My Alarm Clocks
Jan 31, 2010
Oh, the night, the night. What a wondrous place it can be. Snuggly poo under the covers. Comfy, cozy sleep. Comfy pillow, snuggle snuggle. Suddenly, a loud retching scream! Another one! I am awake and I dash to the hallway, imagining that one of my children is puking from their bed. Dazed and confused, I call out, "Who is that? Are you all right?"
A chagrined sounding husband calls up to me from the living room. He is still awake. He says meekly, "I'm sorry. I sneezed."
"Oh," I say. Yes. He has nuclear explosion sneezes. I am told his father and sister sneeze like that too. Perhaps the sneeze descended from Charlemagne. A Rex Rgis sternutation. If it had been daytime I would have recognized it. But during the night, it was a foreign sound, like sudden screams of pain from the torture chambers of Mordor. I squeeze my little clock that lights up. 1 AM. I go back to sleep.
Two hours later, at 3 AM, I awaken with a cramp in my leg. Not a normal cramp. It's a little cramp on the lower left side of my left calf. It starts out as a tightening sensation. I faintly sense it as I roll over, but then the tightening increases. I'm trying to imagine what is happening to the muscle and why. Evil bed trolls have a crank and they are gleefully turning the screw until the muscle is bellowing with the tension. I sit up and massage the errant muscle, wondering why this is happening. The cramp increases in intensity and pain. I have to stand up. I hobble around in the dark, trying various stretching exercises, trying not to make too much noise because Peter is in bed by then. He grunts, "Are you all right?" I make an affirmative squeak as I mentally tell the muscle to calm down. I decide I might as well go to the bathroom because I'm up. The muscle is confused. It seems like it wants to calm down but it goes into another fit while I'm in the bathroom. The tension is baffling. Finally after walking around in the upstairs landing for a few minutes it calms down and I'm back in bed. Snuggly poo.
Two hours later. I hear the friendly mewing of the alarm kitty. He comes into the room next to the bed and talks to me. "My dish is empty. I'm lonely. I want to go outside." He extends a friendly paw and taps my shoulder. Then he extends a single claw into my skin and retracts it. The sharp point penetrates like a searching acupuncture needle, drawing my attention and stops. Then again, the prick of the friendly rapier. I sleepily push him away. Then again, stabby poo. "Kitty, stop!" I murmur and push him again. He rubs against my hand. Then reaching up, he feels for things on my night table. Clunk goes the water bottle. Clunk, a book. Clunk, the kleenex box. Talking all the while. "Meow. I'm hungry. Meow. I want to go out. Meow. Good morning, Mommy!" I squeeze the clock in the dark room. It is 5 AM. I have to get up in 45 minutes. I lay there in a semi-dream while he continues to play in the pile of booty he has scored from the table. I'm trying to push him away and he keeps coming back. Then he is at the end of the bed where my leg is sticking out from the blankets. He decides to bite me gently. His teeth are in the configuration of a staple remover. Sharp uppers and lowers, kind of like snake teeth. He bites my ankle, not by sinking his teeth in, but more of a needly scrape, opening and closing his teeth against the skin, not enough to hurt but enough to annoy. He does that several times. I put my leg back under the covers. He's not giving up on his quest to wake me up. I can hear him walking on the piano downstairs.
Sleep is a sweetly longed for, foreign land by now. The gray morning tide awaits. I reluctantly rise and wake our son, the one that I thought was puking during the night. His light is on, but his eyes are closed and his mouth is slightly open. "Wakey wakey." I say to him. He looks at me without enthusiasm. "I'm so tired," he says. I say, "I feel your pain."
I go downstairs to make his lunch while he goes into the shower. Soon the feeble day is stretching toward the windows. I bow to the coffee god and clutch my cup in reverence. The kitty munches his Purina One happily. Our son is off to school on time. The morning is mine. I can accomplish things before anyone else is awake. Then why do I want to go Snuggly Poo again? I am weak, and bed is such a comforting friend.
I think of all the self help gurus who encourage us to take advantage of the early morning hours. This is the time I can accomplish things! Private time in which I can exercise, read or do something creative.
I see a busy squirrel looking for breakfast in the neighbor's yard and his diligence inspires me. I open the Tupperware and find muffins that my daughter baked the night before. The squirrel and I accomplish a goal together. A new day is off to a victorious start. Stephen Covey, Michael Masterson, you would be proud!
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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