Dreaming of Sleep

A long, long time ago, when I led a carefree life, I dated a woman who was the  single mother of a two-year old girl. I was crazy about both of them (just not crazy enough to stick around). The woman worked an arduous job as an ICU (intensive care unit) nurse. She also had a difficult ex-husband who didn’t like me (the feeling was mutual).

Anyway, the woman was a terrific, attentive mother, despite all the stresses in her life. But she was always exhausted. I’ll never forget what she said one night when we were lying in bed: “I’m so tired, sometimes I dream of sleeping.”

I never understood that until I had kids of my own. Right now I’m going through a period of severe sleep deprivation. I just learned of this new book that every parent of small children will appreciate.


It’s so hilarious and spot-on, I have to share the text.

Today will be a day of regeneration for my brain cells. Regularly scheduled blogging will resume tomorrow.

16 Responses to “Dreaming of Sleep”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hilarious, I have always told my kids (one who is 6 years old plus twins who are 2 1/2 years old) that between 7am and 7pm they are much loved and much wanted. After 7 pm they are just much loved. Seems to work”¦..:o)

  2. willard says:

    The story we’re telling in our household for recalcitrant children is **everybody goes to sleep**: you and your kids name everyone they know, one by one, and in whatever order, and say that this person is going to sleep.
    Grand-pa is going to sleep.  Grand-ma, is going to sleep.  Uncle Y is going to sleep.  Aunt X…  Cousin U…  Friend A, B, C, D, etc.  Hockey players.  Superheroes.  You name it.
    If a kid asks about what happens when someone does not go to sleep, one can explain that this person becomes like dad.
    This usually works.  For kids, at least.

  3. D. Robinson says:

    Thank you Keith, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes!  I joke that my professional credentials are VP Sales, EE, 2K, 2L, NS.
    (EE, two kids, two labradors, no sleep)

  4. isaacschumann says:

    The author was on NPR yesterday, I nearly died when he read the book on air.

  5. Keith Kloor says:

    Did they bleep out the naughty words?

    It’s unbelievable how similar the nightly ritual is in our house–and obviously many other households. My four year old is so canny that he recognizes the precise moment my wife or I are about to lose patience, and he then says in a buttery tone: “Daddy, I love you.”

    That usually buys him another ten minutes of stalling.

  6. Menth says:

    Man, that’s the hardest I’ve laughed in a long time. Gold! Reads like  something Louis CK would probably write. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u2ZsoYWwJA

  7. isaacschumann says:

    Ya, they bleeped them out, it was especially funny because the author has a soft voice, perfect for reading children’s books. I thought it was just another interview until he started reading the book…

  8. Keith Kloor says:

    Menth–Thanks for the link. I nearly choked on a pretzel. Also reminded me of these two bits from a classic Cosby stand-up act from early 80s.

  9. JD Ohio says:

    My son (Mark), now 10 years old, was greatly helped by his Chinese grandmother.  When Mark would cry late at night 11:30 p.m., his grandmother would comfort him and get him to sleep by midnight or 12:30 p.m.  His younger sister, Karen, didn’t have the benefit of her grandmother.  When Karen would start crying (about 1.2 years old) at about 9:30 p.m. on occasion neither I nor her mother would have time to comfort her.  Turns out that she fell asleep after 5 minutes.  —  She was really tired and just cranky.  Comforting her would have simply prolonged the crankiness.  Her sleep patterns were similar to Mark, and in all probability, if we had let Mark cry for 5 minutes, he would have gone to sleep in the same manner as Karen.  Something to think about and maybe try.
    Best wishes,

  10. Marlowe Johnson says:

    My four year old had colic for 8 months so I know all about sleep deprivation.  Lets just say that the judicious use of gravol is sometimes called for.
    Now that the tyrant is pushing 5 at bedtime she often says after story time “Daddy I want you to go downstairs now” to which I say “really? that’s it?” I’m still in a state of bemused shock….

  11. Keith Kloor says:

    My six year old was colic for for the first three or four months and I think my wife and I would have been committed had we not discovered the swing. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was one. He’s pretty much been sleeping like a champ ever since.

    It’s our four year old who might as well be the boy in the book.

  12. Barry Woods says:

    three children with three different body/sleep clocks..

    one late riser late to bed
    one goes to bed nicely, gets up at 6:00am (if we are lucky)
    one very variable…

    Equals Parents very sleep deprived..
    Our fault though, when the third arrived they were 3, 2 and 0 years old..

    And now at 7, 6 and 4 it is still tough

  13. Hannah says:

    Gosh, reading the above I really start to appreciate that my girls pretty much just go to bed and sleep for 12 hours, leaving me to do whatever I want to in the evening.
    Menth, that guy is hilarious! Stayed in last night and ended up watching quite a lot of his stuff on youtube. Loved the one about children’s secrets. The guy is absolutely right, they are pretty crap. One of my oldest daughter’s favourite things in the World is for the two of us to have a candlelit bubble bath together and exchange secrets. So far the most interesting thing she has confided is that “Ella thinks that she is my best friend, but she isn’t, Anais is, Ella is only my next best friend”.

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