This morning I slept in. While usually “sleeping in” means maybe until 8 am, a time that I used to regard as exceedingly early, painfully so, and usually is accompanied to nearly 2 hours of Eric’s climbing on my bed and then sliding off, chortling, removing the covers from me (chortling), and wrestling with a variety of stuffed animals larger than he is (chortling), today it meant eleven. O’clock. Eleven of the clock. And alll for me, all spent in sleep.
And! I just finished cleaning the sofa with a steam-producing machine and a white towel that is no longer white! Said machine used to be my cleaning method of choice to create eatable-offable hardwood floors, but I gave up custody of said machine when I moved to the Land of Carpeting, where it would have little use. But I borrowed said machine for the holiday to remove the various accumulated bodily fluids from said couch.
Which means it’s okay to come and visit me now. I will even show you where you may sit.
(However please don’t ask me if I also cleaned The Green Chair, which incidentally I did not, which needs it and because of that rarely is occupied by me, a person who knows better and remembers which bodily fluids have come in contact with it, whose fluids they were and when this occurred, and let’s just say that some things are better left unsaid, shall we?)
And! More writing! And let’s just pretend that’s an accomplishent, shall we?
And! Breathing! Likewise on the accomplishment thing.
And! Maybe cooking a couple things ahead for tomorrow’s dinner, which YOU SO CAN’T FOOL ME I know it will no longer be Thanksgiving, but for purposes of this house, child-free as they are this day, will be our Thanksgiving.
1. Not working.
2. Sleeping, except for the two phone calls and the doorbell-ring and the cat licking my hair that occurred while said sleeping was scheduled.
4. I have become a Bravo-ho. It started with Top Chef, and once the habit is there it’s apparently hard to break. So right this minute I am Not Working while Project Runway, muted, flickers at me silently from the other side of the room. The choice of which is ironic because even though I own a kick-ass sewing machine, I can barely sew a seam that’s straight. Plus I wear the same clothing every day.
5. Talking to my dad, who is recovering from having some 200-pound thing fall on him. I think it was a bundle of shingles or something. He’s 72. Not sure why he was roofing, but there you go.
6. Newish post up at Loving Awareness (and have a look at the Quote Rotator!).
7. New gig! Debuts next week! Plus! The Parentricity link works now! And I have some posts up there!
Invariably, whenever I run a chat at night of channeling, something I do once a month, it affects Eric’s sleep. Eric typically sleeps pretty well, except when he does this. But my urgency at needing him to be asleep and me as a result free to be downstairs and working by 9 pm on a Sunday must be discernible.
I could swear he was alseep when I left him.
(I have created a monster. Should have Ferberized him years ago.)
9:10 pm: Eric slides downstairs and arrives in the computer room. I tell him to go back upstairs and get in bed. He smiles at me. I take him upstairs, put him in bed, tell him to stay there.
9:14 pm: He’s back. We go upstairs again. I tell him what a big boy he is, how big boys stay in their beds. I can tell he’s not buying it.
9:17 pm: Again. By this time, my chat has begun. I’m speaking into a headset.
From time to time, I turn to Eric and tell him to go upstairs to bed. He smiles at me and gets something to play with. He lays on a big pillow thing we got for free because I wrote a review on it. I would never have bought one of these (pink? with polka dots?) but Eric likes it. He rolls around on it, pretty quietly, for the next hour.
11:07 pm: I excuse myself and take Eric upstairs. He must be exhausted by now. Surely he will go right to sleep! I am regretting that late afternoon nap now.
11:09 pm: Why hello, Eric!
I give up.
11:48 pm: I am finished working but my patience is exhausted. I put Eric in his bed again and go downstairs.
11:49 pm: I have just got my laptop out and I hear him close the bedroom door upstairs, which he does upon leaving the room to come downstairs.
11:50 pm: He’s back in bed. STAY THERE! I tell him I am angry with him.Â He’s almost four years old.Â He should be able to do this.
11:51 pm: I touch the laptop, hear the door close again.
11:52 pm: Back. In. Bed. I close the door. I have just remembered that he can’t open it from the inside.
11:53 pm: I hear crying from upstairs. He is sitting next to the door, unable to open it.
