I am a pretty great mother, wife, teacher, writer, friend and relative — when, that is, I’ve had eight to twelve hours of uninterrupted hours of sleep and a recent, large serving of strong coffee. Of course, I can’t remember the last time this happened. Realistically it was at least three years ago, and my oldest child is two. So you do the math. I’m too tired.
No, really, I shouldn’t complain. Alton has been a super duper great sleeper and baby-sleep-gods I really am not trying to tempt you into crushing my soul by reversing this, please believe me. A friend recently reported that her newborn screams uncontrollably every night from 11:30-2. I almost burst into tears just hearing this. So Harper likes to rise, roosterishly, in the 5-6 am region. That’s nothing, really, compared with what some mothers have to deal with.
That said, I have been fantasizing about sleep lately. I’d guess my sleep life is about on par with most married couple’s sex lives: totally fine. I get what sleep I need to get. I function. Sometimes (Mother’s Day) I get some extra. For the most part, I’m good. But that doesn’t stop me from fantasizing.
In my fantasies, the bed is big. Huge. We have a full-size bed that is occasionally occupied by 2 adults (granted, I’m the size of an average fifth-grader, but Adam is a normal adult-style-human), 2 small children, and a mid-sized mutt. But in my sleep-fantasy-life the bed is huge and covered in white sheets that are somehow self-cleaning, like pale linen ovens. Nearby windows allow filtered sunlight in through gently blowing white curtains. It’s basically the pleasant-back-home-memory-sequence from any war movie, I guess.
In this bed, I comfortably sleep for hours and hours, waking up only when I am rested and ready to be up, at which time I laze about reading until I feel creaky, and/or am served coffee. I dimly recall pre-child weekends when Adam and I would wake up and moan, “Oh, we slept too late!” and drag ourselves out into the world so that we could reasonably brunch and still call it brunch. Now I wonder if this ever really happened at all. But I think it did, and I think I recall going home afterwards and sometimes NAPPING because the brunch bloody marys had made us drowsy. GOOD GOD.
In lieu of this pornishly excessive sleep, I cling to the single cup of caffeinated coffee our pediatrician okayed for a nursing mother. The dick. My cup of coffee has become a near-sacred ritual. And it has not gone unnoticed. Harper’s ballerinas, when they are having a really good day, go to the lego-block café and read pink books while drinking polka-dot coffee. Sounds like heaven to me.