After the second sleepless night in a row, due to three kids intermittently waking, I have cause to wonder…or imagine…or maybe even hallucinate many things!
“Sleep deprivation is a method of torture, you know,” remarks my husband. This said as we go through our morning ritual of sorting out who woke up with whom, and what was said, and how much of it was meant (or even made any sense anyway) the night before. He has a way of making me feel like I’m in an alternate ‘Alice in Wonderland’ reality when he is woken up at night. All of a sudden I feel like I am communicating with that delusional rabbit, who doesn’t know if he is coming or going, but he has to get there fast.
Yet, as sluggish as we both can be at responding to midnight potty runs, you have not seen an EMP respond quicker at the first sound of the toddler “emptying” the potty “all by himself.” Eek! A terror stricken look is shared, and instead of drawing straws, we are climbing over each other to get there first.
In the hilarious wisdom of Jim Gaffigan, “Every night before I get my one hour of sleep, I have the same thought: ‘Well, that’s a wrap on another day of acting like I know what I’m doing.’ I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake.”
Yes, a stand-up comedian is where I am going for parenting advice! And thank God for that. After reading countless books and articles to assist in feeling unqualified for the supernatural parenting calling, I find that laughter truly is the best medicine. In fact, each night when I wake up in my strange ‘Alice in Wonderland’ alternate reality of sleep deprivation, I try to remember that “one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small.” Hopefully prayer and laughter are making me larger (in patience, fortitude, and charity that is.)
So, as I found myself at my son’s bedside somewhere between sunset and sunrise (that period of time all blurs together), singing ‘Home on the Range’ by special request, and nodding off like a tired teenager in Algebra class, I had to laugh when my head hit the slats of his bed, and he actually said that it was time for ME to go back to MY bed! How do you like that?
I try to remember that these moments are fleeting. They will only be little once. There is plenty of time to not know what I am doing as a parent to a sassy child, ambitious teen, or headstrong adult. Right now it is a car potty, ‘Paw Patrol’ undies, and ‘Home on the Range.’
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