It was dark. I was tired and confused. Although I lay awake listening for a while and all seemed quiet, I could not really get back to sleep.
I am a mother of twins.
One might think, from reading the title and the first few paragraphs of this blog post, that my twins are babies. In fact, my babies are 16 years old! Big babies! But, as any parent — and especially a parent of multiples — will tell you, sleep becomes permanently elusive.
When my big babies were younger, I often lamented the lack of sleep, and complained to parents of older children that I was looking forward to the day when the kids would sleep through the night so that I could, too.
I was assured wryly that that day would never come.
“When they’re teenagers”, the parents of older children explained, “you stay up all night worrying about whether they are going to make it home alive!”
But they’re typically home by midnight, sober and safe and chattering away about whether some meme is actually funny, or which video game is better, or other topic of epic importance. A greater challenge is the infighting about bedtime that happens when both are at home and in disagreement about when to start winding down and eventually turn out the light (four of us live in a small apartment, so separate sleeping arrangements are nearly impossible). The iron-clad bedtime routine we had from early childhood began to unravel rather rapidly when the adolescent hormones kicked in and circadian rhythms began marching to the beat of their own drummer!
There have been other interesting night adventures resulting in sleep interruptions over the years...
Although things have calmed down somewhat in recent years, and my insomnia has shifted its blame from parenting multiples to more to generalized life anxiety, there continue to be sleep interruptions like gurgling humidifiers, broken fans, and the slamming of doors by those who insist on keeping them closed rather than open at night, but who refuse to close said doors gently and silently when they go to the washroom 17 more times before they finally fall asleep for the night.
And then there is the very occasional anomaly like this morning’s early arousal...
Not so long after the awakening, Twin B stumbled into my bed to snuggle, as we still occasionally do on a family weekend morning. He was soon joined by his brother, the perpetrator. We wanted to know to whom the latter had been calling out so early on a Saturday morning.
“I had a bad dream”, Twin A explained.
”But why so loud?” We wondered. The response, matter of factly: “There were bad guys; I had to take charge of the room.”
Sleepless nights or not, I’m glad I have these snuggly, confident teenagers around to protect me!