You Might Not Like What You Get

While I am a morning person, I still mourn the fact that I cannot wake under my own steam - ever - because my children inherited my Hello, Sunshine, It's A Gorgeous New Day! gene. I'd be way more thrilled about this if they understood the concept of something called "weekend," but toddlers just don't grasp that. When every single day is exactly the same to them, they just don't see the reason to sleep in just because the calendar says it's a Saturday.

The irony of this whole situation is that I also have teens, and teens sleep in no matter what kind of genes they have. So now I'm up early in the morning AND up late at night. Good thing that whole "I need sleep to function"  handicap went right out the window.

Oh, wait, it didn't.

So I'm generally running on Tired Enough to Be Spaced Out But Not Completely Useless (like every mother in the world), and wishing that I could just sleep in for an extra 30 minutes or so each morning. I'm not asking for much, mind you. Thirty minutes would make me incredibly happy.

Micah has been running on Really, Really Overtired lately, and this is not good. AT ALL. His teacher has already sent a note home saying how tired he is, and that it's affecting his school day. Epic, really, because there's nothing I can do about it except hope that he sleeps in. We tried extended release melatonin, hoping that once he got to sleep and stayed asleep, his body would be all, "hey, this is nice! I'll just zone here for a while because apparently THIS is what I've been needing. Who knew?" But we've had no such luck. The boy's internal alarm is set for 6:30 during the school year, and there is no reset button.

But today, instead of running downstairs and popping in a movie, Micah joined us in bed at 6:30. My alarm is set for 7:00 (I guess I like a back-up. I know. It makes no sense to me, either.), so I knew it was pointless for me to go back to sleep. And I was shocked that Micah actually fell asleep.

Here's the thing. Micah is like every other kid in the world who sleeps in their parents' bed. The snuggable, soft, and kinda squishy toddler that you've got during the day turns into an octopus with 3 knee joints and a foot on each of their eight tentacles. And while Micah is fast asleep, neither of us can be, because those knees and feet poke and stab and prod and kick so much that I know for a fact he has been taken over by an alien. What other explanation is there for the fact that he can have one foot lodged firmly in my husband's rib cage while his other foot is using my kidney as a trampoline? And if either of us moves, one of two things happens. If it's before the hour of 6:30, he is a heat-seeking missile and will find you no matter where you move to. If it's after 6:30, your slightest movement will instantly wake him.

So this morning, I laid quietly in bed so that Micah could sleep in. It's best for everyone, really. And I'm willing to sacrifice myself on occasion. I watched the clock near 7:00 and turned the alarm off. I heard the other boys get ready for school and go out to catch the bus at 7:30. I grabbed my iPod and checked email, my daily calendar, my to-do list, played a few games of Words With Friends, had some quiet time in the Bible with God, and read a few chapters of a book. The clock read 8:30. All I could think about were the thirty eight bajillionty things I had to to in the next 3 days before we head out of town. I thought of my work deadlines, and wondered if there was any way I could hang over the side of the bed and type with the computer on the floor beside me. (The answer was no.) I thought of the laundry that needed done, and how the dogs weren't let out yet, and that the dishes needed done, and the packing I needed to do, and the shirts I needed to make. I got kinda panicky. And the clock mocked me with it's declaration of 8:40.

I did the unthinkable, and ever so slowly rolled out of bed. Literally rolled. I just slipped out from under the covers and over the edge of the mattress, and Micah never moved a muscle. Except his eyelids. Those eyes flew open THATFAST and looked at me in an accusatory tone of voice. And then he took over my pillow like he had been waiting for me to just give it up already. The stinker. And he slept for another 30 minutes while I started in on the dishes and laundry and dogs.

I learned a valuable lesson today. There is a huge difference between leisurely sleeping in, and being forced to. I can now sympathize with toddlers who are all, "Why do I have to nap? I'm not tired!" Okay, at least the "why do I have to nap" part.  I've got next week to sleep in. That's what vacations are for.

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