Dawn’s Early LIght

by Stefani on 13-November-2008

Two nights ago (mornings?) it was a sad, "mom, my throat hurts real bad," that woke me in the wee hours. Then, there were molasses minutes, draining from a long night, feeling a feverish forehead, doling out the medicine, making a pallet for the two of us to lie together, rubbing his back and waiting for his breathing to slow. 

I tried, oh how I tried, but I could not go back to sleep. 

All the next day he grew sicker and sicker, and I held him and tried to keep the others separated and occupied. And all the while I yawned and wished for sleep. 

That night, he tossed and turned, made mad dashes for the bathroom and moaned. 

And of course, I wouldn't have been anywhere but by his side, though I did have lots of waking dreams about how nice it would be to be floating in the land of Nod. 

My guy got a lot better yesterday, as I steadily grew more and more irritable. All I could think was, "I'm. just. so. tired."

So, when night came, and I thought I'd finally get some rest, it broke my heart to find that I could not go to sleep. 

Toss. turn. toss. turn. 

At last blissful sleep came, near about four whole hours of it. 

You know that you are really tired when big noises don't even wake you. You just fold them right into your dreams. 

For me, it was just dinosaurs, flocks of pteranodons squealing through the trees, that were making all that noise. Nothing to worry about, no reason to rise. 

That is until I heard "MAMA!!!!! MAMA PLEASE!!!!! THE CHICKENS!!!!" and I was jarred awake by the horrible panicked cries of my oldest boy (the same who'd been so sick) and his beloved chickens. 

4 AM. 

I ran to the yard, barefoot, in nothing but my t-shirt and my drawers, to see a possum chasing our chickens around their coop, and our poor girls scared out of their little feathered heads. 

I opened the door, and they scattered. I threw rocks at the possum and he did too, and then I went in to quiet and calm my little man, and wish, with all my might that I had my husband's God given talent for sleeping through anything and everything. 

About 20 minutes crept by before that horrible nasty critter returned. This time I had my big hiking stick and chased him, whacking like the crazed woman that I'd become (but missing by a mile), less out of concern for the blasted chickens and more because I just want some bloody stinking sleep before I DIE!

No deal. 

The creature didn't return before daylight, but neither did sleep. 

My boy rejoiced with the coming of the dawn that all his ladies were safe, if missing a feather or two. 

He wondered if this is how the Ingalls felt when the morning light broke after their long night listening to war cries. 

He has a flair for the dramatic. 

I don't know where he gets that. 

So I guess, today, I'm likely to be trying my best to possum proof a chicken coop, and tracking down a trap, or a bazooka, one. 

You do realize there'll be no sleep tonight either right?

It's such a good thing that they're cute. 

Luke and Persimmon

It's what keeps me going. 

That, and a whopping load of caffeine.  
Sarah Jackson November 13, 2008 at 7:22 am

oh dear. Poor mama and poor chickens.

And I have no idea where he gets his flair for the dramatic. Must be from his dad.

cc November 13, 2008 at 7:27 am

Thank you! I’ve been thinking I would love for us to have chickens…we already have lots of drama round here, but lots of critters. Maybe I’ll rethink…

Kathleen November 13, 2008 at 7:28 am

Glad your son is feeling better and the girls are safe. The other night we had a possum sitting on our fence watching the dog bark his head off at him. I threw rocks at it to make it to leave. It just sat there looking at me with the typical possum sickly looking grin. Finally waddled away when I got a big stick, lol.

Penny November 13, 2008 at 7:56 am

You poor dear!

They sure *are* cute – that’s a great picture – glad they’re all safe, and glad it wasn’t a skunk!

I hope you can get some rest:)

oh! I’m making your pumpkin bread today – thank you so much for all the yummy ideas!

Michaela November 13, 2008 at 8:09 am

I am with you. We have chickens as well. It always something, opossum or racoon…
I am sending lots of sleeping vibes. Sweet dreams for once..

Baba November 13, 2008 at 8:16 am

LOl, poor thing.

Alissa November 13, 2008 at 8:21 am

I agree, poor mama and poor chickens! At my mom’s house she had to keep out coyotes and raccoons and would up digging a mote or sorts around the coop and laying the chicken wire into a ‘U’ shape then covering it back up with rocks and dirt. Good Luck. I HATE it when I’m so tired that I can’t sleep. Ugh.

Alissa November 13, 2008 at 8:24 am

BTW- James (3) is just in love with that picture of your son holding the chicken. He’s wanting me to take a picture of it with my camera. He’s a bit mad that I went down the screen to write another comment! OK, up to look at the pic again 🙂

Christina November 13, 2008 at 8:32 am

Oh man, possums… ugh. yuck. my least favorite woodland creature by far. Glad your chickens made it through.

As for sleep, I have a two year old that is just *finally! — fingers crossed* sleeping through the night, so I am well acquainted with sleep dep, elusive sleep, and “I’m so tired I’ll sleep anywhere” sleep. I understand.

Kate November 13, 2008 at 9:01 am

Aw, glad the girls are all okay.

Hope you get some rest soon!

Amy Flores November 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

I’m a lurker, and I come here every single morning. You are like my morning coffee, my morning isn’t complete without a post from you. I LOVE this one. Your writing is so damn funny.

amanda o November 13, 2008 at 9:29 am

hoping you have finally gotten some well-deserved sleep.

