Yesterday was my birthday. It was also a Monday, so it was laundry day, grocery shopping day and Kid A had an interview in midtown at 7PM, so she and Sheepdog were not home for dinner. Best birthday ever, you say? Wait… it gets better.
The day started around 12:15AM when Kid E moseyed into our bedroom and asked to cuddle with me. As I took him by the hand and led him back to his own room, I cursed him silently for waking me. This back-and-forth routine continued over the next three hours. The silent cursing did not last long. Every time I would start to fall asleep again, Kid E would tap me on the shoulder. By the hundredth time I felt like I was being tortured. On one trip back to his bed I told him congratulations on giving me the worst birthday present ever.
His confused response was, “But I didn’t even get you a present.”
If somebody is up during the night I always try my best not to disturb Sheepdog, because he has to get up early and go to a real job. By 3:45AM I was exhausted, infuriated, desperate, and on the verge of tears. I no longer cared about Sheepdog and his stupid job. So the next time Kid E came in I ignored him. Sheepdog finally heard him (“Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…” Seriously, how does the man NOT wake up?) and he jumped out of bed.
“WHAT?” whisper-yelled Sheepdog.
“I have to pee,” said Kid E, very matter-of-factly, with a hint of “What would you have me do…urinate in my bed? I’m no savage!” So Sheepdog took him to the bathroom and then back to his room. At last, the kid was sleepy enough to stay in there.
“Happy Birthday, ” Sheepdog whispered to me when he came back. ”I’m sorry you’ve had a crappy night.”
“I’m thinking of moving out,” was my very serious response. I don’t remember if I dreamed over the next three hours, but if I did it was probably about locking myself behind multiple doors with heavy deadbolts.
I woke up later to Kid D screaming that his stomach hurt as he was running past me into my bathroom. ”I don’t feel so good,” he sighed as he crawled in bed next to me. I didn’t even care if he had washed his hands first.
As I was zombie-walking down the hall to put Kid C onto the elementary school bus, I realized that Kid B had overslept and she would need a ride to school. This keeps getting better.
Actually, it did get better. Kids A, B and C went off to school. Kid D felt fine, so I dropped him off as well when I was taking Kid E to preschool. Then I went home and collapsed until I decided to make my own birthday cupcakes for dinner.
Sleep is a funny thing. I am a girl who needs a good nine hours, so I rarely hit my mark. I make up for it by sleeping in on the weekends (Shout out! Sheepdog for helping me do that) and taking occasional naps. You’d think I would be used to interrupted rest after having five babies, but I never adjusted. The cumulative effect of sixteen years of sleep deprivation has left an indelible mark on my personality. I’m meaner and even more sarcastic. I have even been known to growl on occasion. I have to use more under eye concealer. It is not a good thing.
It is a good thing that Kid E has some sixth sense thing happening, because he was one more sleepless night away from being put up for auction on eBay. Last night he went to bed without incident and then slept through the entire night. I am a different person today than I was yesterday.
Today I feel like I can take on the world. Today I feel like I am a Disney Princess and everyone around me is a singing animal. Today I am She-Ra, Princess of Power. Today I feel like Wonder Woman and Laura Croft and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all rolled into one, except not all fit and and wearing some sexy ass-kicking costume because I’ve just been too tired to work out lately.
But today I have the energy to fix that! I’m gonna go work out right now. Then I’ll probably take a nap, because who knows what tonight will hold.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…