It seems to me that I was plunged into sleep deprivation the night my first child was born and have been struggling to get out of that debt ever since. For example, here's what happened when I went to bed the other night at 9:00pm, knowing I had to get up at 5:00 the next morning.
9:10: My daughter calls to ask if she can stay out past curfew, which is 9:00pm on a school night. I tell her this is like closing the barn door after the horses have escaped, which earns me a puzzled silence. I tell her no, come home immediately.
9:20: My son bursts in to report that his sister is out past curfew. I tell him I know. Will she get in trouble, my son eagerly asks. Yes, go to bed, I say. Will she be grounded for a week, he wants to know. You are up past your bedtime, I remonstrate, go to sleep. Yeah but she's out past curfew, he counters. I know that now go to bed, I tell him. He sulks off.
9:30: My daughter calls to ask if what I am telling her is that we are getting horses. No of course not and where are you, I demand. She explains that since she was in trouble anyway she figured she might as well stay at Katie's house and watch the rest of the movie. Come home now, I thunder, earning me the Meanest Man in the World Award for the 48th month in a row.
10:00: My daughter's home. The house rocks with what feels like incoming artillery as she stomps down to her room, slamming all the doors in her path, even some she doesn't pass through.
10:15: The phone rings. It is my daughter's friend, calling to tell her how the movie ended.
11:00: My son comes in the room to tell me he is having trouble sleeping. Must be contagious, I say. Can I listen to music, he asks. Whatever, just go to bed, I reply.
11:15: My daughter storms into my bedroom and demands I tell my son to turn off his music because it is keeping her awake. That's stupid she can't even hear it, he responds, following her in. Oh yeah then how did I know you had it on, she snaps. Because you came in my room to see, he claims. That's stupid why would I do that, she wants to know. Turn off the music and both of you go to bed, I shout. They leave, muttering.
11:45: My dog spies something in the yard which can only be barked at through my bedroom window.
11:50: My son comes in to ask what the barking was about. I tell him I have no idea and suggest we donate the dog to science.
12:00: My son returns to ask if he still has to go to school tomorrow even though he was up so late. Of course, I tell him, go to bed.
12:30: My phone rings. It is my sister, calling from a bar in San Francisco where she is on vacation and, from the sound of it, attending a shouting festival. I ask her if she is familiar with the concept of "time zones." I can't hear you it is too noisy in this joint, she responds. I will call you from a quieter place. Don't! I plead as she hangs up.
1:30: I am lying awake, dreading my sister's next phone call.
2:00: The dog charges the window again, snarling. This flurry of aggression startles the cat, who rockets off the bed, claws extended as she scrabbles across my bare chest.
2:05: My kids stumble in to find out why I screamed.
2:30: The dog yelps and whines in her sleep, dreaming about whatever it is in our yard.
3:15: My sister phones to apologize for calling so late, but she knew I'd be worried if she didn't call back. I was not worried, I assure her. You never cared about me, she sobs, hanging up.
4:00: I am mentally refuting the argument that I never cared about my sister. No jury in the world would disagree with me.
4:15: This time, when my dog attacks the window, I get up and let her out.
4:30: My neighbor calls to complain my dog has treed something in his yard.
5:00: The alarm goes off.
| This newsletter may be distributed freely on the internet but PLEASE include subscription and copyright information.
The Cameron Column
A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 2000
To subscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "subscribe cameron" in lower case as the first line in your message.
Submitted By: Anonymous
Dec 5, 2000 06:52