11:54 pm: I put him on his bed one more time. I cover him tenderly with a blanket. I tell him what a Big Boy he is. I use all the tricks. I close the door.
11:55 pm: No crying. I spend the next 30 minutes trying to play a downloaded TV show on my Mac. I am eventually successful after installing three fixes. The third one works. (NOTE TO MAC USERS: Avi files do not play in QuickTime. In case I am not the last person to find this out)
12:53 am: I go upstairs. Why is my light on? It wasn’t on before.
Eric is under the covers in my bed on the side I sleep in. I can see his sleeping face in the glow of the lamp he has turned on. In the light, he is beautiful, trusting, comforted.
1. I got tired of waiting for Eric to fall asleep tonight, so I told him 37 times to stay in
his my bed and go to sleep. He nodded his head each time but never actually said anything.Â When Nathaniel went upstairs to bed about half an hour later, he never reported that he had to actually step over a sleeping Eric sprawled on the floor on the upstairs landing.
2. About 20 minutes later, a completely naked Serena came down stairs, crying and with snot coming out of her nose. Pretty. And…naked?
In the bed.
3. After the washing machine quit spinning, I heard some thumping upstairs. I ignored it. It’s better to ignore the nighttime thumping actually. Not long after, I needed something upstairs and discovered Nathaniel lying semi-asleep on the floor where Eric had been (now safely and tenderly placed on
his my bed), lightly running his fingernails up and down his abdomen. Don’t ask about that one. It’s probably better you don’t know. I got him up and to his bed but he never responded to anything I said so I think he was asleep.
I was a bit saddened this morning when I observed some behavior that’s apparently been going on for quite awhile between my cats.
Oh. If you’re not a cat person, heave a great sigh and scroll down.
Anyway. Yeah, pictures would help, wouldn’t they? Sorry, you’re not getting any this time, you’ll have to pretend you’re a big kid reading a chapter book and too bad but there aren’t any pictures. And I will describe them for you in glorious technicolor detail (the cats, or the imaginary pictures, take your pick), so you can use your imagination. Because I am too
busy lazy to upload some. Next time, maybe.
So. The cats. There are two. They’re black. Brothers. Who, you would think, would love one another, cuddle up, and be nice to one another? Not so. They are out for blood, these two. It’s every cat for himself around here.
This morning they were both all friendly and all when I got up, rubbing against my legs and purring. Which translates to, “We’re hungry! Look! Cute! Feed us! Now! Before we trip you on the steps with our cuteness around your ankles and we eat your face off from hunger!”
So I stumbled downstairs and put food in their bowl.
And then Nacho, the black one, proceeded to go in the living room and lie down.
While Shadow, the black one, ate all the food.
Should I be saddened by this? Poor little Nacho (the black one), waiting for his breakfast like that! So patient. And he was clearly the hungrier of the two, the one who rubbed harder and purred louder. While Shadow (the black one) blithely ate everything in the bowl, as if he had a right to.
This is new, because they used to eat out of the same bowl at the same time. So I am wondering, was there some sort of telepathy or other communication that I wasn’t privy to? Because I missed the memo on the Alpha Cat Elections. Definitely not a democratic process, by any means.
[here comes the segue, don't miss it!]
Cats sure like beds, don’t they?
[did you see it, the segue? wait, I don't think you did, go back!]
Yep, cats like beds.
I like my bed too. Even though I don’t use it for much. Some occasional sleep, stuff like that. But I think about my bed A LOT, and I have to wonder what it says about me that my bed occupies so much cranial space.
While you’re pondering that I can talk about my sheets.
A couple of months ago Nathaniel talked me into buying a new sheet at IKEA. I say “sheet”, singular, because I realized that it’s been quite a long time since anyone who complains much about such things has spent any time in my bed and therefore I could finally ditch the top-sheet thing and just go with a duvet and duvet cover like the good lord intended. Toe freedom is VERY important to me.
