Restless Husband Syndrome

I am currently suffering from RHS. Not the Tiger Woods kind of restless husband, thankfully; I have the kind who doesn’t lie still in bed at night.

Around 5:30 this morning, Maggie was awake and calling down the hall, “Mommy, want to get cozy wif yoooo… in yoo bed Mommy…” Usually she makes it until after 6. But once a week or so– and always on a morning there is no particular reason for us to be awake– she doesn’t. I can tell her “it’s not light out yet,” but the days are so short right now, it’s also not light out when it really IS okay for her to be awake, so that’s kind of confusing for a two-year-old. Even so, I am probably supposed to leave her in bed so she’ll get the idea that it’s not time to be awake, but this morning she was yelling loud enough to wake the neighbors (let alone her two brothers), so I brought her into bed with us.

To my pleasant surprise, she lay down right on top of me and within a few minutes was doing that tell-tale audible breathing that meant she was asleep again, or very close to it.

Then, to my left, it started.

Rustle rustle rustle.

Rustle.

Cough rustle yank covers. Roll over. Rustle.

Heavy sigh. Rustle, rustle.

I swat David with my left hand. “Shhh!” I say in the dark.
He lies still for thirty seconds or so. Then starts up again, and this time, wakes our sweetly slumbering daughter.

This has been going on in our bed for seven years now, as long as there has been a child to have in bed with us. The other morning at 4:30 a.m. it was Connor snoring on my chest. I lay there like Giles Corey, being slowly crushed by my 50-pound-plus child, but NOT MOVING, because he was asleep. My falling asleep again was out of the question, but that was all right, because my son was out. All David had to do was lie still WITHOUT a child on top of him, and we would all be fine. But he couldn’t do it, and we were all up for the day at 4:50.

“I can’t help it,” he said this morning in the dark, sheepishly, with Maggie sitting up between us, chattering at full volume about how Santa was going to bring her a “weal” pink tiger. “I can’t get back to sleep.”

“How would the tossing and turning help with that?” I answered. “I don’t think it’s POSSIBLE to fall asleep while actually in motion.”

He didn’t have an answer for that. I have seen ads on TV for restless leg syndrome, but David’s got more than that– he’s got a full-body case of St. Vitus’ Dance.

Do you think I could still get leeches shipped Amazon Prime in time for Christmas?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Zimmerman December 22, 2009 at 2:29 am

"more Weight!"
Thanks for the GIles Corey reference…

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Anonymous December 22, 2009 at 4:51 pm

How about if he moved to the couch or the guest bed as soon as the kid arrives and he knows he is waking up? Or if he got up and left without waking everyone up. This "I can't help it line" is silly. He can't help being awake, but he can help whether he keeps everyone else in the bed awake. Sounds like a psssive-aggressive move to me…

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Amy Wilson December 23, 2009 at 2:49 am

well anonymous, you make an interesting suggestion. I did kick him out of bed the other morning, but then he stepped on his belt buckle (where it had been left on the floor) and the jingle-jangle woke my daughter anyway. It seems there is no easy answer.

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