I need to sleep more.
Actually, what I need is to go to bed earlier. And I know I’m not alone…
This late-nights-for-no-reason phenomenon is so common among so many of my friends with young kids, it’s almost comical. Or, it could make you cry.
I know LOTS of (smart) women with kids who are usually in pajamas, lying horizontal between their sumptuous linens, with a book in one hand, and with a tall glass of water placed at bedside, all before 9 PM. Their children are abed and slumbering, their kitchens are washed up for the night, and their laundry is folded and put away. (Okay, perhaps it’s neither folded, nor put away, but it is not still sitting wet inside the washing machine, exponentially sprouting mildew in the dark, cavernous recesses of the metal crypt in the basement. For the second day in a row. Ahem.)
Nay, these smart women go to bed on time. They get their rest. Yes, some have children who are extremely early risers (and by extreme, I mean before 6:35 AM) but these women have become what I have not yet mastered – they are their own mothers.
This is a wonderful thing.
A voice inside them yawns and stretches and says, “Go to bed now.” And they listen to said voice. For they are the smart, organised, useful sort of women of which good mothers are made.
I am not made of this magic. (Or whichcraft, as the case may be.) No, not me.
I have (as have the other half of my mummy friends) developed a rather bad habit of going to bed WAY too late. I used to gasp when I watched the hour of midnight roll onto the clock, but lately, when I see 12:46 AM blinking at me, I think to myself, Meh… fifteen more minutes… I’m fiiiiiiine…
Of course, I understand that the biggest reason I do this is because once the children are asleep, (and the husband too) I have the solitude of the house all to myself, and as I’ve declared my work day as being over, I can officially sit down and do a bunch of nothing. And I will stretch this time out for as long as my half-mast, burning eyes can take it.
It’s foolish, I know. By 11 PM, I should be in my bed clothes, with my teeth brushed and flossed, and with my face freshly washed, patted dry, and lovingly stroked with rich, youth-inducing night creams and what have you, but instead, come this hour, I am more apt to be lounging on the couch in front of the fireplace, with my iPad to my right, and both of the morning’s newspapers sprawled open on the floor, and with the television on, talking to me, trying to make me watch a Kardashian do/promote/marry something silly/something dumb/someone insipid, or otherwise it’s trying to sell me a bunch of crap that I don’t need.
It’s really the very best part of the day.
During this semi-quiet time, I contemplate the paint swatches I have tacked up, squinting at the wall with one eye shut, only to switch and wink the other, a) so I can change my perspective on the colour choices in the low light of the evening, and 2) because it’s a way to give each of my burning eyes a bit of a rest without actually closing them both and falling asleep. I mean, if I fell asleep now, I’d miss ALL the useless, yet delicious parts.
Like an episode of How To Make it in America (man, I love that show) even though I’ve seen it twice already, AND it’s recorded on the DVR thingie. I’d also miss out on watching all the youtube clips about Sh*t that Some Kind of Person says to Another Kind of Person in Some Other Place. These things are important. It’s like news, you know. When else am I supposed to catch up on my whole life?
Oh, excellent bed…
…I know should drag myself to you sooner, but I just can’t seem to force myself.
I flip through magazines, and in the back of my mind, in the the deep recesses I try to ignore are the fretful thoughts about what the hell I’ll do if the preschool closes in June and if, lord help me, homeschooling will be my only option… uch, I forgot to mail that thing AGAIN today, what the hell is the matter with me? And what are the signs of scurvy again? I should probably eat an orange… did I take my vitamin this morning? Should I take it now?! Meh, I won’t die tonight … and must I really remove gluten from Oliver’s diet too see if this is part of his upset tummy issues? Ack, what a pain in the ass that’s going to be… and crap, he’s going to be in such a foul mood in the morning… I forgot to get waffles today… too much snow… balls, balls, ba… oh, what a cute lamp… looks like that pillow I saw before… we should totally get a table for that corner… or a ladder… that’d be kinda rad…
And I do this for a long while, quietly, and to myself, only interrupted by bad TV commercials shouting IT’S MY MONEY AND I WANT IT NAAAAOW!! over and over again, snapping me back to my reality that says, It’s late, you should be sleeping. But I do not listen. Because I am made of folly!
Oh, it is so good to have the solitude of one’s own thoughts for a while, without suffering the pull of children’s needs the whole time, or negotiating conversations with one’s own spouse in lieu of a good book. Or even bad television. This is my time of day for dreaming, and without it, I am nothing. Saadly, when I add it all up, I realise I probably lose more than one whole night’s sleep every week with these childish shenanigans, but the alternative is kinda… soul-crushing, I reckon.
But that’s precisely what naps are for. (Man, I love napping, too.)
What about you? Are you smart like one half of my lady friends, or do you bunk at Camp of Stoopid, with me?! C’mon… confess.