Off and on for years, I’ve suffered from insomnia. I remember nights during high school that I couldn’t get to sleep and found myself, after having tried all the standard relaxation techniques, weeping at 5:00 in the morning because I was so worn out from nights of having not slept. I think it eased up some in college, though I’ve had some trouble sleeping lately. If tonight is any indication, however, I’ve passed an insomnia gene along to my daughter.
M and her sister Abbey went out to a movie tonight, and I was charged with getting Lennie to sleep. Which in theory wasn’t hard, as they left at around her bedtime, and I was reading her a bedtime story per the usual routine as they left. Comfortable that she was going to drop off to sleep soon as always, I found a movie (the pretty recent “Casanova” on Comcast’s On Demand with Heath Ledger and Oliver Platt, which movie was most entertaining, especially if you happen to have studied comedy as a literary form) and settled in for a poor deserted husband’s night alone (bam chicka bam). As you may have guessed, I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but that didn’t stop me from peeking into Lennie’s room from time to time. Several times, I found her counting her toes or mumbling to herself. It’s not terribly uncommon for her to play around for a while before going to sleep, so this was no big deal. When I peeked in on her at 10:00, figuring she must surely be asleep, I found her sitting on the floor beside her bed reading a book. This was two hours after bedtime. So I went in to see if maybe I could cuddle her for a few minutes to help her get to sleep. She told me she wanted to pee on the potty, so I picked her up and found that her diaper was half off and that she had two legs in one leg of her pajamas (clearly having tried to take matters into her own hands). I took her in to sit on her potty and noticed that she had the saddest wet little tear in the world sitting on her cheek. I decided that rather than putting her back to bed, where she clearly was having no luck going to sleep, I’d snuggle her on the couch in front of the rest of my boring grown-up movie. It didn’t help.
At around 11:00, M got home, and Lennie was still awake. We sat around watching TV for a bit longer, and at around midnight, I finally convinced the two of them to go to bed. It appears that they’re now both asleep.