For those of you following along at home, you might recall that I have 3.5-year-old and a 1.5-year-old here. If you do the math and include the pregnancies, the teething, the ear infections, the things that go bump in the night and the internal springs that jolt them out of bed at unspeakably early hours of the morning, you’ll come to the same conclusion that I have today.
It hasn’t really been so bad all this time. Will didn’t nap much, so he was a pretty good sleeper at night from a very early age. (Through the night, even, for his four-week birthday.) And Henry is his father’s son when it comes to sleep, so he actually can be counted on to nap AND go to sleep at night (early!) with a smile.
But here’s the thing no one ever told me about parenting.
You don’t become well rested just because your former newborn now sleeps through the night.
Even if my children are sleeping, which they do most nights, the precious hours left in the day after they land in bed are hard to sacrifice to sleep. Even when I know I should be sleeping, I’m either up too late or up too early trying to accomplish the things that make me happy, keep me fit, keep us fed, keep our house clean (my husband is laughing at that) or just keep me sane. And while you can keep that up for a while, I think my body, the one that has never needed much sleep, is starting to rebel after the years of sleep deprivation from 2003 to now.
I haven’t figured out the answer to more hours in a day so I can concede a few more of them to sleep. But I have discovered the antidote for a particularly brief night of sleep. It’s simple, but completely effective. It works much better than tea, or coffee or a coke, especially on days when my head aches and too much caffeine would just make me feel jittery and sick to my stomach on top of tired. It’s HOT CHOCOLATE, folks.
This gentle punch of sugar, protein, caffeine and fat works wonders, and has the magic element of chocolate, the thing that can elevate a mood and pysche that you thought was beyond repair, while waking you up and chasing that headache away.
(And yes, I know it is officially spring, but it is cold and rainy here today, and I am thoroughly enjoying my decadent, steamy mug of hot chocolate. And I think I might go to bed early tonight for once. Maybe.)
REAL Hot Chocolate or
Hank & Willie’s Antidote for Sleep Deprivation
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
1 1/2 cup milk, divided (choose your fat percentage. When I’m doing the kind of damage control I need today, I mix Henry’s whole milk with my skim milk.)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon