My father used to tell me, as his sixth daughter, that nothing good happens after midnight. This was wisdom, I’m sure, my sisters taught him and his way of enforcing a curfew that allowed my parents a decent night’s sleep.
I’m starting to believe his little adage. A scene from my typical still-up-at-2-a.m.-why-can’t-I-fall asleep routine:
Breathe. Just breathe. Supposed to promote sleep.
I’d breathe better if I could just ignore that itch on my right elbow. Is that a spider bite? Good God. Is there a spider in my bed?
Turn on light, check for spiders, find none and crawl back into bed.
Resist urge to nudge dog over another inch so her large paw is no longer planted in the small of my back.
Relax. Tomorrow is Friday. You’re almost at week’s end.
Crap. Friday. The children have an event at school tomorrow. Did I block that off on my work calendar?
Breathe. Put that out of your mind.
Ok. Done. Goodnight.
Was I supposed to bring cupcakes for this event? Or fruit? Or is that the event next month? Wouldn’t they have sent me a reminder e-mail? Depends on the event coordinator. If it’s [insert name here], she would have. But if it’s [insert name here], I’m screwed. Reminder to self: check class food allergy list.
Nudge dog to her side of bed, despite good intentions.
Add that to your to-do list in AM. Come on. Relax. You need sleep if you’re to look at all awake on your video call tomorrow.
Well, I may look awake but that won’t help if my hair is a crazed mess. I need to make that salon appointment. Soon. I wish they had a 24-hour call line. Someone should really think of that. That’s a money maker. If the George Foreman grill can make millions, a 24-hour salon appointment hotline should certainly succeed.
Speaking of money and busy moms, you promised [insert name here] that you’d help her find a public relations pro for her business. That was two weeks ago! Get on it, sister.
Sister—oh, I haven’t called my sisters in over a month. Bad. Baby of the family syndrome. They’re probably cursing me right now.
And cursing—where did my youngest learn that new word? Reminder to self: monitor his iPad chat sessions with friends more closely.
Close. Did I close the downstairs windows? Better go down and check.
Yep. Closed. But look at the dust on that windowsill. I’ll just go into the kitchen to get a rag to wipe that off.
Here comes dog to see what I’m doing. Boy, is she shedding. Maybe I should just give her a quick brushing. I think the brush is near her food bowl in kitchen.
As long as I’m here in the kitchen—I should probably just clear the clutter off of the island.
And maybe have an apple. I’m hungry.
Apple. Reminder to self: finish reviewing possibilities for the new app for current work project. Deadline is in a couple of days, I think.
Hmmm. Still wide awake. I could clean out the refrigerator.
Are expiration dates for real? Or does the industry just make them up so we buy more stuff more frequently? I think I just saw a new study saying they don’t really matter. Oh yeah—and the ex-president of Trader Joe’s is supposedly starting up a store that sells expired food. Hmm. That’s no George Foreman grill. Definitely not a money maker.
How long has this cheese been in here? And why do I not remember buying it?
Cheese! Picture day in a week and no haircuts for boys yet. Get on that.
An hour later, with a clean refrigerator and more organized cupboards, I collapse into bed. And blessedly, fall asleep . . .
. . . As Gerard Butler and I walk hand in hand along the beach (Hugh Jackman is taken, ladies, so I must settle), he opens his mouth to I’m sure tell me he worships me—but the voice of Lucy from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe comes out instead: “I’m not a dwarf. I’m a girl. And actually, I’m tallest in my class.”
This is not quite the worshipful prose I was expecting. This is what comes of settling for second best. Hugh—where are you when I need you?
As Gerard continues to babble in Lucy’s voice, I truly wake up and realize my son’s alarm is set to CD and is playing an audiobook at 2 a.m. Reminder to self—teach him again how to set properly.
In a still-half-asleep haze, I run toward my bedroom door to get to the godforsaken blaring voice of Lucy. In my haste, I trip over the dog bed, fall on the dog, hug her to be sure she is OK, bang my shin painfully into my bedroom door and finally reach my son’s bedroom to push copious buttons until Lucy stops talking.
Ah. Back to bed.
In ten minutes, just as I am drifting off, the actual alarm starts blaring in my son’s room. Beep. Beep. Beep. Turns out, I have only hit snooze. Brilliant. Run back to his room, this time leaping over dog and avoiding door, push buttons until the cursed noise stops, crawl back into bed and spend another hour trying to fall asleep.
And when I wake up in the morning, I curse my monkey mind.
Monkeys—promised boys we’d go to the zoo before it gets too cold. Better write that down on the calendar.
And so it begins all over again . . .