Snow bed, photo by Kate Broderick

Snow bed, photo by Kate Broderick

As a teenager, I moved around a lot. Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings night after night, I got in the habit of sleeping with one eye open. If disturbed, I still come up either swinging or screaming. As soon as you touch me, I’m instantly wide awake, pumped full of adrenaline, and ready to either fight or flee. I’ve been married almost 15 years now, but the problem remains. It came in handy again for the brief period while my son was a baby, and all parents develop the sort of spider senses that leave them tuned in to every whimper. But for the most part, it’s a pain. I find sleep difficult to get to, and I am a ridiculously light sleeper. This exacerbates some of my other issues with chronic health problems, since few conditions are improved by sleep deprivation. This then sets off a downward spiral, where things start to hurt, and then I don’t sleep because everything hurts etc. etc. Whole weeks have gone by where I sleep no more than a couple of hours a night. The longer I go, the lower my IQ drops.  Because of these issues, and for the health and safety of everyone involved, I normally sleep in my own room.  However our house is old, and drafty, and mine is the coldest room in the house.  I’d temporarily abandoned it on Friday night when my tea froze.  It was a bad idea, but I’m a suck, and the cold hurts.  I am already in my second week of rattling around until normal people have long since all gone to sleep. It’s not that I’m not tired, I just can’t settle. Many nights I see 3:00 am. Even the cats won’t stay up that late.  It was a dumb time to switch rooms, but Sweet Hubby is the human furnace, and my room was freezing.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

However,  I’m now reaching critical stupidity, owing to not having had a door between myself and my housemates, and it’s only Tuesday.

Saturday morning (with a late night planned). 4:06am

Enter mostly naked child. He is wearing ‘Iron Man’ Y-fronts, and socks. He is clutching a Jar of Cheez Whiz.

Mostly naked child:’MOM!’

Mom shoots upright out of bed, and grabs the closest thing that can be used as a weapon, a hairbrush.

Mom: ‘!!!!!!’

Mostly naked child: ‘I need help opening the Cheez Whiz’

Sunday morning- bed at 4:00 am, up again to go collect child from his aunt’s house.

Monday morning 4:50 am.

Enter mostly naked child, clutching a piece of paper. He’s crying.

Mostly naked child: ‘I HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM!’

Mom shoots out of bed, elbowing Sweet Hubby in the face, and kneeing him in the jimmies in a reflex defensive move.


Mostly naked child: ‘I wrote my meal plan homework yesterday, and now that’s not what I want for breakfast!’

Tuesday morning. 4:50 am

Enter mostly naked child. He is shivering. There’s a good chance that this has something to do with being mostly naked, and the fact that he moved into my room last night, looking for me, and decided to stay there.  It was 8 degrees in my room last night.

Mostly naked child: ‘Mom!’

Mom jumps out of bed, punches the puzzled cat, who was minding his own business on the pillow above her head, grabs child by throat and pins him to the window while blearily attempting to assess the threat.

Mom: ‘!!!!!’

Mostly naked child: ‘I’m cold.’

Have just tripped over the cat’s water dish again, poured cranberry juice into my coffee, then lost it before I could do anything about it. I have a long to do list to get through before the next IV on Thursday, but the list was on my phone.  I have no idea where my phone is.  Probably with my car keys.  I can’t find them either.  Which is fine, because now I’m coming up blank on where I was supposed to go.

I’m going to be a mess by Friday.