Sleeping in Mommy Mode

Since I was a teenager, and maybe before, I’ve been a pretty sound sleeper.  In college I could have entire phone conversations and make plans while I was sleeping.  Unfortunately I never rememberd the conversations or the plans, but my friends got used to this quirk pretty fast, and figured out when not to call me.

Then I had children.  My days of sound sleeping were gone.  I became a light sleeper and was awake at the slightest sound coming from a child.  Luckily I could be woken up and get right back to sleep.  I say this is lucky because both girls woke up several times a night and would wake me up until they were five or six.  They would go to sleep fine, but especially with Little One had to wake me up to take them to the bathroom.  They would wake me up by walking in and getting me out of my bed.  Husband couldn’t and still can’t be woken up and then get back to sleep.  Little One actually walked in her sleep, so I preferred getting up if I heard her get up just to make sure she got back into bed safely.

Then the girls got older, they didn’t need me in the middle of the night unless they were sick, and I suddenly went back to being a pretty sound sleeper.  Sound enough that if the girls want to wake me up I usually start dreaming I am being hit because they have gone from light taps on my arm to heavier thumps just to get me to wake up.  I have slept through Husband getting sick in our bathroom, which I sleep closer to than he does.  I have slept through the dogs barking in the middle of the night.  Oldest One said I’ve texted her after she is home (when her curfew is later than I’m staying up) to see if she is home…after she has texted me she is home.

But then there are the times like last night that I turn back into a light sleeper.  Little One is sick, and has a bad cough.  She finally stopped coughing and fell asleep around 11p, but I was waiting for the cough to start back up.  I slept, but not well.  At 4a I went in her room to check on her (which I rarely do at their ages) just because she had been so quiet.  I’m pretty tired today, and she feels pretty lousy today and we kept her home from school.  I may sleep through Oldest One coming home (and our front door sticks, so it isn’t like she is stealth coming in) but if one of the girls is sick, I’m back in Mommy Mode for sleep.

I don’t think it would matter if the girls were in their 30’s visiting with husbands and kids; if they were sick and I heard coughing or any other sounds of being sick I wiould immediately go into Mommmy Mode and not sleep.  Even though I would know they didn’t need me during the night, I would still be ready.  As it is when Oldest One is sick I sleep with my cell phone on full sound, not vibrate, because she is on a different floor and I don’t want to miss her text if she needs me.  I do have it on full sound when she is out and I go to bed, but I’ve slept through at least one text letting me know she is home.  No, I don’t sleep through the “I need you because I’m sick” texts.  I think that is because I know Husband is listening for her to come home when she is out, but when she is sick he knows she is in the house so he can fall asleep, and I know I need to be ready to jump up and help her feel better.

The girls are getting older, but it doesn’t mean they don’t need Mommy when they are sick.  They certainly want me around more when they are sick and feel lousy.  It is good to know I can drop back into Mommy Mode sleep whenever I need, and sleep through tap dancing dogs (I swear that is what they do on the landing) the rest of the time.

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