Songs for Lexi

Songs for Lexi

4:30.... again.

Yeah, so I'll bet you're wondering how a family can operate never knowing if they will get a full night's sleep.

 

Well, for me, since Alexi's birth, I have not slept the same.  Many moms I have met say the same thing - that they sleep with one eye open and one ear to the ground since having children.  When our house "wakes up" to the sound of "Dora's House Party" blaring at 4am and the click of the hall light goes on and the giggling and chirpy sounds of our youngest daughter's scripting fill the air, somehow we manage to sort of ignore it for a while (like last night)... ultimately one of us wanders in to tell her it's too early, that it's still dark outside, that it's nighttime, and that her sister and mommy and daddy are trying to sleep and if she's going to make noise - she needs to "close the door".  And that works... for 20 minutes. 

 

The long term effects of lost sleep over weeks at a time of early waking are not obvious, but are very insidious.  You don't know if your bad mood or general irritation is due to a real emotion or due to the lost sleep from 2 days ago that you kinda wrote off already.  However, it's very much like how a woman feels during her monthly hormone surge -- the irritation and anger she feels - feel real - because they are, in that moment... the tears she cries from frustration are real.  And the argument my husband and I had the other day, which was ultimately caused by our being snippy with each other, were due to our latest stint of intermittent sleep... I'd put money on it.  

 

So sometimes the effects of living with an autistic child are not so obvious.  There's a high level of managed stress within our house from not ever being able to lay blame on this poor child who doesn't mean to wake us and wreak such havoc within our family.  She has no idea about what we go through and while it feels strange to lay blame, it also feels oddly cathartic to use autism as an excuse for our general family wackiness sometimes. 

 

 

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