Dreams Limited

When I was a kid, all the way till I was a twenty-something adult, I used to sleep like a log!! Once I was down; I was down! I used to sleep so deeply and so soundly that come thunderstorm, or firecrackers on Diwali night, or a car backfiring right under my window, I did not wake up!

Dreams Limited

My mom used to struggle to wake me up for me to go to school. I would somehow drag myself to the bathroom, lock the door, sit on the toilet, and then curl up by putting my head on my knees and snooze! Once, I even tried putting a towel in the bathtub and lying down there! It didn’t matter if it was hard and damp… I would be out like a light! My mom’s hands sure did pain from hammering the door to try to wake me up the second time!

When I started travelling by public bus during my Bachelors, I perfected the art of dozing while sitting in the bus. If you have ever ridden on Calcutta public buses, you would realize what a feat that is! This continued up till when I went to another city for my graduate studies. I was to stay in a hostel for the first time and was scared about missing my classes so I got a huge big clock (the grand daddy ones which have a very loud, annoying ring, unlike the dulcet tones of the modern ones) and kept it right next to my ear, so that I would wake up in time!

When I got married, it was like I had found my soul mate… sleep-wise!! My husband could go upto one p.m…. he would only wake up after that ‘coz he would get hungry! Once, he ate lunch and then went back to sleep… for his afternoon nap, he said! Both of us unconsciously probably had snoring competitions!

So, when I was pregnant, I suddenly had these bad dreams of my baby wailing away in his cradle while I happily slumbered by his side! Good thing I was with my mom, I thought; she has enough experience of how to wake me up!! My fears were unfounded. What the grand daddy blaring alarm clock could not do, my newborn did with a single mewl of his when he started to stir… my eyelids would spring open and I would be awake to take care of him! I still don’t understand how that happened. If you’re smiling indulgently and thinking, ‘maternal instinct’, I have doubts about that! I was not the maternal kind at all!!

Of course, if a kid keeps waking you up every three hours, things are bound to slip sometime! My mom still laughs about the time when she heard Big A bawling away for 5 min at 3 a.m. She came to my room to find out what had happened, and saw me, in a semi-comatose condition, sitting on the bed and rocking my pillow in an effort to stop it from crying!!!

Once we came to USA, we were completely on our own in handling this sleep versus taking care of the baby situation. It was a big headache in the morning about who would get up to make the morning milk bottle. I even tried pinching my husband surreptitiously to try to get him to wake up and deal with Big A so that I could get an extra half hour!

Well, those tactics work just once! I slowly started pulling myself out of bed. Listening to Big A squeaking was a good motivational factor! Besides, one had to getup to get oneself ready, get Big A ready, get the lunch boxes ready and finally, try to straighten the apartment just a teeny little bit from the mess created last night and never cleaned up!

Slowly but surely, my sleep patterns changed. I no longer can sleep 12 hours straight. I no longer have the urge to stay awake till the wee hours. I no longer need an alarm clock. Somehow, I must have swallowed my grand daddy alarm clock, because every day, my eyes pop open at that strange hour of 5 a.m. and I am actually ready to get up. I am also quite ready to go to bed at 10 p.m. (“like old people”, I hear my teenage self saying!)! No longer can I sleep through a thunderstorm. At one point, I was complaining about the Hubs turning in his sleep at night and waking me up! I am now such a light sleeper that I regularly use ear plugs so that I can get a full night’s rest!

Funny thing also that since I sleep less, I also have less dreams! I don’t know how that works, because I always thought that you had dreams (at least the ones you can remember) when you slept less soundly. Maybe I have finally acquired the proverbial Mommy brain; maybe I am too stressed out being a working-out-of-home mom; maybe I am too busy mentally carving rosy futures for both of my sons to dream for myself! It still remains the case that I am the only one who can hear my child cough through two closed doors in the middle of the night.

Roshni was born and brought up in Calcutta and is now living in California. Her two rambunctious boys, Big A, age 8, and Little a, age 4, are the main subjects of her blog (http://www.bigaandlittlea.com) and she can be found tweeting away (@RoshniAaMom) in her free time (you may well ask, what free time?!)


