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The battle of late night sleep

Posted: February 23, 2013 - 2:37pm

Rarely do people come out and blab about getting great sleep. People can always use more sleep, a nap time, or the gift of waking up totally refreshed. It’s like how people never say they have too much money. It would be off-putting to hear, because the majority of people always want more money. Good sleep is similar. You won’t hear anyone complaining about having too much.

My husband, bless his heart (as I’m about to throw him under the bus), snored loud last week. I’ve been known to saw a log or two before, but this was more like taking a chainsaw to an entire log pile. As my eyes popped open he woke himself up and rolled on his side to quietly fall back asleep. I’m thinking, “Great. Now I’m gonna be up.” Once woken up my brain wants to play, so I start thinking, thinking, and thinking.

My son is 3 and I’ve been tossing around the idea of ice skating, so that way hockey can be an option for him. Ice skating to me is like balancing on machetes on ice. When I see a bunch of kids with sharp knives on the bottoms of their shoes I imagine the worst case scenario. I have to tell myself the skates will not magically come off and fly around the room like a boomerang. No one is going to toss an ice skate like a ninja star. They would go to jail (the real penalty box). It’s ridiculous, but just the thought makes me nervous. I need to stop being a moron. Hockey is a great sport, I just need to imagine the players are like warriors on an ice rink. They need to tape horns on their helmets so they look like Vikings, so when they smash someone into the glass, it doesn’t alarm me, after all, it’s just the nature of the Viking.

It’s 3 a.m. and thinking about people intentionally hitting each other with sticks stresses me out and makes me have to go to the bathroom. At 29 years old I still have to tell myself there is no shark under my bed that wants to bite my legs clean off. I get up and walk over my mountain of clean laundry. As I trip over the laundry basket a small voice tells me to run. I run. Bravely, I make it there.

The house is so quiet at night, I never like to flush the toilet. When you have small kids that wake up to a sneeze, in the middle of the night, flushing sounds like blasting heavy metal. My nighttime mantra is, if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down. If it’s something else, see a doctor.

One part of the nighttime bathroom break is I like to stare out the window into the neighborhood. I like to think that if a burglar is scouting the place and sees my late night frown and wacky hair, they’ll smell the “crazy” on me and go back home. Flashing my face out of the bathroom window is my personal safety technique that says, you don’t want any of this. It’s unattractive, yet menacing all at the same time.

Before I know it I’m back in bed, staring at my alarm clock with it’s devil red numbers that tell me it’s the the ugly hour of 4 a.m. I start thinking again. I think about how since we’ve started regularly attending church again, I don’t have the desire to punch people in the throat as much. Progress. We were late to church the other week, so my husband found us a seat. Up front. Listen, there’s something about sitting up front in a new church that makes me feel awkward. It feels as if I walked into a stranger’s home and made myself a sandwich. Sandwich. My belly lets out a battle cry.

It’s 5 a.m. and I’m eating a sandwich. The miles on my treadmill the previous day start to quickly void themselves out. I climb back into bed. I think about waking up my husband to talk about “feelings,” but we didn’t make it eight years of marriage with that nonsense. Instead I make a list. I’m a list maker, so after making a long detailed list, I feel relief. Organization calms me.

Here’s the thing: It’s 6 a.m. and I fall back asleep. Do I need a better mattress? Yes. Do I need to invest in some melatonin? Probably. Mostly in the nighttime silence, it’s a great opportunity to pray. Even if it’s while eating a sandwich. Or just reflecting on the good things in life. My last name isn’t Butkus. That’s good news.

Counting blessings beats counting sheep, so please get a great nights sleep!

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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