I couldn't tell you how often my two wake up in the night. Its probably a lot. Ellis' night time needs are met by his daddy and I respond to Georgia's cries by rolling over, latching her on and falling back asleep. I let her hold my finger as she drifts off. I feed to sleep. I don't even own a cot. Chasing the golden chalice of "through the night" was a race I dropped out of a long time ago.
I can tell the intervals of sleep are getting longer because I've started dreaming again. After any new baby or period of insomnia, when I am able to fall back into REM sleep, my dreams are vivid and bizarre. A few nights ago, I dreamt that we were trying to go to the shopping mall in an old jalopy of a car driven by my next oldest brother. We got lost in the endless spirals of ramps and ended up on the top deck of the parking garage. Which was by the beach, with purple water and Technicolor dinosaurs tried to attack us (Gee, you'd think I spend time with 3 year olds or something). Did I mention there was also a monkey in the car?
I like dreams. Important things happen there. When I first moved to India, I had a recurring dream about a kind and helpful stranger that was a deep comfort in a very strange place. I looked forward to seeing him in my dreams. Georgia's name came to me in a dream, as did the colour of my bedroom. The night before last, I dreamt about this clapotis Annie made for her mother in law for Christmas last year. Which of course meant hunting down the pattern and finding suitable yarn for the perfect gift for a far-away friend I'd been worried about.
I don't mind doing everything wrong when it comes to sleep. I am so in love with little baby Georgia, I don't care that I drift off when I lay with her and wake up to discover Ellis has emptied the entire bottle of dishsoap into the washing machine with the diapers. When he does sleep, Ellis is so peaceful and beautiful and says the funniest things, how could I miss it? I shrug off the looks of distain from health professionals when I 'confess'. I ignore well meaning advice about all of the things I should be doing.
The other day, Ellis let me hold his little hand as we walked across the bridge and I was hit so hard by a powerful realisation that it knocked the breath out of me. Their littleness, the cuddles, the way her lips purse when she sleeps and the way he collapses in complete exhaustion...
One day, far too soon, this will be the dream.