January 30, 2015 by Katia
My kids watch a show called Shape Shifters. A shape shifter can shed its villainous human form and turn into just about anything: a feather, a rocket ship or a slice of pizza but there is one revealing factor the shape shifters do not take into account – they will always maintain their original weight, thereby betraying their own secret time after time when the hunt for them begins, presenting endless opportunities to solve mathematical problems along the way.
My sleep is just the opposite of that. On the outside it may look exactly the same way it did before but it’s its original weight that’s been drastically altered. Life with kids often means sleep re-imagined. Here we are with our set of established expectations from Sleep: that it’s entirely ours. It belong to us. We are its owners and therefore control it. We navigate our sleep with the confidence of a ship’s captain and the delicacy of a glassmith and acknowledge that our path to a good or bad night’s sleep often lies in the choices we make. We painstakingly collect and analyze information about it and based on this life-long research we conduct, we each become an expert on the niche topic of our own sleep patterns. We even use sleep as a self definition tool in referring to ourselves as either “morning people” or “night owls”. And sure, we’ve all heard that some dramatic changes are to be expected when we become parents and we usually willingly surrender control over Sleep to an eight pounder but are we still as forgiving when our sleep is being hijacked by a sixteen pounder? This is when relativity comes into play. Relativity in our reaction. The one hour difference between a 6:30 and a7:30am rise does like a shape shifter and inflates to monstrous proportions when we’re talking 6am vs. 5am. Too often my night shape shifts into morning when I our toddler forces me to start my day at 4:45am.
Sleep is no longer what it used to be. You no longer surrender to Hypnos, the God of sleep, but rather turn yourself in, wondering what happens next. Sleep is no longer a monolithic entity, it’s broken into chapters:
Chapter 1: When you got kicked in the rib cage for the first time by Five Year Old Sleeping in Your Bed
Chapter 2: When You Realized that the Kick Was Actually Not “A” Kick but a Kicking Session
Chapter 3: When Your Toddler Called You 15 Minutes After You Fell Asleep When the Kicking Session Stopped
Chapter 4: When Your 5 Year Old Woke up And Asked for Water at 5am
Chapter 5: And Wanted to Pee
Chapter 6: And Poo
Chapter 7: When Your Toddler Was Like “It’s 5:15am, Slacker, Rise and Shine!”
Sleep reimagined is anything but a natural act. It’s a negotiation item, a battle, a goal. It comes with a set of terms and artificial aids.
In sleep re-imagined sleep becomes ‘despite’ instead of ‘just because’.
It is often said that young children refuse to take in food or adhere to their potty training because food consumption and bowel movement are the only things they have control over. We’re accustomed to think that as parents we are the ones with control, but is that really so?
Do you feel like your sleep is re-imagined too?
This post was a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic of Re-imagined. Netflix offers a variety of re-imagined shows based on stories that were adapted from literature. This month Netflix released the show Puss in Boots. Some of our personal favourite re-imagined movies on Netflix are: The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. What are your favourite reimagined movies or shows?