There's nothing better than a good night's sleep preceding a flawless trip home from vacation. Well, that's what they tell me anyway. Not sure I'd know for sure. The last couple of days might explain why.
The boys and I spent a long weekend on Cape Cod visiting my in laws. For the boys there were trips to the beach and toy store, miniature golfing and lunch expeditions, and lots of relaxing in the glow of adoring grandparents. (Also, a superior cable subscription that includes Cartoon Network and therefore episodes of Ninjago. Their level of excitement about this fact was off the charts and you should by all means judge me as a parent for how far down the rabbit hole we've gone with this thing!) For me the biggest win were the extra hands to care for Gabriel when I wanted to run - cue the angel choir. In addition to their G.G. and Poppa, the boys also got to get (re)acquainted with some Great Aunts and Uncles and an afternoon/evening of fun with their Giessler cousins who flew in from Orlando on Monday afternoon.
Side note: it's funny to listen to and talk to my kids about their struggles between saying "Ant" and "Aunt". They are about 50/50 in how it comes out of their mouths and Tommy will sometimes correct himself when he says it the New England way, reminding me, "We're from New York, right Mom? So we say ANT." (He is born and raised in New Hampshire of course, but he figures he has citizenship to the Empire State and all the Upstate pronunciations through me, I guess!)
Because his brother and nephews were in town, Scott even took his precious 24 hours of free time at camp this week and made the 4-hour drive to his parents'. Such a good boy!
All in all, it was a delightful few days and I know my father-in-law will send me photos to post soon. But now for the snoozetime fun....
The three bedroom house, though sizeable, was pretty crowded with the 10 of us Monday night. G.G. and Poppa decided to try the 4 big boys (ages 4, 6, 6, and 8) on air mattresses in the livingroom. They were not sure how it was going to go for the Florida cousins since they have their own rooms at home and it might be hard for them to settle down in a crowd. I assured them that our boys would be fine since they are used to sharing space and at my parents' place they sleep in a room with dozens of cousins.
I was right. And so were G.G. and Poppa. Kinda.
They were all very tired by bedtime and, in fact, Elliott fell asleep before the others had even said good night. Tommy couldn't sleep though. He ran into this problem because, although he's used to sleeping with other people in the room, he is not used to a white noise machine. The cousins have always slept with one so their dad brought it from Florida. It's very "womb-y" (thinking prenatal heart beat) and is just a few thousand decibles louder than jumbo jet landing. Additionally, the cousins had all the typical "urgent" needs that kept them from being able to settle down for sleep. (
Tommy was impressively silent on these matters but I knew he was not going to remain cool about it for too long. After a while, I quietly told him to go up in my bed to sleep. Otherwise I wasn't sure how frustrated he would get and how that frustration might manifest itself.
SO smart. SUCH a good solution. (SOOOOO sarcastic).
Gabriel was already asleep in the pack 'n play and Tommy went to sleep quickly on the bed. Quickly and, I might add, diagonally. So when we went up to sleep, Scott had to move him to a verticle situation, which of course woke him up. No problem. He went right back to sleep... diagonally. The other thing about Tommy in his sleep is if his foot hits something - or someone - he appears to be pre-programmed to kick it. Hard. Repeatedly.
|This has already been around FB and some blogs, but it's just too much fun!|
Meanwhile, Scott shut the door to the bedroom to cut down on the jumbo jet noise. And I opened the door in order to hear Elliott who would, I thought, be panicked if he woke up without Tommy on the air mattress with him.
Also meanwhile, I shut off the window fan so that I could hear Elliott over the jumbo jet.... And Scott turned the fan back on so that he didn't melt into a puddle (an unfortunate addition to already being blugeoned by Tom's feet.) I think we went back and forth on the window fan about 4 times.
Sadly, at 2:20 or so, I found I was right to worry about E. From downstairs I heard a heartbreaking sobbing. It was, of course, Elliott. He does the same thing at home if he wakes up and can't find Tommy.
(At home Tommy is almost always tucked into the far corner of his top bunk and Elliott simply can't see him... but it's always the same result. Instead of coming to find us and telling us that he can't find Tommy, he just lies back in his bed crying his eyes out. It is SOOOO sad! No amount of reassuring him that he is welcome to come find us if he's scared in the night has convinced him to venture out of that bed. Maybe the long walk to our room is more horrifying than the idea that his brother has disappeared?)
I dashed downstairs and scooped Elliott up (too late, it seemed, since the 4-year-old cousin raised his adorable bed head and protested to me, "He waked me up.") and brought him to our room. For about 2 minutes there were 5 Giesslers in the bed. I knew after 15 seconds this situation was not going to work but I needed the other 1:45 to configure a plan.
I found two small comforters in the linen closet and made a nest on the floor for Elliott, Gabe and I. My theory was that these comforters were so soft and fluffy it would be like having a mattress.
Haa haa haa hardy har!
At some point on nights like this you make an important transition. At first, of course, you are praying mightily to fall asleep. "Please, God, just let me sleep. Just an hour or two so I can drive home tomorrow and not be a zombie." Then, after rolling over 10 or 12 MILLION times in an attempt to find a side-lying position in which you can both nurse the baby AND not feel like your hip bones are going to shatter on the "soft, luxurious" comforter, you change your plea: "Please, God, just make it morning so this hell will end. I just want sun light and the chance to try again tomorrow night."
I know I slept, though, because at one point I woke up from a dream. A very vivid dream. Nay, a very vivid nightmare. And in this nightmare it was 3AM. And I was staying in my in-law's spare bedroom. On the deceptively hard floor. With Gabe and Elliott. And Tommy and Scott were on the bed. And my brother-in-law and his kids were there. And in the dream all I wanted to do was sleep. And my hips were killing me. And then my brother-in-law came to the bedroom door with his sons and said his boys wanted to sleep with their cousins. So they were going to sleep in our room, too.
It took me awhile after waking up to realize that the final detail of the dream didn't actually happen.
Without my glasses I had no idea what time it was, but a good chunk of time after I began making bargains with God about all the amazing things I would accomplish in this life if He would just bring on the morning, I could see that the dawn was breaking. I decided that I could lie there for another hour not sleeping and then get up and finish the packing up process.... or I could get up and go running.
It was 5:11 AM.
I went running.
I went running.