The Sleep Summit

While Ben was out of town last week, the girls evidently held a secret conference. I don’t know where I was—maybe on my 100th milk run of the evening, waylaid in the kitchen by an over-affectionate Coconut, who, unbeknownst to me, was acting under orders. The conference took place in Addie’s room. In attendance: Addie, Rosie, Chris and Martin Kratt, and seven thousand Shopkins.

Addie: I feel like maybe Mom has gotten a little too comfortable around here.

Rosie: I don’t know, I mean, I feel like we’ve done a good job slowly eroding her spirit, right, Chris?

Chris Kratt: TO THE CREATURE RESCUE!

Addie: Yeah, during waking hours. But then there are all those sweet, sweet hours after we go to bed when she has control of the house.

Rosie: I thought Mommy was a robot that turned off after we went to bed.

Addie: I used to think so, too, but then, one night, when I thought I could come to the kitchen and help myself to some mini-muffins, guess who was standing there, completely not a robot, and took the muffins from me?

Rosie: [Gasps audibly.]

Addie: So I’m telling you, we’ve gotta hit her where it hurts.

Rosie: The boobies?

Addie: No, her bed, moron. But also her boobies.

Shopkins: [Lay on floor, saying nothing, preparing to stab Mommy in the foot as soon as she dares enter the room after dark.]

And so it came to pass that every night for the past week, Addie and Rosie have come to sleep in bed with me at some point during the evening. Addie will generally wake me up to inform me that she has arrived; when questioned, she makes up an elaborate story about a bad dream involving a spider and glowing green eyes out her window and sometimes killer unicorns, which is pretty badass, because those guys would make amazing impaling machines. Rosie, on the other hand, sneaks in using ninja-like skills, wedging herself between Addie and me until we form a capital H.

I’m not really sure how I’m going to undo this—I assume there is some parenting book about how to get your children to sleep in their own beds, but I’ve gotta believe that their method involves me waking up repeatedly in the middle of the night, and I would really rather just end up relegated to eight inches of mattress at the very edge of the bed than deal with that noise. I just keep telling myself that eventually they would be caught dead than spend their evenings snuggled up with their mama.

Even if their idea of “snuggling” is really just “sleep-punching me in my boobies.”

Things I think about while waiting for Rosie to fall asleep

1. I am so close to the hour and a half each day that I get to spend without anyone asking me questions, or smearing food on me, or trying to climb inside my uterus. And that’s just at work.

2. She should fall asleep pretty quickly. Between the game of Naked Chase Around the Dining Room Table and the crying jag that ensued when she realized I was, in fact, trying to get her to put on some pants, she must be exhausted.

3. Maybe she’s already sleeping.

4. Nope.

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5. I wonder what all the other adults are doing right now? Drinking wine and telling ribald stories? Or are they all being held hostage in their daughter’s bedroom?

6. It literally depresses me that I will never get to see Hamilton on Broadway. It’s like seeing pictures of the cool kids’ party on Facebook but not actually getting to attend.

7. There are so many quizzes on Buzzfeed about your zodiac sign. Is this a thing that people actually care about? Look at this one, “Which ‘Powerpuff Girls’ Villain Are You Based On Your Zodiac Sign?” Is this for real?

8. I’m going to kill myself if I don’t get Mojo Jojo.

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9. SEDUCA? This thing is obviously rigged.

10. You know, I’m a grown-ass woman with money. There is no reason I can’t actually attend Hamilton on Broadway.

11. Okay, tickets are $515 each. On a Tuesday. Afternoon. In October.

12. Surely she’s sleeping now, right?

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13. God dammit.

14. Maybe I can just sneak out.

15. OKAY, I HEAR YOU, I CANNOT JUST SNEAK OUT, YOU CAN STOP WITH THE KEENING.

16. If I leave here in the next ten minutes, I can watch one episode of The Americans before bed.

17. The couple from The Americans are dating in real life, and they’re going to have a baby. And I’m wondering if they’re going to write the baby into the show, like, surprise, motherfuckers, here is our communist spy baby!

18. I feel like the guy from The Americans is not attractive enough to have his own TV show. Does this make me a bad feminist?

19. This glider is extremely comfortable. Why are regular people not allowed to own gliders until they have a baby? That seems sort of unfair. Think of how great it would have been to read the Harry Potter series in this sweet-ass glider, instead of on that couch I inherited from my grandma.

20. Shit, did I fall asleep?

21. Did she fall asleep?

22. I missed The Americans.

23. And all of my alone sweatpants time.

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24. You’re lucky you’re so cute.

 

Rise and shine and then lay back down indefinitely

Society perpetuates so many lies in order to keep our species thriving—“Have kids!” they say. “It’ll be so fun!” they say. “It won’t be weird at all to have sex with your husband while your two children may or may not be asleep less than 15 feet away in their own rooms, and could easily walk in at any time, scarring everyone for life and requiring years of costly therapy!”

But to me, the biggest, most unforgivable lie of all was this:

You’ll get so used to getting up early that you won’t be able to sleep in anymore!

Perhaps this is true of normal people. Clearly, someone is getting up earlier than me, and getting to the doughnut shop and taking all the good doughnuts before I can even get there, but fuck that guy, because while he was up at the butt crack of dawn to commune with Satan or whatever it is people do before 6:30 a.m., I was catching those sweet, sweet Z’s, which have far fewer calories than doughnuts. Although now that you mention it, I would like a doughnut, too, please.

I will never not be able to sleep in. I am like a black belt at sleeping in.

My children, however, are not.

It’s been five years, and I keep waiting for that day to arrive when I finally spring from bed without prodding at 5:30 in the morning, smiling and ready to face the day. “I couldn’t possibly have slept another second!” I will say to myself. “Thank God it’s finally time to get out of this amazingly comfortable sleep nest I have built for myself out of comforters and pillows and head out into the world where people will insist on interacting with me!”

But amazingly, this day has not yet come.

I was promised it would. People pointed at the elderly as examples. “My grandparents get up every morning at 4 and head over to the local McDonald’s to drink coffee with their friends!” But what they often leave out is that their grandparents also tend to go to bed at 7:30 at night, and even then I say they are missing out on at least another three good hours of sleep in this scenario.

And besides, grandparents are also famous for not understanding the internet and awkwardly referring to African Americans as colored people, so we may not exactly want to be modeling ourselves after them.

I really would like to become a morning person—getting up earlier would give me another few minutes to myself each day, to exercise, or write, or eat my aforementioned doughnut without having to share it with anyone. But no matter what I try—moving my alarm clock across the room, refusing to allow a snooze option, setting it for 40 minutes before I would usually get up—I always find a way to sneak back into bed until the last possible second.

I’m just really trying to ride it out until my daughters hit the teen years, when I will easily be able to sleep in until 10 every Saturday and still make them feel guilty for not getting up until noon. Until then, does anyone have any good tips to get me out of bed a little earlier? Or better yet, would anyone be interested in a job as my personal waker-upper, forcibly dragging me out of bed at the appointed hour? I won’t be able to pay much, but you can use my bed nest when I’m done with it. I’ll even warm it up for you, if you just let me lay here five more minutes.