Long time readers of this blog know that, in the aftermath of an especially exhausting stretch of insomnia/trip of Paul’s/social engagement/etc., I will often pull out the simile “I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.”
Well, Wednesday we celebrated Lydia’s 12th birthday a month early with eleven of her dearest friends from 1-7 pm. In case you aren’t very good at math I’ll underline that we had, including the ECSTATIC birthday girl herself, twelve twelve year old girls here for six hours…good girls, smart girls, yes, but a houseful of tween girls is a houseful of insanity. All I can say about it today is that if there was some way to transfer all that pre-teen spririt into actual energy, I would have been able to treat the entire U.S. (and most of Canada!) to power for the forseeable future.
Paul planned to take a half day to help me run the party, but had to go to Mexico instead. Fortunately he arrived home a few hours after it started, but in the days leading up to it I slept erratically as I often do when he’s gone.
Torey arrived a little before the guests did. Beyond all the help to me and direction she gave to the girls, I’m so glad she was there to stand witness to the unbelievable hyper-kinesis.
An aside: my spelling and everything else is shot. Above, I had to write “12th” because I couldn’t spell it and I’ve already caught several words substitutions. Please soldier on.
What really undid me, was the water balloon toss. Christopher and Eden had filled up a billion balloons because Torey recommended some stupid games to help fill the gaps between swimming and the usual birthday rigors. As the girls ran out to the yard Jackie Boy happily followed.
I can’t give you the strict ratio of how often he stays with us to the rare times he runs across the road to greet runners on the bike path. Despite the rarity of the latter, the fact that it’s still a possibility has taught all of the us the wisdom of hooking him up to his lead when he’s out in the yard.
I did that immediately but the clasp must have pulled off his collar because he was happily scampering around the driveway. He came as soon as I called, but raced past me to rejoin the throng of girls who all, following Lydia’s frantic lead, began shouting his name. This auditory adrenaline got Jackie going and he started running around them in circles. I called him again and he came barreling down the path towards me where I had just attached the lead to the gazebo.
This was where I made my mistake. With the benefit of hindsight I know that he was probably going to race past me then turn around and come back panting, but I, hepped up from being in the company of – words fail me: I can’t summon an adequate metaphor – a bunch of twelve year old girls for hours and brain addled from all the rest, stepped in front Jack as he charged toward me.
“You didn’t.” Paul said as we lay in bed the next morning, examining my bruises.
On impact I was thrown into the air, spinning, and landed face down in the opposite direction.
“Those girls really deserve a medal,” Torey said, when she called to check in later, “people falling is funny stuff and not one of them even giggled.”
“Adults falling is scary, though.”
Lydia confirmed this. Her friends stood frozen and momentarily speechless, until one asked her, “Is your mom OK?”
I was lying in a pile, the breath knocked out of me, unable to savor the temporary silence. For a second I considered embarrassment but adrenaline and shock were made for just these occasions. A wiser or less addled woman would have probably feigned serious injury and remained crumpled.
I jumped up, grabbed the dog, secured him to the lead, adjusted the towel that was my quasi cover up and walked across the lawn with as much dignity as I could muster to rejoin the balloon toss in which I was even-ing up the numbers. My partner and I were one of the last teams to drop.
Today my left wrist is throbbing and the bone feels damaged. Large bruises have formed on my fore and upper arm, covering muscle aches and the area from my shoulder extending all the way up my neck is stiff and feels twisted.
The rest of the party went smashingly (strictly a metaphor) and the final test for me of greeting the parents arriving to pick up and saying goodbye to all the girls went well too, although I may have laughed somewhat dementedly at one of the dads in a brave shot at welcoming heartiness.
I don’t think I twitched.
That’s all I have the strength to report for now.
I hope everyone is happy and well and don’t take that full range of motion for granted; it’s a gift.
This little person spent the night at our house last Saturday. Torey traded her for my three kids and considered herself the winner in the bargain. Wizzie do what Wizzie do and what she do is wake up in the middle of the night almost every single night and scream her sweet little head off until Torey (desperate and crazed) pulls her into their bed and then the real fun begins. Sure Willa finally shuts her little gob and – technically – falls asleep, but she does so sideways so that she is kicking one parent and head butting the other.
I took this Naughtsy Taughtsy a few weeks ago, kept her up a little late and then when she woke up in the wee hours, changed her bum, petted her and put her back in bed. She fussed a bit, but was too tired to give it her all. Within minutes she was asleep.
Back home she reverted to her old pattern so we scheduled another night at Aunt Ali’s sleep clinic.
