Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stay Awake, Staaaaayyyyy Awaaaaaaaaakkkkeeee!

I am not a morning person.

Not. At. All.

Never have been, never will be.

And I somewhat resent being saddled with two children who think the rising of the sun signals the start of their day. Because when my kids wake up at the freaking crack of dawn, who do you think they come running to? Who's side of the bed do they climb on? Who's covers do they pull off? Who's ear do they scream in? Me, that's who. Not Daddy, oh no. Never him. Always. Me.

{Are you listening, Being In Charge Of All Things Ironic? This isn't funny!}

As far back as I can remember, I've needed more hours of sleep than the average person. Even as a kid, I was a pain in the ass wee bit grouchy if I got less than about 9 hours of sleep. Luckily, when you're a child this is not so difficult to attain. My parents insisted on a 9:00 bedtime while I was growing up, so pretty much by default I was usually rested and happy. (Being a parent now myself, I personally believe that by about 8:00 their tolerance for dealing with 3 kids started crumbling, resulting in us being hurried along to bed before they completely lost their minds and gave into the urge to do something crazy, like running through the neighborhood naked and screaming mindlessly. What, you've never felt that urge? Oh. Okay. Moving right along, then!)

Things started changing when I hit the tender age of 14 and began my freshman year. Ah, high school. That institution of crowded hallways, smelly gyms, lockers glued shut with old gum, sadistic math teachers, and a starting bell that rang at 7:18 am.

7:18 people! I don't even have to be at work that early!

Between sports, homework, family time, and hours on the phone (remember those calls when you'd use 3-way calling to get 18 friends on the phone?), I started running short on sleep pretty early on. Luckily, I could usually sleep in on weekends. My mom dragged us all to church on Sundays, but that didn't really interrupt my sleeping schedule.

When you've been a Catholic since birth, you can sleep through mass even with all the standing and kneeling and praying in unison. Trust me.

Sadly enough, I eventually graduated and was tossed into the cold, cruel world as an *ahem* adult. I managed, for the most part, to continue my pattern of slowly losing my mind not getting enough sleep during the week and sleeping until noon on weekends. Hey, it worked for me. Life went on, years passed, and I didn't think much of my sleeping habits.

When I found myself pregnant with Kays, I learned I was in for months of sleepless nights. I read the parenting books, took the classes. I found out that for a newborn, "sleeping through the night" meant a 4-5 hour stretch. Hah! What a crock. Why don't you call it what it is, a nap long enough to give Mommy hope that her sanity will one day return and short enough to keep that from actually happening. Luckily for me, I was blessed with a child who started sleeping through the night {insert eyeroll here} at about 2 months old.

Unluckily for me, I then learned The Ultimate Truth. Kids are morning people. Early morning people. People who could easily be mistaken for roosters, except they get up earlier than a real rooster ever would. People who aren't content to lie in their crib and amuse themselves while mommy resides in Dreamland for another hour or two. Oh no. Kids want mommy, and they want her right. Now!

Four years and a second child later, mornings haven't gotten any better. Now there are two miniature delinquents screaming delightfully in my ear. Twice the volume for half the price! Joy.

This morning, my lovely little bugger of a son came toddling in at the asscrack of dawn. Climbed over my lump of a husband, who didn't even twitch (damn the man). Flung himself with great enthusiasm upon my head and shoulders. Shared his joy of the morning with me in his ear-splitting adorable baby boy voice. And for a second, one sweet second, I contemplated letting him play by himself until I could open my eyes without sandpaper scraping the inside of my eyelids. I mulled over the wonders of actually rising from my bed feeling rested instead of like something the cat hacked up.

One second. And then my brain was flooded with the memory of That Day.

That Day, in which I was just a smidge too tired. That Day, in which I didn't open my eyes. That Day, in which I whispered the fatal words.

"Just go play, honey. Mommy is sleeping."

In my defense, I really was asleep in every way that counted. I have only the vaguest memory of me speaking to my then three-year old daughter. I didn't rise up out of unconsciousness long enough to even contemplate actually getting out of bed myself. My lips shaped the words, my vocal chords gave sound to the murmur, but my brain did not engage. All systems were definitely not Go.

Kays, being the obedient, dutiful daughter that she is {snort}, skipped right off to enjoy a morning of entertaining herself.

A three-year old.




A half hour later, Kays was back. Having completed her morning "project", she came to show it to me. Upon hearing her persistent little voice calling for me, over and over, I tried to once again tell her that Mommy was sleeping. However, she kept at it until my sleep-deprived brain slowly caught up with my Miss Independent mouth. I cautiously slitted open my eyes.

And promptly had a heart attack.

As a scream rose up into my throat, a very bright and very harsh light blinked on in my head. Not blood, not blood, NOT BLOOD! She was too damn happy for it to be blood. Standing there, smiling for all she was worth, pleased as punch with herself.

My poor abused brain just refused to process the situation and went into auto pilot. Just get the kid cleaned up and all will be well, right? Yes, yes, a little soap and water and we can pretend this never happened.

As I led her toward the bathroom, I stumbled across Part Two of her little morning adventure.

Not paint, nope. Nothing as simple as that for *my* daughter. She went for the artistic impact that only lipstick can have. Being the inspired artist that she is, she skipped right over the subtlety of a nude shade. Didn't bother with the daintiness of a pale pink. No prissy colors for my girl.

Did you know that soap and water won't remove dark red lipstick from a child's skin, hair, or your hallway carpet?

In the end, I laughed. I laughed and laughed and laughed. One might argue it was simply my overwhelmed little mind finally cracking up, but I hope know it was because I knew I had no one to blame but myself. How could I be mad? So I laughed. I laughed, and installed a baby gate on her bedroom door.

By the way, take it from someone who has been there ... a three-year old can climb over a baby gate. So can a two-year old.

There will be no sleeping in for Mommy at the Casa de Madness. Happy yawning, people.


jeanie said...

Oh, I can so relate. When my daughter was 2, I had the only (okay, only one of two) big night of drinking since she had been born - thus I was very much the worse for wear. I got her to "play quietly", so she drew all over herself in whiteboard markers. Which wipe easily off whiteboards. Whiteboards are not so porous as toddler's skin.

I came her from a comment you left on another blog, and I can't remember which one! Oh the wonders of blogworld.

The Woman Formerly Known as Jenn said...

Thanks for visiting!

Playing quietly is always dangerous, lol.

Jessica said...

OH I can relate to part of this (haven't had the pleasure of my son getting into something like that yet but I know the day is coming). DS goes straight to Mommy...daddy doesn't budge. Daddy doesn't stir. Daddy openly admits that he hears ds yelling "DA-DA" but that he also knows that I will get up with him and not complain....that is until I'm about dead at 7:30.

I'm not a morning person either. I LOVE to sleep in. DS started sleeping thru the night at about 1 year kidding! Yet he STILL rises before 6:30 (weekends he is confused and gets up at 5:30...gotta teach this kid to read a clock).

foop said...

Oh. The. HORROR!!!!

My little angel decorated the hallway with black sharpie once. Having lived through that, I can honestly say that I really, really admire you for laughing.