sleepless nights

Oh, sleepless nights. I’m not sure how I get through them and continue to function, though to be honest I don’t function very well lately, succumbing to the grumpies often.

One night last week I got up twelve times to lay Calvin back down, cover him up—since he can’t cover himself—and hope he’d go back to sleep, but to no avail. He was awake from around one thirty until almost five, just like the night before. And the months’ nights before that haven’t been much better. Much of the time he spends banging his head on the end of his crib with an insufferable thud, the crib squeaking and complaining as if threatening to collapse. He’s got a red rash on his forehead to prove it, right below where he’s incessantly rubbed and broken off a tuft of his hair. I’ve put a large firm velvet pillow against the headboard to deaden the thumping, but still the racket broadcasts straight into my brain through the baby monitor that sits menacingly on the nightstand near my head. I’ve even got stereo as his pounding thunders through the wall. Thank goodness Calvin doesn’t cry or scream at night . . . at least not yet.

When Calvin was just a baby he slept through the night peacefully and with ease—for years. While I enjoyed restful nights I never took them for granted because, since Calvin was born, I have learned that there are no guarantees in life and not necessarily happy endings.

When Calvin started having seizures at two years of age, and after the first few antiepileptic drugs failed, his tranquil sleep, and thus my undisturbed slumber, went out the window. I can’t remember the last night that I didn’t have to get up at least once or twice to encourage him to go back to sleep. But as all things in life change perhaps some day there will be an end to these sleepless nights, if only for a time.

photo by Michael Kolster

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