Here's a toast to all those sleep-deprived Moms and Dads who are who work so hard, in the home and outside of it, to keep their families well-cared for. You rock!
Last Sunday, one week ago:
It is seven a.m. and I am awake. I can't sleep anymore, and the constant bustle from downstairs is enough to push me to my feet and into the kitchen. I look with disappointment at my two beloveds, who could do quite a good job at waking the dead some mornings.
I didn't get to sleep in. Being wakened too late means not being able to get back to sleep. And I really love to sleep. In fact, I write a lot about sleep. It's importance in my life is not to be underestimated. I look at my two guys, knowing school is about to start and how so much is changing and I forgive them and get on with my day.
Besides, there's always next Sunday....
Over the week, the new routine of getting Kiddo to Kindergarten on time leaves me tired, so exhausted in the evenings that we barely talk. We just grunt at each other. It's like living with wild pigs-- uh, uh-huh, huh-- let me just say that this is one phenomena of marriage that no one ever warns you about. How you may, for days at a time, talk in some sort of primeval grunt-language to your significant other. It's as if, in the midst of stress and too much engagement, we can revert to our Neanderthal ancestry and decode deep meaning in simple sounds. "Unh" could very well mean "And how was your day?"
"Huhhhn" : My day was rough. Ha. How's your been?
"Hghghn! "(low ancestral throat-clearing noise):Not too shabby. What's for dinner?
"Huh" (chin thrust toward stove): See, my manly provider? I am cooking up the edamame tofu nuggets your hard work has diligently provided for us. And some peas and rice.
"Huuuuuh!"(excitedly) : Excellent, my faithful cave wife. Pause.Uh-I hear there's a PTA meeting tomorrow night...
Each morning, after having stayed up too late getting life done, I tell myself: next Sunday, next Sunday.
Next Sunday is turning into the Garden of Eden in my head. By Thursday, I'm imagining sleeping in on Sunday and waking to beams of sunlight falling into my bedroom window, a glass of flowers on a beautiful table staging it all in such a lovely way. Never mind that I don't own the table in question. This Sunday sleep in is going to be fantastic! I will have good dreams where I fly through the sky in a van with all my favorite people and we will have plenty of fun adventures.
Saturday night rolled around,and after a nice evening out, I decided to stay up and work on a crossword puzzle. "I'll get to sleep in. Blissful, glorious sleeping in!" This was my last thought before I heard "Daddy! Come help me with my clothes!" below me. What the hell was that? (oh I know what it was...) Who was trying to wake me up? Who, oh who, was playing with scorching hot fire?
Mama Bear woke up and tromped downstairs. Seven in the morning. Barely, not even touching the 12 on the clock yet, seven o'clock. So much for anything! Mama Bear woke up and tramped around. She banished the family from the kitchen and made her tea, growling and scowling. One morning. ONE MORNING! She'd worked so hard to keep the Baby Bear quiet while the Papa Bear slept in yesterday. Didn't Papa Bear understand that Baby Bear needed lots of reminding, along with a few well-timed reminders of the consequences for being noisy? Wasn't that what she'd been doing for these years now? Why was it always her job to grease the wheels for those two while they fumbled along together, not letting her sleep?
Baby Bear, who should have known better than to yell, got no company for the next hour. Papa Bear went out for a run, and Mama Bear took her cup of tea upstairs, laid in bed and finished a rather teary moralistic novel by Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell, titled "The Moorland Cottage". Satisfied with the ending--which was rather moralistic and gothic and perfect in every way, rewarding good and punishing evil and casting the light of the pathetic on those who would be mean and despicable--the Mama Bear subsided into my usual self. Joe was returning from running. I would go downstairs. We would have a family meeting about how to have a pleasant rest-of-the-day and what the expectations for that would be.
We did some brainstorming about how we could solve this problem for the next weekend.
Or I might be spending an upcoming Saturday night at a hotel... just to get a bit of sleep.