Anna November 13, 2008 at 9:33 am

my three year old spent three blissful months this summer sleeping through the night in his own bed. no more. i keep trying to explain that when mama doesn’t sleep, she becomes a grumpy mama…and that that isn’t good for either of us.

so far, no luck. but my, is he cute.

miss chris November 13, 2008 at 10:00 am

Here is to hopes of a surprise nap this afternoon. Surely you are all tuckered out. xoxo

Shawn November 13, 2008 at 10:30 am

Hoorah for the fearless chicken protector! I’m sure you are your boy’s hero. As for the sleep, try chamomile tea about an hour before bed. Might help. 🙂

Aunt LoLo November 13, 2008 at 11:26 am

I’m convinced, sometimes, that their CUTENESS…is the only thing keeping them alive and roaming free!

I wanted to tell you – a friend of mine made your bread (off my blog) and turned it directly over to a friend who’s husband had just lost his job, without even tasting it. She’s convinced one (or both of us) were inspired to post that recipe so she could go and do some good with it. She’d never made bread before, but felt impressed to try that recipe.

Just wanted to pass along the…good news? Thanks for posting the recipe – you made quite a few people’s day that much brighter! (I have another loaf rising on the counter as I type this – I’ve been making a loaf or two a week since you posted the recipe and have stopped buying bread. :-))

Natalie November 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm

We have the sick bug and we have the chickens and we even have a possum that comes lurking around… now I am anxious to see your coop and take notes, because I am losing enough sleep as it is!

Caroline November 13, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Get out the iced cubes of coffee and make lots of Mama power drinks this afternoon! I hope everyone feels better soon!

Jess H November 13, 2008 at 2:31 pm

That’s funny about Little House. We just got done reading that book. We homeschool, and our using a book called The Prarie Primer. Pretty cool. I love the LH show and always wanted to be Laura but never read the books so I am enjoying this just about as much as my son.

Jennifer November 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Oh my, what a story. I’m sending you good vibes for a restful night tonight!

Steph November 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm

LOL poor you. Why do these things only seem to happen on the nights where you’re desperate for a few consecutive hours sleep?

Patty T November 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm

We have to lock ours up at night in their little barn or we get visitors…the kind you can’t chase or you get sprayed!

Relyn November 13, 2008 at 6:52 pm

How do you make the sleepless nights into a funny, sweet memory? When I have spells like that, I keep telling myself, “This, too, shall pass. And then I’ll miss it.” I wonder, though. Do you think we’ll really miss the sleep deprivation?

AMoore November 13, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I’m glad to hear that your girls are o.k… Pesky critters love chickens… that’s why ours are housed in what my husband calls the “poultry prison” at night. It’s even kept the bears out!
You might want to try a couple of drops of Marjoram essential oil on the corner of your pillow at night…works like a charm for me!

lora November 14, 2008 at 5:57 am

what a great story.
i’ll be praying for you that you get some good sleep soon.
we have a puppy on the way, and i still haven’t caught up on my sleep from the first year of my three year old’s life enough not to be terrified that i will sleep right through midnight potty times. =(

Thank God for mamas!

Melissa November 14, 2008 at 7:30 am

I can relate and feel so bad for you! Our dog had been sick for three nights- only had diarrhea at night, so I had to get up and let him out of his crate 2-3 tines a night. I finally got to sleep last night- and boy was it good. Don’t you feel hung over when you don’t get any sleep? I do- hung over with none of the fun that brought the hang over to begin with- what a drag! Had to laugh about the loud noises and blending them into your dreams- I do that too. Someone could be standing over me in my bed with a chainsaw and I would just fit the sound into my dream. Hoping you will get a full night of sleep tonight! XXOO

Jess November 14, 2008 at 2:53 pm

oh no! It made for a good story, but unfortunately a couple of very bad nights. Hope everyone is feeling better!

Jennifer November 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Ahhhhh… Sleep. Isn’t that just how it goes sometimes for Mama. You think you’re finally through the worst of it, and more disruptions keep you awake again.

I’ll be sure to pray for your families rest and health. It’s so very hard when the family gets sick. Take care!

Amy November 15, 2008 at 3:47 am

Oh dear, I can almost feel the delirium setting in. Take care of yourself or you won’t be any good to them.

Thimbleina November 15, 2008 at 6:10 am

What a great mum you are albeit a bit exhaused – hope you get chance to catch up on the sleep and glad to hear your boy is better

Ansley November 15, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I can relate…my boy has been sick all week..
in turn getting mama sick…from not being able to seperate from my face!

Ashley Barnhart November 16, 2008 at 7:08 am

oh the joys of motherhood! your children are lucky to have you!

Carolyn November 17, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Great story. 🙂

molly November 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

oh my goodness, this post makes my eyeballs ache, b/c I’m fighting my own lack of sleep-fueled by my cold, not my babe’s. (I guess, in reality, that’s better though.)

But can I tell you, one chicken farmer to another, that every morning when I flip that latch and swing open the red wooden door to the chicken coop, I find that I’m holding my breath, bracing myself, until I see those six red hens blinking at me in the bright light. Phew.

You are a good chicken mama with your sticks and rocks!

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