The wee hours.

This whole waking up at night thing is something I really underestimated before having kids. Obviously I knew that babies woke up at night, especially at the beginning. They need to eat every few hours. But I hadn't given it a lot of thought. And looking back, I seem to have just thought that after a few months (like 4) it just happened. They got bigger, and they slept. And that's that. I had images of putting them in their little cribs, tucking a blanket over them, one last kiss, then tiptoeing out the door. Then there's be time to eat, watch TV, talk over a glass of wine with my husband. And no more baby until morning.

Instead, no one slept through the night until 10 months old, and then it was just one of them. Saoirse insisted for more than 18 months on only sleeping in bed with us. And sleep deprivation was so constant, I was willing to sleep with an army of people in bed if it meant a few hours without getting up.

But even now, it's still an issue. Last night Saoirse woke up around 3 am. One minute I was in the middle of a dream, the next minute I'm stumbling down the hall to stop her screaming before she wakes up her sister. (another aspect of sleep that I never considered before having kids) She was screaming, "No leave me!! I go with you!" so I brought her back to bed rather than fight an all-out battle at that hour. For the next 3 hours, she wiggled around in our bed without falling asleep. She rolled, she kicked. She snuggled up to each of us until we got annoyed, then she'd switch parents. When I would tell her to stop moving around and kicking me, or else, she'd cry. Around 6 am, as the sun was coming up, she finally lay still long enough to fall asleep. Around a half hour later, Chris's alarm went off.

Now, I know I could have put her back in her room, screaming be damned. Of course, then there would have been two girls awake and crying. And Saoirse has proven in the past that she can keep up the screaming for longer than most would guess. But either way, it was clear that there was going to be no sleeping. And this is not a rare thing with her.

If someone had told me before having them that there would be, on average, one night a week with 3-4 hours of sleep...when they were TWO?!...I would have been horrified. Thank god I didn't know.