Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mr. Sand Man

Bless your poor, pea pickin' little heart. It's been a long hard day. You're exhausted. You yawn. You stretch. You rub your eyes. You think you'll turn in now. Kicking off your shoes, you wiggle your toes, put on your night shirt, and there it is, the comfort you have been waiting for...your cozy little bed, adorned with fluffy pillows for your head and downy blankets, all inviting you to count some sheep and sink into a well deserved slumber. It won't be long now. Sleep is just moments away. Restful, peaceful relaxation is just within reach. And why not? You deserve it. Good night, sleep tight.

You start to nod off, when...ROOOOOAAAR!

That's what it sounds like. There's no mistaking it. It's the sound of a freight train; only we don’t live anywhere near the tracks. It literally shakes the house. There is no house big enough to disguise it, and no marriage deaf enough to ignore it. It rattles the windows. It makes you grab onto the sides of the bed and hold on for dear life. Shake, rattle and roll. It is...your spouse. Your SNORING spouse. Well, at least someone is sleeping. And there you are, sitting and staring at the object of your affections, entertaining all kinds of things you'd like to do in order to obtain some peace and quiet, though they probably aren't legal. Anyone who has ever lived with snoring knows exactly what I'm talking about.

When my husband and I were first married, we fought over this subject many times. "I can't sleep!" I would yell. "What?" He would answer, dreamily. "I SAID, I CAN'T SLEEP! PLEASE STOP SNORING!"

At one point I called my mother.

I think it was 2:00 a.m. and I said "Mom, I can't sleep. He won't quit snoring."

Expecting sympathy got me nowhere. Why? Because she was snoring on the other end of the phone.

Last night was no exception, and I might add, it’s a good thing we live in the country or the noise pollution police might very well have knocked on our door.

Let’s see now. There was the sound barrier breaking sound of you-know-who, the man of my dreams. I attempted my famous slapping the bed beside him with a pillow routine and then pretending it wasn’t me, and that worked for about 20 seconds. Then it started all over again.

Next there was the volume of Charley’s TV.

I opened his bedroom door.

“Son,” I said, “It’s the middle of the night. Turn that down.”

He smiled and said “I did.”

I said, “Turn it down some more. And go back to sleep, you have to get up in the morning for school.”

He said, “My belly’s growling.”

I said “That’s not your belly, that’s me growling, now turn it down.”

He said, “I did.” He thinks because he has plugged his speakers into the TV that takes care of the noise.

“On second thought, you are not allowed to go back to sleep,” I said. “Since you insist on keeping me up all night then you have to stay up too.”

I could have sworn I heard a dog barking and looked out the window, but quickly realized it was me, and since all my pleading was getting me nowhere, I went back to bed. This time I pulled the covers over my head. Of course, there was no ventilation under the blankets and I couldn’t breathe, but hey, I had assumed the position. That should count for something, right? Come on sleep...come to Mama.

Hold it, what’s that sound? Well knock me into next week, it's the sound of silence. The object of my affections has stopped snoring. Finally, now I might be able to sleep. So I lay there for who knows how long, and wouldn’t you just know it? I'm wide awake.

Do not get out of the bed. Think of how tired you’ll be in the morning. What ever it takes, stay in the bed. I’m just drifting off to sleep when the lights come on.

Mr. Insomnia, Charley, is making his nightly trek to the kitchen to steal an armful of yogurt and give me a break; he’s running down the hall back to his room. I hate to have to tell him but this is not the 5K, and we don’t have asphalt in our house. Just a simple narrow hallway not intended for a marathon, and of course, he can’t turn the lights off on his way back down the hall because he’s afraid of the dark. A monster might get him, right? Or I might get him, whichever comes first.

Mr. Oblivious, Brad, is still sleeping of course, but my guess is he’s faking it so he won’t have to be the one to turn off the lights.

So I wait until Charley closes the door to his room and then I get up, turn the lights back off, and crawl back into bed.

"Now hear this… I’ve had about all the action I can stand for one night."

The lights are off, the husband has stopped snoring, and the kid is back in his room. Time for some well earned shut-eye, right? And I did it. I actually start to drift off back to sleep until...I realize I'm freezing.

“Get off the covers Brad,” I say, giving them a good yank.

“I’m not on the covers,” he says.

“Yes you are,” I say.

“No I’m not.”

“Well someone is, and it’s not me.”

"Maybe it's Mr. Sand Man," Brad says.

And then, out of the darkness; a familiar voice. “It’s me, Charley Palmer,” the voice says.

I grab the flashlight. Sure enough, it’s our 200 pound 4 year old in a 19 year old body and he’s wedged his way in-between us. Well at least someone has a blanket.

"Get back in your own bed," I say.

"No not," he says.

"I'm telling on you to Mr. Bailey," I say.

"No not." he says. (Charley doesn't like it when I tell on him to Mr. Bailey. That's his teacher)

"Mr. Bailey won't like it that you kept me up all night," I say.

He starts to laugh.

"Stop it Mom," he says.

It's full fledged three alarm sleep deprivation extravaganza, and I have an eternal child sandwiched in-between me and Brad to prove it. It doesn't happen that often, but when it does we just have to laugh. He's just a big kid. The only thing missing is the cat. And why? Because she's the only one getting any sleep.

“I wait for you, Daddy.” This is something he says to Brad every morning. He waits for Brad to get up and then the two of them go into the kitchen and make the coffee together.

Next he turns his attention to me. “I sorry my TV loud Mom.”

“Apology accepted, now be quiet, okay?”

“Remember? The speakers helpin’ you sleep.”

“Sure they do, like a sledge hammer over the head.”

He thinks this is funny but my tone of voice tells him it’s not that funny.

“Mom, you mad at me?”

I have to think about this for a moment. Am I mad? I'm lying on the bed with the fan blowing on me and no blanket. It's 4:00 in the morning and if I'm not careful I might get 5 minutes of sleep until the snoring starts up again and someone I know and love has done his level best to make sure that I'm not the one doing any snoring; at least not in my lifetime. I think you could safely say I'm the opposite of glad.

“I love you mommy.” He says.

“I love you too honey,” I say.

Brad starts to snore again.

"Mom, Dad's keeping me awake," he says.

"You're both keeping me awake, I say.

Charley starts to laugh. “Daddy, be quiet,” he says.

“Why don’t you both be quiet?” I say.

“Mom, you order the Shadow Zone yet?”

Okay that’s it.

“Stay right there,” I say and get out of bed. Seconds later I return with the camera. The flash goes off and they both groan. Right in their faces! A direct hit.

“Darn picture, that camera,” Charley says, wiping the blinding light out of his eyes.

“Mom must need a picture for her blog,” Brad says, giving me his you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look.

Okay its official; we’re all awake, and now we’re all mad.


  1. How funny!
    Now, you know too much sleep deprivation leads to psychosis, don't you?

  2. What a wonderful story. You captured real life in fine fashion. After a full nights sleep it was a pleasure to read. Counting sheep here would be a waste of sheep.