So I bought this sheet even though I was dubious about the color. It’s a lovely color, actually, and if this was 1986 I would call it “teal” and pair it with black lacquered furniture but since it’s not 1986 I will call it “ocean” and pair it with my medium brown sleek modern IKEA bed. At any rate it’s a lovelyish greenish blue. Which, to my mind, clashes somewhat with the unfortunate olive (they were out of the red, which would have REALLY been heinous with
teal ocean, but since when I bought the olive I was still dealing with blueblueblue sheets, olive was fine) of my duvet cover.
I really wanted the RED duvet cover, but that would have necessitated not only that expense but (obviously) a color of sheet that’s not
teal ocean. Because I cannot sleep in a bed that’s red and green. I’m sorry, I cannot. But how to justify an expense to replace something that’s perfectly good and only used about 4-5 hours a night?
There IS another set of sheets, of course (I know! so decadent!), a flannel-grey set. Which leaves little grey fuzzies everywhere. And I abhor little grey fuzzies so we have put the little grey fuzzy-producing sheets away for now. They may someday be repurposed into something, I have yet to decide.
Maybe I can sew a large grey fuzzy cat from them.
Oh. Yes. Sheets. Um, I mean, sheet.
Did I mention that the cats, both the black one AND the black one, sleep on my bed, mostly?
The thing with the
teal ocean sheet is this: it shows that there is an ENORMOUS amount of cat hair coating my bed. Which I hadn’t known about when the sheet was grey and therefore, apparently, absorbed all the cat hair there. Or turned it into repurposed little grey fuzzies, maybe.
But the amount of cat hair that I scrape off my bed on a daily basis is exhorbitant, ludicrous, and cautionary.
So my question is this:
A. Lovely cathaircovered
B. Fuzzy-making and not very soft grey flannel that doesn’t show the cathaircoveredness?
And, now that I know the cathaircover is there, can I even go back to the greyfuzzyflannel and pretend I have forgotten about cathaircover? Or never knew it existed?
Or is this my chance to go back to IKEA and get the red and whatever else goes with it?
And can I get either the black one OR the black one to cover the cost of refurbishing
my our bed?
All the children are poor sleepers in one way or another. Serena perhaps sleeps the easiest, though I know first-hand how she kicks in her sleep, and she’ll be aghast one day to find out that I have told you that she sleeps so deeply that she neglects to wake before peeing.
Nathaniel fights battles in his sleep. At the tender age of seven months he began having night terrors, waking open-eyed and screaming for an hour before dropping back to sleep just as suddenly. The first time coincidentally occurred after he had witnessed 4th of July sparklers, and I blamed an entire holiday for this for very long time, but after ten years of this I am finally convinced that it couldn’t have begun by watching sparks on a warm and humid summer evening as the brightness of the sky waned. Fortunately, though, he has toned down the screaming and the terrors now mainly manifest as tormented utterings (a few times in other languages; one night he addressed a group of cows in Spanish) several times a night.
But it may be Eric’s sleep patterns that are the most interesting. He made the transition to his own Big Boy Bed early in August but I suspect he doesn’t think of it as his yet. After all, he went to sleep every night in mama’s wide green bed (which must have mystified him a little, waking up every morning in his crib, perhaps by teleporting there in the night?) for well over three years; how can this low blue bed possibly be Eric’s?
It was made low on purpose, because Eric moves a LOT in his sleep, sitting up and then falling down again where and as he may. He has fallen off mama’s wide green bed many a time onto the carpeted floor, often remaining asleep right where he lands.
But often, Eric rouses, not just when he falls off the bed but any time.
And then, he goes searching for me.
Often late at night as I sit pecking away at my laptop, I hear Eric slowly slithering down the stairs. He used to go down on his belly but now he sits on each step and slides slowly down the the next one below. The procedure makes me a bit nervous during broad daylight; how does he do this in the dark and while mostly asleep? So I scoop him up and deliver him back to his bed.
Is he asleep when he does this? I suspect he is, as he never says anything, never responds, and he always seems content to be returned to his bed.
Eric has been found, asleep, in some odd places. Usually it’s on the floor somewhere in the room we share, but Nathaniel and Serena found him once on the stair landing, halfway down. And I have found him, asleep, poised at the top of the steps, ready to go down. While asleep. And I have seen him climb from his bed onto mine, while he was still asleep.
