All I wanted was one night of (relatively) uninterrupted sleep. Just one good night’s sleep.
Baby’s finally in bed. Head hits the welcome pillow but sleep doesn’t come. Nothing new, but man, could I really use the sleep.
I hear the click of the dog’s nails against the fake wood floor as she paces, plodding back and forth. I hate that sounds. Pause. Oh please, let that be all. She lets out a high-pitched whine. Resumes the plodding pacing. Scratches at the door. Pause. Another high pitched whine. More pacing. More clicking nails. More scratching at the door. By the third repetition I have given up all hope that my husband will get off his ass and take the dog out.
Just one night of sleep. All I ask.
Blearily, I get up. Glare at husband. “You know she wants to be taken out when she does this.” It’s unmistakable. Of course he knows.
“Oh.” Unconvincing blank look of innocence. “I’ll take her out,” he replies, still unconvincing and making no move to get up or look away from the computer in his lap.
I wait. Continue glaring at husband. Sigh with resignation, grab the leash, grab the dog, and take them outside in the frigid cold. Stupid dog barely has to pee anyway. Back up the elevator, back into the apartment, back to glaring at husband.
“Sorry I was lazy.” He seems apologetic enough but I make the mistake of looking at the clock. I never look at the clock when trying to sleep. I’d have to stop and hold a funeral for all the time my insomnia costs.
1:45AM. Is it really 1:45? I thought I put the baby to sleep at 9 and I just started trying to fall asleep. Now I’m really glaring at husband.
“All I wanted was one good night of sleep. That’s all.”
Take the leash of the dog, take the coat off my back and return to bed.
But you know, the good thing about all I’ve learned in the past years is that the knowledge doesn’t disappear when things are tough. Brain switches on auto search, looking for something I’ve missed. I’m angry; I just wanted him to take the dog out so I could sleep. Is that too much to ask? Searching, searching for the grain of sanity that I know is somewhere in my head, perhaps napping while I still struggled awake.
And bingo. There it is. You don’t keep score in relationships. You don’t complain when Oliver earns all the money for the family, do you? Or that he’s always the gentle and forgiving one? Or that he files the taxes? You signed up for the role of mom and mom’s wake up at 1:45AM to feed babies or take out dogs. You signed up for the role of wife and if you really mean it, you’ll do it gladly and kindly too.
This is great. I can tell him about all I’ve remembered in the morning, after one good night of sleep.
Some things are more important than sleep. All that glaring; you really want to leave him to wrestle with that until morning?
Out of bed, back to the living room, planting one big kiss on his forehead and thanking him for everything. Are his eyes watering?
“Oh shucks! I’m so lucky to have you!”
He thinks he’s lucky. Can you believe it? 50/50 guess and he thinks he’s the lucky one. He has no idea.