I really miss my sleep. I do.
I got to bed just a little bit late last night, around 11:00. I was nicely and deeply asleep by 2:00. I know this because I was rudely awakened by a door opening. I glanced at our door and saw light shining through the cracks. I lay quietly and waited for the child, whoever it was, to reveal his or her intention (and thus my obligation) by either flushing the toilet and returning to bed (I go back to sleep), making loud vomiting noises or calling out for help (I wake up my husband), or making no sounds at all (I have to get up and investigate).
The last is the worst and, of course, is what I got. Nothing but silence and light shining under the door. With a sigh as I felt the last vestige of heavy sleep leave my eyes, I threw off the covers and checked the time. 2:00.
As I opened our door, I was surprised to see that the lights in the hallway, boys’ bedroom, living room, and dining room were all on. I stepped into the boys’ room and didn’t see Daryl. I didn’t climb the bunk bed to see if Hal was buried among the stuffed animals. I hurried down the hall, confused and agitated.
I rounded the corner to the kitchen (light also on) to find Daryl fully dressed for school, including shoes, and packing his lunch.
“What are you doing?!” He jumped and turned his alarmed eyes my direction. Before he could answer, I explained my question. “It’s 2:00 in the morning!”
“Well I didn’t know that!” he exclaimed defensively. “I woke up so I started getting ready.”
“That’s the beauty of an alarm clock,” I countered. “You know it’s not time to get up until it goes off.” Daryl had faithfully and successfully set and rose with his alarm clock every school day for the first couple weeks of school. Since then, he’s been failing to set it and I’ve had to wake him each morning when I realize he’s not getting up.
I marched down the hall, gauging the state of wakefulness in my own body. I knew it’d be a long while before I got back to sleep. Just enough time to be deeply asleep again when my own alarm went off at 5:30.
I entered the boys’ room, tiptoed carefully through the hockey gear scattered over the floor to dry out, and quietly pulled the cord on the light to turn it back off. Hopefully, Hal would sleep through the experience. I stepped back out into the hallway and waited for Daryl, reminding him as he approached that he needed to turn off the lights behind him.
About then, a sleepy and angry voice called out from the top bunk. “Mooo-ooom! That woke me up!!”
“I’m sorry, Hal. Your brother got up and turned on all the lights.”
“I didn’t wake up when Bubba turned on the light, Mommy. I woke up just now because of you.”
This accusation was too much for me. “Gee, I’m sorry, honey,” I said, not really caring if he was old enough to catch the sarcasm. “I am so enjoying being awake at 2:00 in the morning. I was just trying to turn the light back off so you guys could sleep.”
“Well you didn’t have to wake me up!”
I returned to bed and composed this blog post in my head until sleep finally reclaimed me. People think the sleepless time is only while the children are infants. At least infants have the decency to let you know that you will be sleepless every night. You can, to some degree, plan for it. The older, stealthier kids spring it on you when you least expect it.