I have a long and storied history of insomnia.
Sleep is not my friend.
Apparently, I have passed on this affliction to my youngest child Benjamin.
He is nearly two years old and he is the worst sleeper of The Triad. Where the other two were sleeping through the night well before their third month on the planet was completed, Ben was over six months old before the first time I woke up to sunlight instead of late-night baby cries.
Last night, he went to bed at 8 pm. A completely normal bedtime for him.
He surprised me by going to sleep rather easily and quietly, without the usual 15 minutes of protest and indignation.
I was then quite UNsurprised when about an hour and a half later he started crying.
I went upstairs and took Dylan with me. The boys share a room. I laid down with Dylan on the queen bed in their room. Dylan was asleep in five minutes. Snoring.
Benny, however, went through a truly ingenious series of sleep evading moves over the next 45 minutes.
While I laid there quietly, trying to pretend to be asleep, Benny sat straight up and began clawing at the fitted sheet on the crib mattress. When it proved too snug to be removed even by the most Herculean of efforts, he resorted to punching the mattress like he was in a Tae Bo class for angry insomniac babies.
When the sucker punches yielded no results, he started punching at his own feet.
Then he threw himself onto his pillow, grabbed it in a giant bear hug, stood up and tossed it out of the crib. Shortly thereafter, he lowered out his blanket.
I broke the fourth wall so to speak, got out of bed, put his pillow BACK in the crib, laid him on it and covered him with his blanket.
That scene repeated about five times until he adopted a new tactic: Trying to take off his shirt.
He got one arm all the way out of the sleeve before I got out of bed, replaced his shirt and laid him back down.
That scene repeated three more times until I discovered that the only effective counter move was to actually remove his shirt. Problem solved.
The then turned his attentions on his giant stuffed Mario Bros. mushroom pillow. First, he hugged it like a favorite son heading to war. Then he threw it down to the bottom of his crib under his feet. Then he went Van Damme and kicked the crap out of it. When the mushroom was flung over to the side of the crib, out of reach of his feet, Benny alligator rolled over it pinning it up against the side of the crib slats over and over.
Then he tossed it out onto the floor.
It wasn't long after that when I got tired of the show and fixed him a small sippy cup of milk which put him to sleep rather quickly and I was then able to go lay in my own bed for an hour reading a book which only made me slightly tired.
Then I laid in my own bed, kicking at blankets, hearing noises that weren't there and fighting the urge to start punching the mattress in frustration.
I get it baby, I get it.