While you were sleeping

I haven’t been getting much sleep lately; mainly due to Ethan. Ethan is struggling with a few things lately, one of them being sleep. (He’s been very unwell lately and spent several weeks in hospital)

After many phone calls and appointments we have now changed up Ethan’s sleep medications and last night for the first time in easily a month, he slept the whole night through.

We removed the barrier (the safeguard that one places on a toddler bed to keep them from falling out at night and to help train them) from our now three year olds bed. We figured Ethan needed it more and it would be better suited in his room rather than in an active hyper threenagers room, who thinks he is a race horse most nights and the barrier is his fence.

Last night while we were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary (the only way most parents celebrate it- a takeaway and ‘The Walking Dead’ not forgetting the big dirty glass of “coke a cola” after 9pm- or that could be just us?!) we were delighted that it was 10pm and still no stir from Ethan.


“Tonight may be the night, a full night’s sleep, finally” D squeezed my thigh as he started The Walking Dead.

“Don’t talk about it anymore now , let’s watch this and sneak into bed, don’t jinx it D” I threatened him.

I blame my Irish up bringing for my superstitious thinking, and a dash of my Granny C, who firmly believed that Magpies had the power to predict the future depending on how you addressed one, once you encountered one. I once asked her to show me a Magpie, so I could recognise this magical old bird when I saw one; which she did through an encyclopaedia (before Google, we had to use books to answer those niggling questions – imagine!) .

“Oh look Granny there’s a Magpie out the window” I joked. She jumped up out of her chair, did a little dance and sounded like she was speaking in tongues, only to see that it was a crow staring at her, I laughed and laughed. She sat back down, called my father in while I wondered what she was going to say. “I have an awful head on me and the child here thinks it’s funny. Would ya ever take her off out of the way and give her a job’een to do, like a good man” My father obliged his mother in law, when I looked back at her, she smiled “And that’s a lesson in Karma”. Ever since that and many many more encounters with my dear old loveable granny C ; I have been very weary of karma and jinxing myself.


We both jumped and ran up the stairs.

“Where did that come from?” D stood on the landing, legs apart, knees bent, arms out his head tilted to one side. We waited a second. Heard nothing more, only snores.

We looked at Ethan’s door, almost afraid to open it.

I pointed at Ethan’s door; “Check!” I whispered.

Slowly D tiptoed over to Ethan’s door. You’d be forgiven if you thought there was something deadly behind the door with the way the two of us were shhhh-ing each other and holding our breaths as D gently opened the door. (That is what a month of no sleep will do to you; you won’t rush to open the door, you’ll hope the thud was from another child but you’ll check on them after you check the one that won’t sleep.)
“Well?” I whispered as D peeped through the opening of the door, carefully he closed the door again.

“Not Ethan thank the Lor…”

“Shit, it’s Dee Dee then!” I ran into the dictators room (a nickname for our darling 3 year old, I am also using the word ‘darling’ as loosely as I possibly can- that kid has changed since he became a threenager)
He was sitting on his bed, rubbing his head.
“Oh baby, are you ok?” I gently kissed him, while using my hands to check for lumps all around his head.

He nodded.

D came in and placed all the pillows back on the ground where he had placed them over the last few nights.

“Don’t move these pillows Dee Dee, remember, you need them in case you fall out” D kissed his head.

“No lumps” I informed D.

“Good, I will go down and set the TV up again so”

Men, eh, they just never overly worry..or maybe I worry too much. (I think it is the latter, to be brutally honest)
I sat talking to Dee Dee for about twenty minutes just to ease my own mind when he decided he had had enough of me…

“OK mammy, that’s enough. I am fine. I won’t fall again. I love you. Goodnight” with that he turned over and cuddled his ‘Elmo’ teddy.
Finally we got to finish our anniversary celebration.

“Well, at least Ethan stayed asleep” D stretched as we turned off the TV.

“Yep, let’s hope he does now for the rest of the night too and now I’ll have Dee Dee on my mind too” I sighed.

“Firstly, I’d like to point out we have spoken and checked on Ethan loads tonight and he is sleeping, he’s still asleep and if he sleeps through the night, this jinx stuff you got going on, can take a chill for awhile eh?” D laughed.

I smiled not convinced that my jinxing belief could be that easily removed.

“And secondly?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, Murphys feckin’ law ain’t it; the one that sleeps grand all nights decides to have a crap night on the first night that the crap sleeper sleeps well, ya couldn’t make it up! AND don’t worry Dee Dee is fine” he rubbed my shoulders as we left the sitting room.

“That is a bloody jinx!” I laughed as we could hear a tiny voice calling “Mammy, I need a wee”

And so the threenager was clearly not concussed and eventually fell asleep sometime after 12am.

I can’t help but think of my Granny C and how she would have had a great laugh at this and then tell me something like “If you hadn’t used the word ‘jinx’ none of this would have happened and here let me show you how to remove a jinx…”
Can you remove a jinx and isn’t Murphy’s law practically the same thing as a jinx when you think about it, eh?!


This was originally published on FamilyFriendlyHQ

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