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Saturday, February 26, 2011

on sleep

Nearly every night I find myself in a vague state of dissatisfaction. Definitely not a crisis or anything near that, but always kind of in this place where I don't want to be awake but I don't want to go to bed. I'm tired but I can't fall asleep. I feel like I should be up doing something, because it's rare that I have much time to myself, but there isn't anything that I want to do.

I'm sort of lonely, but I don't want to be around anyone. I don't want anyone to touch me. I think somewhat longingly of my last bed in my last apartment in Oberlin. It was nice to have my own space; to be able to sleep diagonally across the mattress; to hog my pristine white covers; to not have someone next to me snoring or a toddler climbing in constantly during the middle of the night.

MiniMan has a lot of trouble falling asleep on his own. Most days I lie down with him before he takes a nap and when he goes to bed. It probably isn't a good parenting practice to do this, but it is so exhausting to walk him back to bed over, and over, and over again (sometimes for over an hour) that I've given up. Instead, I get into bed, hold him close, slow my breathing and close my eyes. I pretend to be asleep. It's probably as much of a comfort for me as it is for him.
Usually he falls asleep quickly, although sometimes just as I think he's begun to relax, I'll feel a tacky hand caress my face, then fingers on my brow line.

"Eyebrow," he says.

A finger gently presses against my closed eyelid: "Eye-yashes."

Then, a finger pries my eye open. "Shiny eyeball!"

I laugh.

Maybe I should just give up on sleep. Maybe I should adopt the toddler philosophy: it's more fun to stay up even if I get cranky. Somehow, I'm not really even sure about the fun part, though.

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