I blame my loss of sleep on He Who Shall Not Be Named.
(He knows who he is.)
In our house, when it comes to sleep and curfews for children, even adult children, my youthful husband and my young self are more than happy to play the “old person” card.
“We need you home by 11 each night,” we tell He Who Shall Not Be Named, our one holdout to empty nesting.
“We are old,” we lovingly explain. “We work. We need our sleep. We worry about you when you aren’t here…”
(BTW, a text at 11:02 saying you are going to work out is not acceptable.)
I’m pretty sure He Who Shall Not Be Named does not understand. My husband is an “often riser” while I am an “early riser.” Oftentimes during the night, he wakes and wanders, sleep walking and sleep eating and sleep messing up my kitchen while checking on the whereabouts of our other home dwellers. But he is asleep almost immediately when he returns to bed a few moments later. Thus my husband has saved me from curfew worry much of the time. He simply awakens me to let me know He Who Shall Not Be Named (henceforth known as HWSNBN) is home, and I am lulled, comforted, back to sleep.
Except when HWSNBN isn’t at home by curfew.
Then our conversation is a little longer and I am awakened from a deep sleep for curfew worry or anger or mere questions. Then I am alert and unable to return to sleep.
Case in point: last night when we may or may not have received a text at 11:02 declaring plans that would cause a missed curfew.
This is how such a missed curfew affects me (in case you want to share it with HWSNBN):
I get up and use the bathroom and drink some water and then return to bed. And then I toss and turn and become aware that the cat is sleeping where my feet should be and I am still thirsty. I drink some water, return to bed to turn and toss. I wonder that I ever resented Florida humidity when a dry, freezing, bitter cold makes me feel completely parched. And cold. I consider that I am cold and add my third afghan atop my blanket.
At 1 a.m., still unable to sleep, I get out of bed, walk to the kitchen for more water, where I see HWSNBN casually dunking freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in a wide glass of milk. We exchange a few mostly friendly words. His include “These cookies are surprisingly good’ and “Are you getting up to work out at 4:30?” Mine include “I get up at 4:30 but leave for the gym a little later” and then “You need to get back by your curfew; I am old; I work; I need my sleep…” To which he replies “hrrrumph.”
I return to bed to toss and turn, apparently. I realize I am still cold and decide a warm head would make all the difference, get out of bed to put on my wool stocking cap, toss, turn, consider that I look like Mushmouth from Fat Albert, remain chilled. The hat twists awkwardly when I move my head on the pillow. I feel warmer enough (yes, not warm, just warmer) to continue wearing the hat and try to keep my head still to accommodate it. I fail to fall asleep. At 2:30 a.m., my husband recognizes that I am cold, and spoons with me in the middle of the bed. I try to make him move to my side of the bed to warm it up, but no. Perhaps a little closer to my pillow, maybe? I try to pull it toward me but in doing so mess up the hat. I straighten it and try to nestle closely. I am finally warm. But I still do not sleep. At 3 a.m., as we give up warmth for sleep, my husband asks,
“Why aren’t you using your heating blanket?”
I turn on the light, dig in the cedar chest at the foot of the bed to retrieve the blanket that I had completely forgotten in our too-warm November and December months, spread it, plug it in and turn it on — and promptly fall out of consciousness, cold or curfew anger or otherwise.
Until 4:30, that is.