The other night, late, I came out of the bath and kicked something soft on the way out, maybe clothes on the floor or something, I thought. It ws dark and I couldn’t see so I left it and went downstairs and worked for another hour. When I came back I again encountered the pile of … something on the floor. It didn’t have the usual furriness of one of the cats. It had some give, so it wasn’t clothes. It had a … leg. And arms. Oh, it was Eric. He must have gone searching for me when I was in the bath and then fallen asleep again right there on the floor.
I wonder where we will find him next?
[tags]sleep, night terrors, sleep walking[/tags]
I still get the darker times, just not very often these days. It’s hard to believe that I used to live here. I don’t quite know what to do about them, the darker times, except wait for them to go away. One thing builds upon another, and eventually I am rendered immobile.
And the loneliness is terrifying, yet the feeling of immobilization makes it impossible to reach out.
And sleep doesn’t come.
It’s, apparently, hiding in the same place as humor and confidence and creativity. Don’t worry, they’re all in there somewhere, and they’ll be back on the surface again. Eventually.
But sleep. Doesn’t. Come.
Yesterday we were on a mission. The assignment: to drive to IKEA, buy our stuff, and be back before Eric got home on his bus from school.
1. Eric is gone from 7:50am to 12:30 or so. So the window was 4.5 hours.
2. IKEA doesn’t open until 10 am.
3. But it takes a good 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic, to get there.
4. We also desperately needed trash bags. More on that later.
5. Which means another stop. Plus Nathaniel was jonesing for chocolate from Whole Foods.
6. Whole Foods and the trash bag store are on the way to IKEA, depending on which way you go.
7. But we’d have, what, about an hour in IKEA? To be on the safe side? (Death if we’re not home when Eric arrives on the bus). Is that possible, only an hour in IKEA? Has it ever been done? That place is a time-sucker.
I was planning to leave as soon after 8 am as possible, so as to make our other stops on the way. However, I didn’t count on the fact that I was going to get only two hour’s sleep the night before, and I was moving very slowly.
This took the onus off Nathaniel and Serena, who figured they had plenty of time to play. Inertia set in.
We left at 8:45.
I forgot to go the Whole Foods/trash bag way, and we hopped onto the turnpike. Because it’s faster.
And promptly got in a long long line of stopped traffic. By this time there was no turning around, of course.
Eventually we merged traffic to where construction crews were practicing their lane-blocking skills for no apparent reason (Hey! What do you want to do today? I dunno, what do you want to do? How’s about we block some lanes on the turnpike today? Well, okay, but only if I get to drop the orange cones. You did it last time.)
It took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get to IKEA. Which meant we had 55 minutes to shop and get out of there, because we absolutely had to get trash bags on the way home.
Can we talk about the trash bags now?
I was always a trash-under-the-sink sort of girl. Hide the trash: who wants to see that??! Plus, it’s a repurposing of those ubiquitous plastic grocery bags that self-populate. So for, what, 20-some-odd years, that’s what I did. Easy. Invisible.
Until last year, when I was given a trash can as a gift. Interesting choice of gifts, eh? But out of respect to the giver, a made a place for the thing in my kitchen. After all, it didn’t look too bad, being shiny stainless steel, and it did hold more than the under-the-sink deal. Which meant I could consolidate my efforts and take trash out less often. I’m good with that. So in Colorado both methods peacefully co-existed; after all, how can you undo 20-some-odd years of under-the-sink habits?
But when we moved into our present domicile last August, kitchen space was at a premium. I decided to sacrifice the under-the-sink trash and make a spot for Mr. Stainless Steel.
Trash bags for this thing are available ONLY at one store, so far as I know. Which means I buy several packages at once. In Colorado, said store was 7 minutes away. Here, it’s about 40.
The last package of special bags kept dwindling. I knew I had a trip to make, yet avoided thinking about it. I started trying to conserve trash bag space, taking bulky items directly to the outside to-the-curb container.
However, my efforts were undermined last Thursday when the overly-eager babysitter decided to change the bag in my getting-full-but-still-had-space-in-the-bag trash container. And then left the full bag right in the kitchen, but that’s another story. So we had one bag left, the one that was being used. And I couldn’t stop the children from throwing things away.
