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Monday, September 7, 2009

You can't go home again...

if you expect to get any sleep.

We are staying at my parents' house for the holiday weekend. (By the time anyone reads this, we'll be home, so no point in breaking into our house. And if you happen to beat us to it, we'll know that the perpetrators read my blog!) It's been a great weekend filled with family, food, birthday (my grandfather's 85th and my niece's 5th) and anniversary (my parents' 40th) celebrations, but very little sleep.

Currently the clock in my parents' kitchen reads 3am. I went to bed a little over 2 hours ago. My own fault, but that's the way it works here. Get the kids to bed late, around 10pm. Dad's asleep in the recliner, his leg twitching like clockwork every 7 minutes. Mom asleep in her room, temporarily. Mike and I alternately watching TV and logging on to our laptops.

By about 11:30pm, Mike goes to bed and shortly after Mom wakes up. She heads for the kitchen where I join her for a midnight bowl of cereal. In the days before "have laptop, will travel" we'd sit at the kitchen table, flipping through the newspaper, the ads if it was a Sunday evening. Tonight, we clicked through sites online. Finally, one of us gives up.

I was the first to fold tonight, heading for a surprisingly comfy spot on the basement couch just before 1am. When there are several of us visiting, where to sleep is a bit of a crap shoot. Mike and Robbie sleep in my brother Nick's old room on the two twin beds, one just box springs, a mattress and some egg crate foam under sheets from my third-grade year.

My brother Jeff's wife and their kids take my sister's old room with the queen size bed whose mattress sinks in the middle, making it feel at little like you're being folded into a taco shell. Jeff falls asleep on the couch in front of the TV in the family room.

Annie and Charlie take the two twins in my other sister's old room, fighting over who gets the good bed by the door, the one that doesn't slope off the side toward the floor.

I love sleeping on the basement couch. It's old and broken in, like an old shoe. Plus, the basement is dark and cool. I'm not sure if I'm premenopausal or insulated from the extra padding or maybe both, but I'm always warm at my parents house.

I turn on the air, my dad turns it off. So, my sleeping in the basement makes us both happy. He can keep the air off and I don't sweat to death.

Of course, the sleep in the basement is short-lived. One of my kids -- usually one of the boys -- always needs something in the middle of the night at Grandma's house. And they always need me to get it. There was the time Charlie had a stomach virus and was throwing up. Or the time we gave Robbie some cough medicine whose label read "may cause excitability in children." We watched four Barney videos before dawn that night.

Tonight, Robbie was first. Showing up in the basement, wanting to lay down with me because he'd peed in the bed upstairs. Two bodies on one couch? There goes my cool temperature.

Before I can even close my eyes again, Charlie shows up, scratching himself like a dog with fleas. Allergy season. The kid is allergic to grass, pollen and ragweed. And we spent much of the day outside at a picnic. Football... in the grass. Soccer... in the grass. Hikes through the woods.

So at 2:30am, despite the fact that I had him shower as soon as we got back from the picnic, he stood before me, miserable from the itching. Back to the showers, as I grabbed his clothes and any other darks I could find and tossed them into the washing machine. When he got out of the shower, I gave him 1/2 dose of his allergy itch medicine, figuring if the first dose at 10pm hadn't done much for the itching, another 1/2 dose wasn't going to hurt him.

At this point, Robbie wants a shower too. What the heck, I'm already awake.

Finally, they are both tucked into the basement couch (there goes my spot!) and I'm sitting awake at my computer, trying to decide if I should take the mattress/egg crate combo on the floor in the stuffy bedroom upstairs or the overstuffed green chair and ottoman in the family room. Or maybe I should just give in, pull an all-nighter to do some editing for work and then sleep on the way home in the morning.

Then again, who needs sleep anyway?


Momza said...

oh you poor woman. I would crack without sleep. you are amazing.
I hope you get some rest today...
Labor Day is supposed to be about resting, isn't it?