People say that after you have kids, you never sleep soundly again. That’s true, but not necessarily just because of parental anxiety. In my experience, the main reason I don’t sleep soundly is that I am rudely awakened. Constantly, and in many different ways, even though my kids are no longer infants.
Here are a few choice rude awakenings:
The No-Knock Warrant: This usually happens around 6:15 a.m. each morning, especially on weekends when we don't need to be up that early. (On school days we can't get them out of bed with a crowbar). Paige throws the full weight of her body against the door, shoulder first. Locked or not, the door bursts open ala Kramer on Seinfeld. Isaac has a high-beam flashlight in hand and aims it directly at our eyeballs. (See prior post titled, "This Socks: 6:09 a.m.").
The Midnight Vom: A cry will ring out, usually between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. One of the kids will have puked all over themselves, their bedding, and the floor around them. As I struggle to orient myself to a wakeful state, my first thought is that it's impossible for a stomach of such diminutive size to generate the volume of vomit that I see before me.
The Untimely Request: At all times of night, a child's inability to sleep can result in parental awakenings in order to fulfill the untimely and unnecessary request. Paige or Isaac will trot into our bedroom requesting a cartoon, a banana, a drink of water, or a lengthy explanation of the date and time, long after they should have been asleep.
The Scooby-Doo: This one happens between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m., when my failure to properly censor media really comes home to roost. One kid is invariably afraid of the masked villain in Scooby Doo or of Darth Vader, and then they both somehow succeed in kicking me out of my own bed.
But all other things being equal, I will take as many of these rude awakenings as necessary if it means I somehow might get to skip later awakenings from cops and jails.