Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Bed

Going Cold

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She had joined me in bed again.  I don’t know how many nights in a row this is, too tired to count now.  Always between 3 and 4 in the morning.  I’ve tried to figure out why, but I can’t come up with anything.  It just appears that there are cycles of sleep problems, and we’re riding one right now.  She no longer calls out, or announces her presence, she just presents herself at the side of the bed, until Daddy gets out, and I wearily take her in.  Sometimes she goes right to sleep.  Sometimes she fidgets, and neither of us get our rest.  After a while, Cubby joins us.  My sweet, exhausted husband leaves me a cup of tea as he heads off to work.

I need my transition.  I urge the kids to go to their rooms, but they stay.  I sip the tea, trying not to spill as they bounce all over the bed.  Cubby is only content in my arms, making tea-drinking impossible.  In the end, I give up.  I place the cup back down on the bedside table and it goes cold while I wait for them to let me be for a moment.  I get out of bed, and the day begins.

Hours later it is time for the day to end.  I’ll have my second cup of tea once they are in bed.  My other bookend to the day.  My ritual.  Cubby is winding down, but Pudding is still active, hyperactive.  We need her to go to sleep tonight.  Her Daddy has volunteered for an overnight shift, and he needs to take a brief nap to keep him going.

She isn’t in a cooperative mood.  She demands, then refuses a story.  She gets into bed, but tosses and turns, hums, and twirls her hair.  I’m thinking of that cup of tea.  How much I need it, my wholesome vice.  Why won’t she just sleep?  Almost an hour later, I give up.  I tell her to go to sleep and head downstairs.

I start to clean the day’s mess.  Even before the kettle has boiled, she is downstairs.  I march her back up and place her back in bed.  I just want a few minutes of the day to myself.  I refuse to hear her pleas to stay, and return to pour the water onto the teabag.  It steeps, I add milk.  I’m ready to sit down.

She returns.  I lead her back up to the bedroom.  Exasperated, I ask what is wrong, but she doesn’t reply.  I ask what she wants, and she replies: Mummy.  I’m humbled by her need.  She wants me to get in bed with her, being downstairs is not enough, sitting on the chair in her room is not enough.  Only physical contact will soothe her.  I climb in beside her, and cup her cheek with my hand.  I lie still while my tea is going cold.  Her breathing slows, and I move my hand away.  Instantly alert, she grabs my arm and holds on, keeping me close.  This isn’t manipulation, this is desperation.

I submit and stay, knowing that the tea will be undrinkable.  I can only hope this will pass.  That one day she will be able to calm herself when she feels like this.  Until then, I can meet her need just by being present.  I’m grateful that I can still provide all that is needed.

I watch her chest rise and fall before I dare make another retreat.  This time she didn’t stir.

Nothing to do but come downstairs and pour away the cold tea.  I’m about to make a fresh cup.  My needs are also mercifully easily met.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 25, 2011 at 6:28 am