So by yesterday morning it was overflowing.
IKEA went well. We bought me some new sheets! This was in lieu of buying a completely new bed ensemble in red that everyone lobbied toward, but I felt the expense was difficult to justify; after all, the existing one in green is perfectly serviceable. But I did like the red. So instead I bought sheets in an ocean blue color, which Nathaniel assured me would go perfectly with olive green.
And we got the round picture! And light bulbs for our lamps! And some colorful vases. And! A computer chair for me! And a little wooden man!
And by 11:20 we had the car loaded, had procured two cinnamon rolls the size of Eric’s head, and were ready to drive home, stopping on the way ever-so-briefly for trash bags.
Oh! Did I mention that none of this would have been possible had Eric been with us? No, I would have spent way too many precious minutes addressing his objections to various things:
Escalator! Nooooooo! I want to go up the staaaaiiiiirs! One step.at.a.time. By Myself. Don’t hold my hand!
Sitting in a shopping cart! Noooooooo! I want to walk! In every direction! I will twist my body to make it impossible to put my legs in the cart! I will hold my feet up! You can’t maaaaaake meeeee! I will cry now!!!
Noooooo! I want to see that thing there! That one! Thatonethatonethatone!! No, I won’t point! That would make it too easy! I will just object! Object! Object!
So. We’re in the car, going the trash bag way, because 1. We don’t want to be stuck in lane-blocking traffic again, and 2. the trash bags, duh.
Intent on 1. staying awake (2 hours sleep! yay!) and 2. getting home before Eric does, I drive right past the trash bag store. Nathaniel points it out to me as we pass it.
However, I am genetically unable to make u-turns, and we keep going. Must. Keep. Going. Cannot. Turn. Around. (That would be admitting defeat).
The overflowing trash taunts me when we get home.
However! We got a box and removed all the stuff that no longer “goes” in the living room (I will take that box to the basement soon, I promise), put light bulbs in our new lamps, and hung the Round Picture, and it looks pretty good. Even if Serena did complain about being everyone’s “servant”, as she was put into service fetching scissors, hammers, boxes, etc. It does look good. I’m looking at the Round Picture right now, above the fireplace. It didn’t hurt too much when it fell on my head before I nailed it to the wall. Soon I will remove the computer chair from the car, too.
The Ex kindly was able to change his schedule after all for the weekend, which means I am definitely going to BlogHer. Which means today I am shopping for clothes to wear there, since apparently I have to wear something other than jeans and yoga pants. Damn.
But I am fulfilling the astrological reading I got a while back in my sleep patterns. Insanely tired at 11 pm last night, I went to sleep after a bit of reading, at midnight. Awoke before 2, wide awake. Sigh. Finished the book. 4 am ticks by. Meditation brings sleep, finally, but 8 am seems too early.
By the way? Apparently, regular trash bags can be made to fit Mr. Stainless Steel, so I have a reprieve.
And the shopping? I’ve had Three Cups Of Coffee, baby, and I’m READY!!
Yeah, I know. I wrote already about how much I luuuuurve my bed.
So I lied.
Well not really.
But the problem is/was, the stupid squeaky air mattress I was using sprung a leak. So I bought another. And IT leaked. So I bought an un-organic but affordable and fits-in-my-car-to-take-it-home mattress at Ikea, and Nathaniel and I awkwardly carried it (it comes all rolled up with the air squished out of it and covered in slippery plastic) into the house and pushed it up the stairs and cut the plastic (being careful NOT to cut the mattress, thank you Ikea warning tag for pointing that out as I never would have known not to do that), then let it unroll and whooosh the air into it, thus plumping up the foam.
THAT sure was fun!
And, oh, I so could not wait to sleep on it! I lovingly put on clean sheets fresh from the dryer (still warm!) atop the softy wooly but not very thick mattress pad, and then admired the lovely flatness of the new mattress, such a change from the weird wavyness of the air mattresses, the wavyness that I loathed, as the top of the mattress was tufted in these huge deep faux tufts, each one inches deep and threatening to swallow small children. It was going to be so nice to sleep on a flat mattress again for a change, all flat and covered with the finest in cheap flannel sheets that shed little balls of gray flannel everywhere (seriously, these are found in the most unlikely places!) and topped with my soft thick wool duvet that I adore.
