Saturday, March 27, 2010

Love and Laughter

If you follow my blog even a little, then you have read about my experiences sleeping in 'the red room' with Emma.  It is definitely a love-hate experience.  I love having her snuggle up close to me, but hate that it usually means she feels bad if we sleep in there.

The past few weeks have been very, very busy for me, not to mention tiring.  I have been putting in long hours trying to get ready to exhibit at Canton Flea Market, get my house ready to show, going to my photography class (which is 2.5 hours away), and being a wife and mother.  Emma has had an ear infection and a cold, so she hasn't felt well, meaning that I have slept little and comforted her much.  Well, last night, I crashed... HARD.

After cooking supper, cleaning the kitchen, getting Emma in bed and sewing, I finally went to bed.  I really expected it to be a peaceful night because Emma and I had played outside; she was tired.  A peaceful night is what I got.  However, Chuck, did not.  When I woke this morning, he wasn't in bed, which wasn't surprising. Emma gets up around 6:30, and it was well past that time.  I didn't think much of it until I came out of the bed room into the living room where they were.

Chuck had this look on his face that said 'I have a story to tell!'  I was fussing over Emma and whatever she was playing with when Chuck said to me, 'I always wondered why you slept on the very edge of the bed in 'the red room' and didn't just pick Emma up and move her.  Now I know.'  I must have looked confused, because then he asked if I remembered him getting up with Emma last night.  I said no, but started to laugh because I knew what was coming.

Apparently, I fell asleep cross-ways in our bed with Chuck rubbing my feet.  At some point in the night, Emma woke up and started crying.  After rocking her to no avail, Chuck decided to put her in the bed with us.  I was still cross-ways in the bed and Emma, according to Chuck, 'kept tossing and turning, getting up on her knees and running in her sleep.'  After a little while of this going on, and being kicked a few times, he decided to try to put Emma back in her bed.  That didn't work, and he said that he asked me 'if he should just get her and go in 'the red room' with her.'  He said that my answer was 'yes.'  So, that's what he did.

All I could do was laugh because he had never experienced a night in 'the red room' with Emma.  He said that Emma kept tossing and turning, getting on her knees and 'running.'  Then she would pick her head up and slam it down on his arm.  Chuck said she had the timing perfect so that he would be just about asleep each time when Emma would do this.  He said that he only got to sleep on about 3 inches of the bed and had to sleep with one arm over his head because he would have fallen off the bed otherwise.

He told me that if Emma wasn't waking him, then our dog, the neighbor's dog, or the cycling of our deep freezer would wake him.  Then, he told me that his arm, the one that had to be over his head to keep him balanced and on the bed, was freezing!  Finally, though, he told me that he woke to fingers up his nose and Emma staring at him.

Hearing him tell about all this had me almost in tears laughing.  I have slept like that so many nights.  I have told him about it and listened to him laugh at me.  He never actually said it, but I knew that he thought I was exaggerating my experiences.  He never really got it that I would emerge from 'the red room' even more tired than I entered.  And, there were many mornings that, after having a night like that and he had slept peacefully on our Tempur-pedic, that he would complain that he was still tired, that I would just seethe in anger.  I would think, 'he has no idea what tired is right now!'   It was impossible to not resent his oblivion.

This morning, however, my husband has a new appreciation for me.  It only took one night.  He was singing my praises this morning.  Don't get me wrong, he is great with Emma.  He takes over many, many times and gives me a break.  He is an excellent father, and husband.  He is very good to me and thankful for all that I do.  But, he is a man... And, I am a woman with a 'superwoman' attitude.  I tend to do everything, all on my own, and not ask for help.  So, many times I overload myself and he doesn't realize that I want his help.

Last night, though, my body finally gave in to being overloaded, and he had to take over.  I guess I had worn myself out to the point of crashing.  I never knew that Emma needed attention.  So, he had to step in and take over.  And, I think it was a good thing.  It was an enlightening experience for him.

We both laughed about it, and actually, I am still laughing.  Only because I have lived it.  And, as exhausting and un-amusing as it is in the moment, part of you loves it.  Loves being needed, loves being snuggled up so close to Emma.  Loves every second of being kicked, crowded, poked, and uncomfortable, because deep down you know that you'll miss it when you don't have it to love... and laugh about in the morning.

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