If anything, I am a victim of my own success. Earlier in the year, Savvy took a business trip to Guangzhou and was gone for several nights. Our legion of ayis was certain I would need assistance in the night, but I would have none of it – determined to go it alone – and as best I can recall, it was a success. There were no fatalities, no child was lost, and on one night, all three of the kids managed to sleep through the night without waking (a first, and, to date, a last). Still, I had three relatively easy night followed by several hectic nights of wakeful babies once Savvy returned (it seems they had stored up their angst). So it was with no lack of bravado that when Savvy mentioned she had a business trip to Hong Kong earlier in October that I whole-heartedly accepted the challenge, “Four nights without Mama? No sweat.”
Truthfully, there wasn’t that much sweat, but tears there were a plenty – mainly mine. Even if one baby slept relatively peacefully through the night, the other would wake every hour or two. And the one night that both boys slept fairly well, their older sister was up multiple times from 3-4 in the blessed morning. Though again I can boast of holding down the fort and not loosing anything more than my own sleep (perhaps a sliver of my sanity), I also gladly crawled back into bed each morning after Reina went to school to try and reclaim some of my lost sleep – sometimes not rousing until past noon. For that, I am eternally grateful to our staff, but to say three hours of late morning sleep compares to the four or five lost to the night is a gross injustice. You can live off it, but it isn’t right.
Consequently, it was with no small amount of relief that Savvy was greeted with at the door when she safely arrived back in Beijing. No child had been harmed in her absence, but I feared for my own sanity had she remained away one night longer. Still, I’ll get another test of my stamina next month when Mama is again called away from Beijing – this time to Cambodia. Surely by then the children will all be sleeping through the night and our home will be one of peace and bliss and quiet from dusk to dawn. Just in case, I’ll be keeping my morning schedule blank.
Photo by Christopher Lay