  • rama

    It was fun reading through this, even i love to sleep, but i am awake by 5.30 am, even on days when i don’t have Aerobics class. But then I go right back to sleep, but somehow I have lost the ability of sleeping till 10 am.

    • That’s nice! Even in weekends, I cannot go past 7 a.m.! Boy, does that make me old!!

  • Good read… I remember the first 3 months of parenthood carrying the little one in my arms around the house in the middle of night… Nature plays its role and changes our sleeping pattern….. 🙂

    • Yes, I guess it just taught me that sleep is overrated! :/

  • janu

    I sleep late in the night. My internal alarm clock wakes me up much before my external alarm clock at 6 am. I send my son to school at 7 am and sleep till 8 am!!! Even though the doodhwala interrupts my sleep at that time…it is the best hour of sleep I get. My afternoon nap is a must. I am a sleepoholic!

    Enjoyed your story. My kids are in their teens and sleep separately….so, I am enjoying my sleep patterns.

    • Ah! Maybe, my sleep love-fest will return when my kids are older then!!

  • Roshni – that felt like my own diary! How I miss sleeping like that? Sigh!

    Even if we do dream, the nature of our dreams have changed….

    • so true!! That’s interesting that you too underwent the same change!

  • You know what Roshni!! I was like you … I HAD to sleep 8 hours and after my kiddo, that was far from happening .. God knows how I dragged through those sleepless nights. After kiddo started sleeping sound at night .. I was back .. I was back to my 8 hrs routine and I get cranky if I don’t have my full night sleep !! (no, 6 hrs is not a full night sleep!!)

    • ha! Hopefully, I will come back to that stage, Divya….or maybe, I should not hope that!

  • Jyothi

    Well said! I used to be a sound sleeper too a very long time ago. I guess I swallowed the grandfather clock too. That probably explains the size of my tummy! Now , during vacations, my kids wake up before me and push me to make breakfast for them! 🙁

    • ahahahahha!! You’re funny, Jyothi!

  • You seem just like me Roshni. 🙂 I could sleep for days at end and I love sleeping even now. Although my daughter managed to change my patterns at least in the first two years. Now since she is a sound sleeper like moi I manage to enjoy my full night’s sleep. Also in the second year when my daughter started taking bottle feeds, I managed to convince my husband that the early morning bottle feed had to be given by him so that they could bond more as father-daughter. It worked and I snoozed till I pleased. 😉

    • What a great accomplishment!! Wish I could have done the same with my hubby! 😀

  • OMG !! You have written a post about me? How come you know me so much?
    I can sleep anywhere, anytime, in any environment 🙂 But like you, my little one’s small movements would wake me up, I really don’t know how. My parents and hubby used to catch me dozing off breastfeeding my baby. My father once saw that and was so worried and told my mom to sit next to me whenever I am feeding the baby early morning, in case I doze off and drop the baby .
    But even now that sleep pattern has not changed, though I pull myself up somehow whenever my baby needs me and to get ready for work. I really wonder how an earth quake cannot wake me up but my son’s small movements and sounds can?

    • Exactly!! How else can we explain it but some mechanism that Nature has installed in us to respond to our kids?!!

  • omg! it is so me!
    i had a similar incident when son was less than an year old – on hearing a mew, tried to pat hubby back to sleep, he still claims i slapped him awake 😀

    • ahahhahahahaha!!! That is hilarious!!! I can just picture that!!

  • OMG Roshni ….. this post is so ME!!! I have rocked my pillow to sleep too … which the baby was bawling. I have also hummed myself to sleep :-)… lovely post.

    • Really?!! OMG!! We are twin souls then!! My mom and husband still tease me about it after 9 years!!!

  • Stephanie Sprenger

    I have to say, I really miss my days of sleeping for 8-9 hours straight! My youngest is 14 months old and still wakes us up at night. It is the rare night that I feel rested and can remember my dreams! Maybe someday when they are teenagers and want to sleep all day I will return to my old ways…but I doubt it!

    • Roshni

      Hang on to that hope, Steph!!

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