My Love Affair With Night

Night is ever the seducer. He whispers in my ear and tells me I can do that one more thing before bed. He fills the night with a soft, quite peace and whispers promises of fun to be had. But Morning is waiting for me when he leaves and she is an uncompromising bitch.

Night makes all sorts of compromises. I can have fun with friends, or I can enjoy the solitude. I can read one more chapter, write one more story. I can do one more chore or have one more conversation.

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This is the beautiful Ra, with illustrations by the amazing Tooks, we made a book together. A lot of it happened at night. 

Morning refuses to cooperate. Her schedule is inflexible. She demands productivity. Immediately. Compromise is not in Morning’s vocabulary.

I know this.

And yet… Night is always tempting and I am bad at saying no.

Some nights I try.

I try to resist his siren song and when I succeed I meet Morning on a level playing field, but other nights he fights back.

On those nights he hangs the stars so low in a moonless, clear sky you feel as though you could pluck them down. But, of course, you can’t. Still they hover above, another temptation in the dark, and the wanting gets to you and it makes you restless. If you can’t play with the stars you at least have to move. You have to sing, dance, love, cry, you have to feel those nights. Those are the nights filled with tossing and turning. Those are the nights that normally sleeping dogs pace the house and kids wake up with nightmares.

Night compromises but at his heart he will always be a seducer. He doesn’t play fair and he takes what he wants in the end.

And Morning, she is always waiting, hard faced and uncaring on the other side.

I’m constantly lured into poor decisions in my love affair with Night.

Morning and I exist on a battlefield littered with broken alarm clocks and spent tea bags.

But between them lives Nap and we have the sweetest of relationships.

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My Bedtime Is Perfect Thank You Very Much

This evening while talking with  Ivy, who is 11 going on 16, the subject of bedtimes came up. Specifically, my bedtime.

I go to bed at midnight. This seems slightly early for my night owl standards but fairly manageable considering I have to get the girls to school in the morning. Ivy, however, was appalled.

I was informed under no uncertain terms that she goes to bed at NINE o’clock and that is PLENTY late.

I, always arguing for my night owl ways, pointed out that there are many things, many things that I do after she goes to bed. I work out, I blog, I read books, I write books (shameless plug), I even, occasionally, clean the kitchen (really, super-duper occasionally).

Ivy, while eating the dinner I made her, then demanded to know what I do all day if I do all that after she goes to bed.

I responded with what I fear were wild, crazy, mom eyes and arm gesticulations around the house.  “Everything else!”

“Well,” said Ivy in a voice dripping with the confidence of the young, “you should just try and get more done during the day.”

And then I looked at my beast of a to-do list and died a little bit inside.

Of course I didn’t let her know that, I just told her to hurry up and finish her dinner so she had time to play before it was her bedtime.

 

 

The Missing Candy

I always knew that being a parent meant getting woken up in the middle of the night.

However, I was completely unprepared for the variety of things that would cause my children to think “Hey look, it’s 3:55 AM, I better go tell mom all about this – right now!”

Last night Jane showed up at the side of our bed at, you guessed it, 3:55 AM.

She was very upset.

This is not unusual. Most children who arrive in the middle of the night in the pitch black are upset. What was unusual was that she was upset about her candy.

That’s right, Jane woke me up just before 4 AM to tell me that her candy was missing.

Apparently, her secret stash of candy (which never should have been in her room in the first place) was missing, it was probably Goose’s fault and what was I going to do about it.

My intelligent response to this was, “Urgh. Murble. Rummppfff.”

Jane was unimpressed so she repeated her tale louder and more insistently which woke me up enough that I replied with an ever more intelligent, “How about you come snuggle with me.”

Which she did as she continued to talk about her candy. Finally after listening to her candy dilemma for six hours, (or maybe six seconds, it’s hard to tell…I’m not at my best at 3:55 AM)  I harshly yelled at her to be quiet because it was the middle of the night and why was she even talking about candy?!?

Then she cried, fell asleep, hogged the bed, messed up the covers and was a giant pain right smack dab in the middle of John and I for the rest of the night.

This morning the first thing she did was run to inspect her candy stash. Admittedly I rolled my eyes when she started in talking about it again.  I thought that this had all been a bad dream, maybe her dream, maybe mine, maybe we both had a bad dream but I didn’t think it was real because…

Who would inspect their secret candy stash at 3:55 AM?!?

But it was true. Her secret candy stash was missing and all she could find was a chewed on sucker stick with the wrapper still clinging to it.  She was crushed.

I told her to hurry up and put her clothes on before she was late for school.

Moral of the Story: Mom’s have no sympathy when breaking the rules backfires on you.

Other Moral of the Story: Never underestimate the power of children to disrupt your sleep. 

 

Mom Ears

I lost my mom ears.

You know, the super sonic hearing ears that let you know every time your child rolls over, coughs or calls out your name.

They broke.

It’s the best thing that’s happened to me in years. Now instead of me jumping out of bed when kids cry or make other random noises in the night, John does. I don’t hear a thing, he has to tell me about it in the morning.

It. Is. Amazing.

I think this is what he felt like all those nights I was up nursing kids and banishing boogey men. (And yes, I nursed those girls, we have YEARS to go before John is even close to catching up with late night waking hours.)

There is one problem though. Since I don’t hear the girls I don’t know they are coming until they show up next to the bed. John can attest from his years on the night shift that when I wake up with someone next to the bed, I scream. For years I woke up to John saying “It’s John! It’s John! It’s John!” until I turned my siren off.

Clara recently got a new blanket, a zebra blanket. It’s soft and fuzzy and has a “hood” on it with a stuffed zebra head she can pull over her own. She loves it. Clara wears it around the house while getting ready for school and sleeps with it every night. It is her new favorite thing.

This was not staged. This is just what she looked like when I went to check on her tonight!

So, when Clara came down to our bed in the middle of the night, I didn’t hear her coming. I didn’t notice her standing next to the bed. In fact I didn’t register her presence at all until a zebra was climbing into my bed and it’s big black zebra nose touched my face.

Facts.

1) I really hate it when things touch my face when I’m sleeping.

2) Zebras are more startling than small children.

3) Screaming in a panicked fashion in your child’s face does not make them feel better.

I lost my mom ears. It’s pretty amazing but I do feel a bit bad for the kids.

 

 

Wishes

Today Jane said that the two of us should each make a wish.

She wished to be a fairy-princess-mermaid.

I wished for a nap.

She was quite disappointed in me.

I understood. I was too.

Unfortunately, I’ve found one of the great truths of motherhood to be that more sleep is actually your dearest wish.zinnias

And, sadly, neither one of our wishes came true today.

It’s okay though, Jane says we can wish again tomorrow.