The baby of the house has picked up a new little habit: crying…while (seemingly) asleep. Which means I can be found stumbling out of bed several times a night to check on a kid who’s crying. But still sleeping. Nightmares, tooth pain, practical joke, I really don’t know what is behind the behavior, but I sure hope Santa’s bringing me a full night of sleep this year.
The nightly drill began at 12.30 on Thursday night (which is technically Friday morning). I checked on him. Settled him. And went back to sleep. At 1.22 I got up again. Checked on him. Settled him. Went back to sleep. And then there was a third episode. I got up, checked on him. Settled him. And as I climbed back in bed, I squinted at the alarm clock and found it said….1.22.
And I was very confused. Because I could have sworn it had said ‘1.22’ the last time I’d gotten up. And I felt certain I’d slept more than ten seconds in between crying spells. So instead of going back to bed, I had a conversation….with myself.
‘Am I going crazy? Did I get the time wrong? Am I losing my mind?’
‘Is the alarm clock broken – did it get stuck at 1.22?’
And then I watched the clock change from 1.22 to 1.23. And concluded it was still functioning. By the time the clock struck 1.29, I decided to stop arguing with myself and go back to sleep.
At 6.50, the oldest two boys ran into my room and climbed in bed with me. ‘Uh, I guess it’s not even 7 o’clock,’ my oldest remarked, ‘I guess we could have waited a little longer.’ ‘Hrrrmph’ I grunted.
I have a mental hurdle when it comes to leaving my bed before 7 in the morning, so we three sat in the bed for ten minutes before I allowed them to go downstairs for breakfast. Call me crazy – and I very well may be – but being ‘up and at ’em’ when it’s 6-anything (even 6.59) and pitch black outside, makes for a bad day.
I served the boys their breakfast in the bowls and utensils I’d set out the night before. (I was really kind of proud of myself for doing that.) And then I checked my email to see if the professor had made it to New Orleans. He had. ‘Hey mom,’ the Gort yelled from the kitchen, ‘the stove says 8.15’.
8.15? Had I wasted an hour-plus, checking email? Surely not. ‘No, it’s only 7.15’ I argued, though I did walk to the stove to see what he was talking about. Sure. Enough. The stove said it was 8.15. I ran back to the computer. The time displayed in teeny font at the bottom of the screen was ‘8.15’.
And then I remembered the alarm clock debacle from the night before. I hadn’t been crazy. The clock really did break down or do something weird. ‘Do you think we’ll be late?’ the Gort asked. ‘Um, school starts at 8.15. So yes you are going to be late today,’ I delivered the bad news.
Within fifteen minutes, all four of us were dressed, a lunch was packed and we were sitting in the van. Driving to school. And I was having another conversation with myself. About how I might try to explain that my alarm clock had turned itself back an hour. Two days before the rest of the world would set back their clocks. It sounded ludicrous; on par with ‘the dog ate my homework’ but it wasn’t fair for my kid to get a pink slip when we were late because of an alarm clock malfunction. (Yes, it’s true I sound like a twelve year old.)
At school, we made a beeline for the office. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. I probably looked like something out of a Malcolm in the Middle episode, all wild-eyed and crazy-haired. ‘Did you have an appointment,’ the secretary asked. Pointedly. ‘No,’ I replied. Sheepishly.
‘Twill have to be a moral victory.