoyable than trying—and failing—to sleep.) When I finished the book, I stretched, flung off the covers, and hurried downstairs to get in some quality play time with Keith and Eleanor.

It makes me wonder. Will I ever enjoy sleeping in again? Maybe when Eleanor is a teenager, and she is sleeping in, too? I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to do it ... and it just felt weird.

On the other hand, I can definitely see Keith taking Eleanor on his weekend runs if they are only 6 miles or so. The two of them could get up, have breakfast, and head out for a run. Meanwhile, I could sleep in peace, have a leisurely breakfast, and be able to enjoy the stillness of a household at rest. Plus, that way Keith could also have a weekend day to sleep in. Everyone wins!

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