Wednesday, November 04, 2009

4 o’clock isn’t so lonely around here

This morning I was nursing Miriam while listening to the ghostly echoes of various muezzins recite the first adhan of the day. Their voices twisted and glided around the streets and drifted through our bedroom window, an eerie choir unconstrained by either tone or time—confusingly beautiful at times and ear-gratingly obnoxious at others—until the last voice finally tapered off and I was left in silence once again.

It’s quite like how I imagine the Hogwarts Anthem being sung.

Everybody finished the song at different times. At last, only the Weasley twins were left singing along to a very slow funeral march.

I don’t think I’ve missed a call to prayer since October 25th, actually. I hear all five of them everyday, but the first call in the morning is always the easiest to hear because the city, at that hour, is fairly quiet.

I find it comforting to know that while I’m up with my baby the mosques are slowly filling with dedicated muslims starting their day with prayer. Mostly it’s just a comfort to know that I’m not the only person awake at that hour.

Yesterday I think everyone in our house was up at that hour. Miriam was fussing so Andrew and I weren’t sleeping. I had just gotten her calmed down and my head had barely hit the pillow when Rachel woke up screaming (for the second time).

“Mommy come in here! Mommy come in here! Mommy! Come! Here! Mommy!”

I groaned and slowly rolled out of bed and stumbled to Rachel’s room.

There were crocodiles, monkeys, and birds after her. She couldn’t see them, but she could hear them and they were going to get her!


We talked about her dream and then she said a prayer to help her have good dreams for the rest of the night and then went back to sleep. I was amazed at how easy that was.

Then I went back to my own bed and changed a poopy diaper and cuddled a grunty, unhappy baby until she finally fell asleep sometime around 7:30 in the morning. And then I did, too, and I didn’t get out of bed until 11:30, after kicking Daddy out at 9:30.


I guess four hours of interrupted sleep is better than nothing at all.

And now here we are, it’s midnight, again. Rachel finally fell asleep about a half hour ago after needing a drink, to use the bathroom, being worried about crocodiles, monkeys, and birds, needing Mommy to sing to her (again), and complaining that it’s too cold to sleep but refusing to let me put another blanket on top of her. Miriam just pooped for the 17th time today (I’m not quite sure on that figure but the diaper pail was empty at noon today and now it is full again and every single diaper in there is poopy). I made Andrew change her. I hope she sleeps tonight but her tummy just seems to be bothering her so it’s not likely that she will…at least I’ll have every muezzin in the city to keep me company at 4:00 in the morning.


  1. Awww. It's hard when they wake up and think something is out to get them. We've had that experience a few times here too. But for us it was more along the lines of beetles, neighborhood cats and chickadees. Something like that. At least those crocs have teeth and are scary. Beetles?

  2. You won't believe it, Nancy but we had a very bad crocodile problem when JC was Rachels'age. Why crocodiles? I don't know at all. But we did spend long nights singing him back to sleep... Of course it was easier on us since he was an only child but Philippe had to take a train at 6 a.m. every weekday morning! Since "Maman" was working at home, "Papa" was his favourite night person!
    One day, we found this book about a crocodile in London. Very funny book. I still have it somewhere in Brittany.
    Then we got a "brilliant" idea and we started "raising" crocodiles under JC's bed. His own friendly crocodile farm! So before going to bed, he'd talk to them and tell them it was time to sleep and he'd wish them good-night.
    It helped him a lot thinking he had friendly crocodiles under his bed!
    I know every child is different but it worked for us!

  3. What a fabulous idea, to have a crocodile farm under your bed! :o)

  4. i had one of the boys who was quite worried about things....probably andrew....anyway i found a spray bottle....put some "magic moster, and even croc dust" and some water....turned it on mist and "demonstered" his room before going to was easy and a little fun....

  5. We have nights like these too!

  6. Oh Nancy, I was up from 9 until 1 with mine last night, only to fall asleep with him on my chest, laying on the couch instead of my own bed. I woke up again at 4. Rough nights. I don't know how anyone does it with two.

  7. I look at your baby and I want another one but then I think of those sleepless nights and i just get goose bumps!!!