I gratefully and with no small amount of enthusiasm climbed into bed that night, savoring the moment in the darkness. My new bed. My new, well, ME.
The damn thing is as hard as a rock.
And I hate it. I wake up every morning feeling like I slept in a tent on the ground. With, you know, rocks under my sleeping bag.
I hate it but I’m stuck with it. I can also feel the place where the two box springs under the mattress meet. So I can’t sleep in the middle of the bed, as it’s like sleeping on a huge branch. A branch that’s under the mattress (maybe I should check under the bed for actual branches. You never know).
So NOW, I have to pony up for some sort of mattress pad-thing. A topper, if you will. (Either that or get used to sleeping on a slab of marble.) And I am sort of morally and ethically opposed to foam. Which contains sulfites. Or PVC. Or something bad, really bad, for breathing. Ikea sells some, but they have un-organic materials. I may have to go wool. I’ll let you know.
Yeah, yeah, I COULD just buy another air mattress, but then what would I do with the Ikea thing? I can’t even turn around and go the other way while driving, you think I’m going to reverse course here? Now? After I decided that my new mattress was somehow symbolic of my newly-won independence?
Sorry. Nope. I’ll let you know about the wool thing.
I couldn’t sleep last night. It may have had something to do with the nap I took that began at 7:30 pm. At any rate, I found myself unhappily awake at 2 am, having tossed and turned for awhile, read awhile, stewed awhile. It was quiet, and aside from the incredibly rude amber streetlight poised directly opposite my bedroom window, it was dark.
I was surprised then to hear the alarm for the volunteer for department go off. Do they have these things where you live? I’m still not used to them after living in this state for, what is it now, almost 17 years. They’re this huge klaxon-thing impaled atop a tall pole, strategically placed around each rural-type town, reminiscent of something out of The Prisoner, that goes off with much loud sirening from time to time to purportedly alert the all-volunteer fire force.
I’m thinking that it might be time to upgrade the system maybe, to make it compatible with, say, 1995? Is that too much to ask? Do not these fire men have, I don’t know, telephones? Beepers? Do we still need to alert the entire town, so we can all stand out there handing buckets down the line while dressed in our nightshirts?
Anyway, so my thought at the time was, Oh what a bummer for the fire guys getting hauled out of bed at 2 am. And then I had a little thought about wondering whether the sound would wake me if I had actually been asleep, and if it really woke the fire guys, which led to a whole if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest-does-it-make-a-sound-if-there’s-no-one-there-to-hear-it thing, and then I sort of forgot about it.
Until ten minutes later when I heard a siren not too far away and then saw flashing lights outside my window.
Fire trucks! Right outside! Big ones! With lights!
I crouched by the window which was opened slightly because the faux-spring warmth had made it a little stuffy in the room, and I could hear what the fire guys said better that way too, and watched and listened. My primary concern (yes, I may have been hyperventilating. a little) was that they weren’t heading to the House of Ex across the street where the children were supposedly lying asleep, in which case I would have been out the door in 0.8 seconds.
But no. Across the street from me, but not at the House of Ex.
After a while (about 2.1 minutes) I tired of straining to hear what the fire guys were talking about as they stood around in the flashing glow of their truck’s strobe lights which reflected oddly against the windows of the buildings. They were standing around because there didn’t seem to be a fire, nor did they seem to be carrying people out to ambulances, so I wondered: domestic dispute? Crank call? False alarm?
Eventually they all went away and took their annoying red lights with them, and I was left alone again in the semi-dark, listening to the sound of the gentle rain that had begun dripping. The cats came and sniffed at the open window, straining for some half-remembered memory of freedom and the outdoors when they were but tiny kittens, then perching on the very edge of the bed so as to be as close as possible to whatever action was happening outside, catching the random whiff of fresh rainy air.
It’s raining again now, about 30 degrees colder than it was last night when there were fire trucks outside, and tomorrow there shall be snow.
[tags] fire trucks, sirens, The Prisoner, rain, sleep [/tags]