I wasn’t planning on writing anything tonight. But when I sat down to watch TV, Gareth, the resident bedtime drama queen, started screaming bloody murder because “Your gro’mup show HURTS MY EARS!!” And I’ve learned that I can’t win that battle. So I’m sitting in a quiet room waiting for him to fall asleep. I’m also caffeinating, since Josh won’t be home until later tonight and I don’t like to fall asleep until he’s back. When he works nights I really miss having our German shepherd mix in the backyard.
Josh rolls my eyes when I refer to Gareth as a drama queen. Even though he totally is one, and “drama king” or a gender neutral “overly dramatic person” just don’t have the same ring. Boys can be just as overdramatic as girls can be. Everyone says Gareth will outgrow this before he goes to college, but I’m not so sure. His dorm applications might say “Can’t fall asleep without cuddles. Can’t sleep on dirty sheets. Will flip a lid if someone is watching TV while he’s trying to sleep. Has woken up at least once almost every night since he was born.”
I read a blog post that was aimed at mothers of newborns, and in an effort to be encouraging it said something like, “Don’t worry, this period won’t last forever. Your baby is going to start sleeping through the night eventually.” My first thought was, “HA! That’s if you got one of the good ones.” But of course it’s not nice to scare off the parents-to-be. Best to just let them find out on their own that they may never get a good night’s sleep for the rest of their lives. OK, I’m sure that’s not true. But it might be a few years.
Gareth is a very cute, charming child. He’s bubbly and affectionate. He loves smiling for his picture. He’s funny, silly, and ticklish. Since he’s the baby, I tend to fuss over him more than his big sister. It’s unintentional, and I do try to be fair with compliments and affection, but honestly it comes easier with Gareth because he seeks it out. (Emmeline is a super-cuddler, but you have to remember to initiate it.) All that to say, since Gareth is the baby he gets most of the “Oh he’s so cute and happy and charming!” But while he may be great at emotionally manipulating you into thinking he’s all kisses and giggles all the time, let me just say, that he. is. a. horrible. sleeper.
When I write blog posts I ask myself, “Would I want my teenage kids coming back and reading this?” And that generally keeps me from complaining about them too much. But I just want to say, Teenage Gareth, if you are reading this, it has been almost three years and you have not gone a solid week without waking your poor mother and father up at night. You refuse to spend the night at anyone else’s house, and your Aunt Alyssa is the only other person in the world who can get you to fall asleep quickly (be extra nice to her, because by the time you’re in your teens she has probably babysat you a lot for just that reason). We love you to the moon and back, but we are tired. And you owe us, Son. So get a good job, because when the early dementia sets in due to chronic sleep deprivation, we’re sending you the medical bills. Of course, by that point, your older sister will probably be running the world, so stay on her good side and maybe she’ll loan you the money to pay them.
Gareth is asleep now, so I’m going to go scoot my recliner very close to the television and turn my “gro’mup show” on at a very low volume.