ce=Verdana>6:15 a.m. – Beep, Beeep, Beeeeeeeep! Ugh. I open my left eye and squint at the alarm clock. Ugh. My mind is foggy, my head is heavy and my entire body feels weighted by fatigue. Beeeeeep! Only my right hand is alert. It whacks at the snooze button and successfully postpones the day for five more minutes.
ce=Verdana>The Crack of Yawn
Every morning I wake up exhausted. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really had a decent night’s sleep in 18 years. (Gee, that’s how long I’ve had kids!) I used to think that sleep deprivation was the exclusive territory of new parents, but now, although my kids sleep through the night, I do not. Sure, I’m in bed, but I’m not getting any rest.
ce=Verdana>Early to Bed, Often to Rise
11 p.m. – Brush, floss, moisturize and go to bed. Oops! My daughter’s white blouse for the school concert tomorrow is in the washer. I go to the basement and put it in the dryer.
ce=Verdana>11:10 p.m. – Return to bed. Husband is snoring. Click off the TV. Set alarm for 6:15 a.m. Turn off the light. Close eyes.
ce=Verdana>11:14 p.m. – Open eyes. Glare at snoring husband. I know, I know, I should be grateful to even have a husband. But he’s asleep, and I’m not.
ce=Verdana>12:36 a.m. – Eyes snap open. What was that? Maybe the cat coughed up a hairball in the dining room or perhaps a car alarm sounded on the next block. My mind races. Did I turn off the oven after dinner? I can’t remember. I toss and turn and punch at my pillow.
ce=Verdana>“What’s the matter?” my husband mumbles.
ce=Verdana>“Nothing,” I say. “Go back to sleep.” And he does, in a nanosecond!
ce=Verdana>1:47 a.m. – I elbow my husband who sleeps unaware that I am awake. REALLY AWAKE! Maybe I should stop drinking coffee. I think I read that it might cause cancer or maybe it’s microwaves that cause cancer. Sometimes I microwave my coffee. I’m doomed. The world is doomed. I think about global warming and about the mercury level in tuna fish. My kids eat tuna fish. Maybe I should take them in for blood tests. When was the last time they had checkups anyhow? Have they had all their inoculations? I can’t remember. I’M A TERRIBLE MOTHER!!!
ce=Verdana>3:03 a.m. – Beep! What was that? Was I dreaming? No. Something woke me up ... Beep! What is that? Maybe it’s the smoke alarm. No, it’s not loud enough. I count the seconds between beeps: 10, 11, 12 ... beep! I nudge my husband. “Something’s beeping,” I say. He rolls over and hides his head under the pillow.
Maybe I can ignore it, too. Beep! I’ll just try to think of something else ... Beep! Arrrgh! I can’t sleep! I get up to find the source of the beep and to make sure I turned off the oven.
3:06 a.m. – The beeping is coming from downstairs. Beep! It’s the hall closet. Beep! It’s my teenage daughter’s soccer bag. Beep! It’s her cell phone. BEEP! I pick up the phone. Her friend has sent her a text message. It says, “RU Sleeping?” I turn off the phone.
3:15 a.m. – OK, there are still three hours until I have to get up. Back to bed. Ready ... I pull the covers up to my chin. Get set ... I sink into the pillow. Go! I shut my eyes and remember that I forgot to check the oven. Well, it’s probably not a fire hazard. Besides, we have working smoke alarms. At least I think they work. Did I ever change the batteries? What if there was a fire? We should have a plan to escape. The kids should have rope ladders in their rooms. I wish their bedrooms were on the first floor. Why did we ever buy this house? What was I thinking? We need to move.
3:20 a.m. – Open eyes. This is silly. I should just get up. I could get a real jump on the day. I could put batteries in the smoke alarms, make appointments for the kids’ checkups, cancel my daughter’s cell phone service, buy rope ladders, put the house on the market, end global warming, check to see if the oven is … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
“Carol,” my husband taps my shoulder.