The 5 o’clock Blues

This was the conversation we had just before my son shut the door of the car to go get on the bus this morning:

me: have a good day
him: leave me alone! You’re making my day miserable

Neither of us are morning people. But I’m old enough to know it’s me not “them.” That’s why I get up first…it leads to a much more pleasant exchange of a morning. Plus it allows me to remember all the little things we need to do to get out the door in time for us to get out the door on time, mostly. We need to be down at the bus stop at a quarter till seven. Much like myself, it takes the Little Dude a few minutes to wake up and get functioning. So, in order for us to get the day started with minimum bloodshed, I wake him up at 5:30.

I feel awful doing it. Probably from years of traumatic memories of having to be dragged out of bed to go to school. I hate waking anybody up-ever. But especially the little guys. I remember, and still believe, that you DON’T WAKE THE BABY! He’s still my baby and I hate to do that to him and to me.

My alarm goes off at five o’clock.

Generally, I wake up in a bit of a panic. First, because I totally, completely, and terribly abhor alarms. I have always preferred a radio alarm to the kind that beeps. Unfortunately I live out here in the country where the radio signal isn’t always reliable. I’ve had a few mornings where the station that was loud and clear the night before when I set the alarm was nowhere to be found when it was supposed to be there waking me up. I have reluctantly switched to the beep setting. Second, I jump up  to turn off the alarm before it wakes anybody else up. This isn’t really as big an issue as my sleep fogged brain would have me believe, but what are you going to do about that?

The one bit of good news about my alarm going off is that it isn’t my husband’s alarm. He’s hard of hearing and also hard of waking. When he shops for an alarm, he tries them out to find the loudest he can find. I’m pretty sure it’s the loudest bedside alarm ever made. Someday it’s going to go off and I won’t get up because my heart has exploded from the shock. Really, it is loud.

My alarm goes off at 5 because I need a few minutes of nobody around me before I can pretend to be the friendly person that I turn into later in the day. My mother is a morning person. One of those people who pop up at 4 in the morning bustling with a chipper energy that’s guaranteed to rub the rest of us the wrong way at that time of day.

I used to hate it when she would come in to wake me up with a sing-songie, “Rise and Shine!” It took her (and me, I suppose) years to figure out that she needed to pretty much leave me alone in the morning.

I am not nearly so chipper in morning hours, but I am better at playing the game than the Little Dude is. I’m sure he’ll get better as he gets older, but for now we just have to suffer though it until they start up a second school shift. (Please!?!)

How about you? Are you a morning person? A night owl? What about the people you live with? Do you match with them or do you have to find ways to tolerate each other?


Today I am grateful that there was no reason for the other alarm to go off , that we had strawberries (nothing like a little surprise in your cereal to help the morning suck less), that our soccer game tonight got postponed (we’re just tired this week), that our new teacher is not assigning homework this week, and, as usual, coffee!

Sleep Walk

I don’t sleep as well as I used to.

When I was younger, before I was charged with the care of anyone, I slept very well. As my family can attest, I could sleep through almost anything.

When I was 13, I went on a trip to Africa. One of the places we stayed was in Kenya, at a place called Treetops. It’s this very nice hotel built in and around this huge tree overlooking a watering hole. The idea being that you get a nice comfortable place to hang out until the animals come to drink, without you disturbing anything and making them not want to come. I cannot attest to the accuracy of this, but, I’m told that in the night, if any animals are seen, they come wake you up to go see them. I, of course, did not here any such thing, being such a sound sleeper. But, my traveling partner said she did and that I would not wake up to go see the elephants or rhinos or whatever it was that was drinking in the dark that night.

Another time the Olympic Torch was going to be exchanged at the top of our driveway. I know, crazy, right? I’m not sure why. But, I have to assume it was a place to pull off the road close to the allotted distance for the runners. Unfortunately, it was very early in the morning. Have I mentioned before that I hate mornings? It was at 5 or 6, which doesn’t seem so bad now. But, as a kid in the summer, I was regularly sleeping until 10 or 11:00. Five almost seemed like the night before. So, I almost didn’t get to see this amazing thing because they almost couldn’t get me up. Of course, what I remember is that the torch was heavy and it was early. Although, there are some pictures somewhere to prove that it did happen.

The only exceptions to that that I can remember were once or twice in my late teens/early twenties when I was watching someone’s baby. If I’m asleep and it’s my job to wake up to take care of someone, I will. At least, that’s been the case so far.

Now that I’m grown, and charged with the care of my own family, I wake at small noises that might be someone having a bad dream or falling. My husband uses a wheelchair, but he used to fall for no reason except something twitching or moving in his back. He also would sleep-walk. So, I became attuned to listen for him. I think any mom can tell you that they are more likely to wake since having children. Add, those things together with normal aches and pains and it means not as much sleep as when I was a carefree youth.

But, today I woke up three or four times in the night and kept thinking I should write about not being able to sleep. So, here we are, talking about my sleep habits.