When I awoke at two and couldn’t get back to sleep until after six I questioned the wisdom/hubris/ridiculousness of an insomniac running a sleep clinic. Just before six, as I was finally drifting back to sleep, Willa woke and began to call my name, “Dea! Dea! Deeeeeee-aaaaaa!”
I staggered to her crib. At the sight of me she scrabbled to pop her pacifier in her mouth and to grab Teddy. It was 7 a.m. That seemed a reasonable time to wake up. I picked her up and staggered back to my room. She snuggled in between Paul and me and then we both passed out.
My “sleep” was punctuated by kicks in my back and dream sequences where I tried to gain an inch of space since Willa was plastered against me and I was hugging the edge of the bed. The few times I was able to open my eyes she was lying beside me peacefully, her own sweet eyes shut. The moment I shut my own the next assault began.
Paul, was waging his own battle. He was too tired to take anything more than a defensive posture from Teddy who kept hitting his head every few minutes.
We all finally awoke around nine. Woke is really a misnomer; it would be accurate to say that our sleep finally ran out. We both felt like death; mine was stone cold and Paul’s was slightly warmed. Willa was fresh as a daisy, a thirsty and ravenous daisy no less.
Aunt Ali’s Sleep Clinic has closed its doors.
I’m sure this comes as no surprise.
Kids, it’s getting ugly over here. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in at least two weeks. Last night I got into bed at 7:30 to read to Eden and passed out a little after 8. I awoke at 11:30 and snuggled next to Paul who obligingly lifted up his arm to give me passage.
“Were you awake?” I asked.
“I just went to the bathroom.”
So that was it. He frequently wakes me up using the facilities despite every ninja like caution, but it gave me pause since I had come to at 9:30 when he had gotten into bed with his laptop and I asked him time before drifting back to sleep. This meant he needed up again less than two hours after going to bed. He’s in his 40’s now, but I was hoping his prostate would make the long haul…or at least to 50.
“I think you need to see a urologist.” I told him.
“What!” He removed his arm and rolled over.
I told him my concern.
“What are you talking about! I haven’t been to the bathroom since I went to bed!”
“You said you just went!”
And then I remembered that I married a madman who frequently talks in his sleep, sounding as lucid as I am until he becomes enraged, starts recanting things he said one minute previously and rolls over in a huff. This is usually when my amnesia clears and I roll over too feeling maritally doomed.
I was still awake at 4:00 when he got up to use the facilities for real. When he returned I related our earlier exchange. He laughed and went back to sleep. I’m not sure when I passed out finally, but I awoke at 10:00 feeling like a brick wall had fallen on my head. I still feel foggy and grey though the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day.
On the up side I’m becoming an expert in Roman, early American and 20th century Chinese history, which would be great if I was a professor or something. My occupation as human/wife/mother/homekeeper doesn’t really have much of a call for varied historical specialties.
“My kingdom (and by kingdom I mean anything I got left) for a horse (and by horse I mean a good night’s sleep)!” That would be Richard the III on whose character historians sharply disagree…
I forgot I’ve got English history down pretty much cold, as well as the history of the English language and I’m starting to bone up on 16th century Holland…
This is probably a cry for help.
Chamomile tea (natural sleep aid 101)? None, not even an empty box.
Rescue Remedy Sleep Spray (a natural sleep aid)? Can’t find it and it had maybe one spray left.
Fatigue to Fantastic (same as above)? Been out for months.
Itty Bitty Booklight? Plugged in on the right side of the bed, where I asked Paul to sleep last night because I can’t take it over there anymore. Falling asleep (happily) on the left side of the bed, it did occur to me I should rewire everything, but that is complicated as the only outlets in the room are on the North and East Walls, necessitating a complex wiring with extension cords under the bed to take care of anything on the left.
Ambien? Oh, I’ve got one, but since I need to take Eden to school at 8:30 and babysit Willa starting at 11:00, that wouldn’t be prudent.
I am holed up in the kitchen waiting for a cup of peppermint tea to brew.
Eden is up, though it’s almost 10:00 pm. She has a cold and after weeping off and on for two hours and begging us to let her sleep with us we relented. Paul and I were lounging on our bed playing on our laptops. The second we told Eden she was in, she shot back to her room for her pillow and a blanket. She snuggled in between us and began to chittety chat our ears off. I turned to her, looked into her sleepy eyes and asked her if she would like to sip a little “rasberry tea” (a magnesium drink that helps us sleep) and read a little Laura Ingalls. She did. As I walked to the kitchen she called after me,
“I’ll save your spot!”
My heart, already soft, melted.
That the bed is mine, that it’s always my spot and not in need of saving doesn’t really matter does it? It’s good to be chosen.
And now I’m going to choose her back.