I might not be a mother, but at least I understand the never-ending dilemma of mothers and the lack of sleep, or so I thought. For after having to sleep beside my two nieces last night, I knew I didn’t even know the half of it.
I’m sure I mentioned this many times before but for those who don’t know, I have two nieces: Ghazal, 3.5 years old, and Jana, who has just turned 1. To give you a glimpse of things to come, let me just say that Jana, the younger smurf-sized one, gives the phrase “sleeping like a baby” a whole new meaning.
You see, there is sleep-walking, and there is sleep-talking and then there is sleep-wrestling, which is the closest thing to describe whatever the heck Jana does in her sleep. One minute you’re trying to doze off and the other you’re being hit by a bustling rabbit-sized creature looking for her pacifier. Of course the best part is when she takes the pacifier and puts it back in her mouth, while asleep. And then of course you have to sleep with one eye open because at any given moment she could roll to any side of the bed and fall over. Sometimes you may be able to prevent it but other times you don’t realize it until you hear the a big BOOM sound that you have to wonder where it comes from since her head is slightly bigger than an orange and she seems to have more flesh than bones in her knees.
Let’s say I managed to survive Jana’s wrestling tendencies for a couple of hours, but that doesn’t mean it was over. Oh no it was far from over, for Ghazal had been sleeping soundly all the time Jana was fighting for survival, so at around 6 am when Jana decided it’s time to practice her newly acquired and clumsy penguinish walking skills, Ghazal woke up too and decided to take on the role of the “big sister” trying to call Jana to come back to sleep and teling her that if she didn’t come back to bed Swiper will come and take her. But that wasn’t enough, was it? Of course Ghazal is the Drama Queen so she had to do something more dramatic: she made up a song about a naughty baby and starting singing it out loud… at 6 am.
At around 6:20 my survival instinct kicked in and I realized I must do something because in a couple of hours I had to get up and drag myself to work and I’ve used my nieces as an excuse enough times already. So, I told Ghazal to take Jana and go to the living room where my father was sitting as he wakes up pretty early. Yes, I passed the buck! So Ghazal tried to take Jana by hand but Jana seemed to be so caught up in her newfound ability that she refused to hold hands, and there was Ghazal, the Prima Donna, complaining that Jana won’t hold hands with her. “Jana… hold hands with Zozo” “Khalas zozo let her walk by herself”. And finally, on they went walking, or more of staggering in Jana’s case.
We love our penguins, don’t we?