Morning or night person? Actually, I’m most active in the middle of the night. Here’s a diary of a typical night for me:
10 p.m. sharp: Time to turn off the television and go straight to bed. Am so tired. Ooh, but an “American Idol” rerun is on! I’ll just watch for a minute.
11:00 p.m. I’m so over Clay Aiken. Why did I ever think he could sing? Anyway, off to bed.
11:03 p.m. How can I be expected to sleep when a persistent voice is coming from the kitchen freezer, calling out, “Hellooooo? Anyone awake?”
11:13 p.m. Ah, much quieter now that the pint of Ben & Jerry’s has been permanently silenced.
11:26 p.m. Drifting off… drifting…. Darn, forgot to let the dog out. But if I go downstairs and out into the cold now I’ll be awake forever. And she went out right after dinner. I’m sure she’ll be fine.
1:42 a.m. Oh, God. Pry open one bleary eye to see a kid stumbling toward my bed. I freeze and hold my breath. Hey, it works for possums; sometimes predators leave them alone and move on to the next victim. But this child’s instincts are superior to the average predators’. He crawls in next to me. I’ll carry him back to his bed in just a second.
2:39 a.m. Cannot move left arm! Paralysis? Stroke? No, upper arm is being used as a pillow by one of the kids, and the baby is tucked under my other arm. Have no memory of getting up to retrieve baby from crib. Maybe husband will wake up and carry the kids back to bed. Jab husband in shoulder to increase odds of this happening.
2:44 a.m. Useless, snoring husband has been jabbed all the way to the far side of the bed. I crawl out of bed and trip over dog. Dog is overcome with ecstasy, practically weeping at the thought that it’s time to get up. Wave my arms around while shushing dog. Dog leaps up excitedly: It’s playtime? Oh, life is goooood!
2:46 a.m. Carry children to their own bedrooms. Crack toe on edge of door in darkness. Muffle squeal of agony. Manage to hop painfully across the room while carrying baby. Dog joyfully leaps and bounds alongside me, delighting in fun new hopping game.
2:48 a.m. Back in bed. Rub sore arm and toe. Jab husband again, for good measure.
2:49 a.m. A new child appears at my bedside; he woke up when I brought his brother back into their room.
4:05 a.m. Ouch! Blinding pain! Child has rolled over and socked me in the eye.
4:45 a.m. Husband nudges me awake and whispers, “Honey? Why is there a kid in our bed again? They really need to start to sleeping in their own bed.”
4:46 a.m. Feel a vicious creature erupt from my chest and bare its jagged fangs, like in “Alien” movie. Husband, blissfully unaware of his brush with death, sighs self-pityingly: “I guess I’ll move him.”
4:48 a.m. Husband climbs back into bed. Feel hot breath panting my ear. Mutter, “Honey, you have got to be kidding.” Open eyes. Dog is two inches away, staring at me with a pitiful expression.
4:49 a.m. – 4:55 a.m. Let dog out in backyard. Doze against doorframe while waiting for dog to come back in.
6:30 a.m. Voice shatters the quiet: “Mom? Can I play Wii?”
6:31 a.m. Calmly explain we don’t play Wii in the morning. Congratulate self on stellar, authoritative, no-nonsense parenting.
6:42 a.m. “Mom? Can I play Wii now?”
6:45 a.m. Alarm blares. Must get up now or no time to shower. Also really should make children nourishing breakfast for once instead of hurling Eggos at them like Frisbees on drive to school.
6:46 a.m. On the other hand, children need to learn independence. Probably best to let them forage for their own food.
7:32 a.m. Oh, crap! Late for another day in paradise!