On a bright sunny day in June, I welcomed my third son. I also bid a sad farewell to sleep. FOREVER. With three boys under the age of 4, any contact with me should have carried a warning label.
Warning: Severely sleep-deprived mother can and will exhibit forgetfulness, random thoughts and bouts of tears. If any of these symptoms occur, back away slowly and administer babysitting services or caffeine as soon as possible. Avoid interactions with mothers bragging that their children sleep through the night, as harmful reactions may occur.
Sadly, my youngest was sickly and developed very bad sleeping patterns. We moved him to a toddler bed when he was a year old so I could graduate from sleeping on the floor of his room to sleeping in the bed with him.
Ain’t motherhood grand?
Soon enough, I perfected the art of escaping from my nighttime prison. Like a Houdini of the toddler set.
But then I got cocky.
After one particularly long night, I began the ritual so familiar by then. Slither over to the bed rail, rise slowly on all fours, advance to a kneeling position. And then sit for a minute and stare at him to make sure there was no movement.
Grip bedrail and slide one leg over, stop and wait a beat, then the tricky part. I had to vault myself up and over the bedrail without standing. Like a gymnast but with only a crappy, twin mattress as leverage.
But this time, my foot got tangled in the Bob the Builder blanket and instead of catapulting over the bedrail to freedom, I slammed into the cold metal face first
My mouth took the biggest hit as my tooth broke right off from impact. The pain was so sharp, I just stayed there; straddling the bed rail as blood filled my mouth.
BUT I DIDN’T MAKE A SOUND
See, this is the pinnacle of maternal instincts. My entire body resisted the urge to scream bloody murder without forethought because I intrinsically knew that the pain I was feeling would be unbearable when coupled with the wailing of a wakened child.
I freed my foot and landed on the floor with a soft thud. I hobbled to bathroom, rinsed my mouth and gently placed half my tooth in the case that kindergarten had sent home with my oldest when he lost his tooth in class.
Does the tooth fairy come for moms and give them a dental deductible payment under their pillow?
As I applied ice to my mouth and told my husband the story, I was left to wonder..
Is it a parenting win if the baby sleeps through your injury and blood loss?
Even now, ten years and one dental implant later, I give a resounding yes.
Because, sleep is worth any sacrifice.