July 30th, 2008
I knew this post was coming sooner or later. I knew that one of these nights I’d be lying in bed, disjointed thoughts swirling through my head, frustrated by my inability to fall asleep, and think, I might as well get up and write a post!
And while I’m at it, I’d think in my sleepless state, I have a bunch of photos that I’ve uploaded recently to Flickr but that have not gotten many views. I might as well throw a few of those in the post so they can be appreciated! Who cares if they don’t really have anything to do with what I’m writing about?
This nighttime restlessness has happened to me my whole life. There’s not really a pattern to it. It doesn’t seem to be connected to weather or hormones or my consumption of sugar or caffeine. It just happens sometimes. I’ll get into bed, close my eyes and pull the covers over me with a contented sigh and…zap! It’s like a switch in my brain has been flipped to “overdrive.”
I might be thinking about what’s going on the next day, birthday cards I need to buy and send, conversations I’ve had recently, that teacher in 10th grade who was a little odd, that episode of “Moonlighting” that parodied Taming of the Shrew, a friend who is having marital problems…it really runs the gamut. Kinda like this post.
Apparently, this nighttime brain-overdrive thing runs in the family. My brother says the same thing happens to him. It doesn’t happen to my mom or my dad, but I know my cousin Bob’s daughter Dee has the same thing happen to her. When she was little, and she and her brother were staying the night with her grandma (my mom’s sister Julie), they’d all be tucked in with the lights out and Derek and Julie would be trying to sleep and Dee would just be chattering away about anything and everything. She used to tell Julie that her brain was talking to her and she couldn’t make it stop. The first time Julie told us about it, I thought, I know EXACTLY what that feels like!
I think Annalie might have the same affliction, a little bit. But I’m not sure. I think when she is awake late, it’s more from sheer willpower than anything else. Did I ever tell you about the time when Annalie was only two years old and she kept herself awake till almost 2am?
That will seem even more remarkable when I tell you that she was strapped into her car seat and we were driving down the interstate at the time. We thought leaving our house in the early evening so we could get past D.C. and not have to worry about morning traffic would be a good idea, plus we figured Annalie would go to sleep and it would be less boring for her. Ha!
We even told her that she couldn’t watch a movie on the DVD player until she had a nap, but she really didn’t want to go to sleep. She kept herself awake all evening and into the wee hours of the morning. We stopped at a hotel outside Philadelphia after midnight and she was wide awake and extremely silly. We checked in, washed faces and brushed teeth, set up the playpen, did a quick bedtime routine with Annalie, tucked her in, turned out the lights, and climbed gratefully into the soft beds. We fully expected Annalie to be asleep within moments.
Instead she stood up and hung onto the side of the playpen as she sang and laughed into the darkened hotel room, trying to get us to talk to her. Finally I got up and walked her up and down the room for a few minutes, singing to her. She fought it for a few minutes, but then she abruptly closed her eyes and surrendered to sleep. THANK GOD.
So…what was I talking about?
Oh right. Not being able to sleep, thoughts swirling in my head, might as well get up and blog. Random things.
Did I mention that my mom has been here again? Remember how she had to make an unexpected trip back to California because of her youngest brother being seriously ill? (You can refresh your memory by reading the first paragraph of this post.) You will be glad to know my uncle is doing much better. Things looked a little grim for a while but he made some promising improvements and was released from the hospital last week.
I know my mom will be glad to go home soon. It’s been a rather crazy summer for her. She came out to Maryland for Annalie’s birthday in early May and then stayed on to help us through the move. She drove from Maryland to California with us and kept Annalie with her at her sister’s house while Troy and I looked for a place to live. When she went home she had out-of-town company and then found out her brother was seriously ill and went through a week of worrying and not knowing if he was going to get better. Then she flew back to California and visited her brother in the hospital every day for a week. Then she came to visit us for a few days, and as usual she’s letting me sleep in late every morning (“I know you don’t get to do that very often when I’m not here, so you might as well do it while you can!”) and watched Annalie twice while Troy and I went to the movies. My mom pretty much rocks. We’ll be sorry to see her go, as always.
But at least this time she got to see Brenda & Baby Bug before she left! We even walked to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in our little downtown for dinner tonight. It had a cool balcony up by the bathrooms that overlooked the dining area and the kitchen below. Annalie and Baby Bug both would have hung out there the whole time if we’d let them. Luckily the restaurant was fairly empty and the employees were all laid-back and seemed amused rather than annoyed by our kids climbing up and down the stairs several times.
Maybe when we take my mom to the airport tomorrow it won’t be as sad to say good-bye to her since we’ll still have friends here to distract us.
And maybe now that I’ve written this monster rambling post I’ll be able to flip that switch in my brain off and go to sleep. I think I’m gonna need a few extra cups of coffee tomorrow!