Sunday, March 27, 2011

Counting Sheep. And Condoms.

Ah, Daylight Savings Time.... How do I hate thee?

Not that I mind Elsa waking me up at 6:12 in the morning instead of 5:12. That part is definitely nice. I hear the little shuffling of toddler feet across my carpet, and I open one bleary eye to see the silhouette of my daughter before me, her hair in disarray, her hands clutching some object I know she didn't go to bed with...a crumpled bag of Goldfish...a package of wipes...a condom (true story...we'll see if we have time for that one). 6:12 is doable, it feels like I'm actually synced with the circadian rhythm of the rest of the country and not floating in some unpopulated time zone in the middle of the Atlantic.

But it's the new shift in bedtime that is throwing us all off. Whereas during the winter months when we're all in a sort of post-Christmas stupor, the kids would bundle off to bed at 7:30, leaving Jeff and me a few precious hours where we could laze around, reconnect, and pass out during an episode of Pawn Stars, now we spend those hours taking turns chasing our children (usually Elsa) back to bed so we can enjoy our new subscription to NetFlix without having to pause it every five seconds so our darling daughter doesn't catch a glimpse of something terrifying and refuse to fall asleep at all. (Side Note: Last night I actually fed that fear by telling her that if she didn't get her little heiney into her bed and stay there for the rest of the night, the MGM lion she glimpsed--who very well may be hiding beneath her bed--was waiting to snatch her by the ankles and drag her back into its lair if she got out one more time....What? Too harsh?)

Even on nights when we can actually get the kids to bed without standing up and sitting down like we're at a Catholic mass, we have yet to master the art of getting our kids to stay in bed. Not sure what the secret is, what sort of Ninja-Samuri-Warrior-Jedi-Sorcerer moves are required to ensure a child will stay in his or her own damn room all night...any advice on this would be helpful. Sometimes we end up playing our own version of Musical Beds, but this usually a last resort. I've woken up in the morning with just Elsa, just Rollie, both of them, them plus Jeff, just the dog, and once with an empty carton of ice cream, a handful of potato chip crumbs, a guilty conscious and raging heartburn.

Sometimes I wake up in one of my children's beds but have no memory of how I got there...kinda like that surprise party I went to in college when the guest of honor was 45 minutes late and the rest of us were hammered by the time she finally showed up...I think I brought my contact lenses home in shot glasses the next morning, and my eyeballs reeked of tequila for days afterwards. And on mornings when I actually wake up before either of the kids, I feel oddly compelled to leap out of bed and get as much done as possible before I become enslaved by their breakfast demands and general morning crabbiness (and then I feel compelled to go right back to sleep).

There are nights when Rollie comes into our room every hour, half awake and crying about something scary. Nights when I get only one visit from him but three visits from Elsa, who is usually wide awake and asking for cereal at three o'clock in the morning, chipper as a robin in the rain. Nights when I wake up to the feeling of something climbing towards me from the end of the bed, and for a split second I swear I have a cat that's about to cuddle up on my head and smother me with its long bushy tail. But then I realize it's Elsa, who has figured out how to hoist herself up on the footboard and try for a stealthy entrance, hoping to settle in between Jeff and me without us noticing our own personal version of The Bed Intruder. 

Not that I'm complaining. Okay, so I am complaining. Sort of. I mean, I have come to accept the fact that I will no longer sleep like I did pre-kid. No way. I learned that from the first night in the hospital with Rollie, as I rocked him during an hour-long crying jag and wondered if it was possible for me to fall asleep standing up...kinda like a cow. But I guess if I'd realized that I wouldn't sleep for more than three consecutive hours ever again, I would have really enjoyed sleeping back when I could luxuriate in bed until eight in the morning. Back when going to bed at midnight meant I could still get seven hours of sleep. Back when I wouldn't bolt up in bed because I suddenly heard the crinkle of a condom wrapper in my ear and thought Jeff was dropping me a hint. (Jeff is far more subtle with his sexual overtures...I can't remember the last time he beat my over the head with a club and dragged me off by my ponytail...not since I got my hair cut at least.)

Oh yeah, the condom about a month ago a girlfriend of mine left her travel mug at my house, and when I returned it to her I put a new condom inside it, just to be obnoxious. Unfortunately for me, I returned it to her at a very crowded zoo parking lot, so when I left the zoo with my kids that afternoon, the condom was waiting for me on my car door handle. Hoping not to attract any attention from strangers, my own kids, or a hungry MGM lion, I snatched the condom and stuffed it into my diaper bag. And like pretty much everything that gets hastily stuffed into the diaper bag, I forgot about it almost immediately.

That next morning around 4, I was awakened by Elsa, who had apparently raided the diaper bag on her way to make her ritualistic visit to my bedside. She handed me what I thought was a fruit snack wrapper, until I realized she'd discovered my stash of prophylactics and decided to bring me one. Poor thing--I didn't have the heart to tell her it's way too late.

PS-- Can you do me a favor? You know that button at the top of my blog for Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Mommy Blogs? Can you just click, scroll down until you find my blog name, and click on the little thumbs up icon. I think I'm hovering somewhere around #27, and I'm hoping to crack that Top 25. That would be so cool. I promise to return the favor to you in the form of perpetual commiseration and entertainment from now until one of my children spills Juicy Juice on my laptop and fries the keyboard.
Thank you!


  1. Your days of uninterrupted sleep are over once you have a kid(s). By the time they have flown the nest, you will be too old to successfully sleep through the night. There IS no light at the end of THIS tunnel.

  2. I agree with anonymous. An uninterrupted night of sleep is a luxurious thing...

    Also clicked. Good luck with that!

  3. Ok, listen I wasn't going to tell you this because I don't want you to think I'm some crazy stalker but I nominated you for the Babble Top 50 blogs for 2011. I think it's funny to enter my own blog on these things because I just want to see if I can get a couple strangers to read my blog and it's fun to watch my numbers go up and down...anyway, I think of you when I do because you are the reason I started my blog and I'm really enjoying it, and I wish you success with your book....blah blah, anyway just hope you don't think I'm some crazy lady!

    Tell your friends and fans to go to this site and vote for you...looks like maybe it's more exposure? Click on "nominate someone" or something like that and your blog is on there. You can only vote once for this one...

    Good luck!

  4. I refuse to believe the quest for sleep is over. I have three under five and some nights, like last night, are horrible but it's got to get better. Right? Please say right.

  5. I experience the same thing, only it's with 2 dogs.

  6. @OnlyAMovie--Yes, interrupted sleep was glorious indeed. It's like that old Motley Crue song Don't Know What You've Got... Anonymous is my dad, by the way...he's an expert on no sleep.
    @ Sarah--I sent you an email, but wanted to thank you for stalking me. Makes me feel loved. Until you start boiling my pets...unless it's my dog. I think I'm done being a dog-lover.
    @Mommy Therepy--I should be asking you if it gets better...I'm about to join the ranks of 3 Under 5. On a scale of 1-10, how crazy do you feel most days? Right now I'm hovering somewhere around a 7.