Ah Sleep! I love to sleep. When I was young, I used to piss mum off by sleeping instead of studying for my exams. I can’t help it! Studying makes me sleepy. Mum used to threaten “If you continue sleeping like this, you’re going to end up working in the assembly lines at the factory!”
The funny thing is, sleep starts to evade you as you get older. It becomes a luxury when you have kids. I used to get up several times a night to feed/pat/comfort the kids until they were 4 years old! I suppose being around a sleep-deprived mum wasn’t much fun then!
I still love sleeping now. When I lie down on my bed to watch TV or read a book, I’ll be nodding off in ten minutes. I even fall asleep at the movie theatre, to the kids’ dismay because I always miss the exciting parts. Then again, to kids, every part is exciting... Yet, getting quality sleep is still a challenge today. When I’m happily dozing off, the kids would pounce on me, jolting me awake. “You’re going to give me a heart attack one day!” With my heart pumping wildly, it’s tough getting back to sleep again.
As a parent, you’d instinctively know if the kids are feeling unwell. I often wake up in the middle of the night to find them with a tummy ache or running a fever. These days, even Rusty would nudge me awake in the wee hours, seeking comfort. I’ll pat him on the head “Good boy, go sleep now”. He’ll wander back to his corner to continue snoozing while I toss and turn for a long time before drifting off.
Anxiety deprives me of a good sleep too. If there's something important to do in the morning, I’d wake up every hour to check the clock. That said, I don’t really need an alarm clock to wake me up at 5.30am every morning to get the kids ready for school. The body clock rings internally.
The sad thing is, when the kids are all grown up and you have less chores and worries, you don’t need so much sleep anymore. I often wake up at 3am in the morning to find my dad watching TV or mum wide awake. “Can’t sleep!” they say.