On November 3, 2009, I became a victim of a well-orchestrated, completely effective and precise manoeuver that I call… Slumber Sabotage! At 9:23 pm, after wobbling out of a very hot, very deep tub of water (“ofuro,” as they call it in Japan) loose and relaxed as a jellyfish in a bowl of wine, I melted into my futon bed on the floor, pulled up the layers of covers, gave a sigh of contentment, and closed my eyes. Ah. I did forget to fill up my water bottle. “Joel, could you fill up my water bottle when you come back up?” Finally, in bed before 10! Sigh.
I think it must have been the sigh that touched it all off. Mothers aren’t really supposed to relax; at least not until they’re installed in a couch at the old folks’ home. “Do you know where the credit card is? You used it last.” “It’s on the table.” “I looked on the table and didn’t see it.”
Okay, so I was the last one to use the card at the grocery store to buy food since we were almost out of yen. I knew that feeling of contentment was never really meant for me. I had stolen that sigh from somewhere; from someone who deserved it more… from someone who consistently put things back.
I toss back the quilt and within two seconds, I have lost the accumulated warmth. Two imperatives drone in my head: Find the card. Get back in bed. I start to count as I head downstairs… one, two, three, four… Within ten seconds I have located the “missing” card. Well, it was hidden under a lid… a TRANSPARENT lid. I turn to recapture the embrace of warm blankets.
“Do you know where my backpack ended up?” “No.” “And my iPhone AC adapter?” Oh, great. I was the last to use that too. “Isn’t that it on the table?” I point to some white cord thingy with flattish connectors at both ends, hoping that I can slip away before he sees that it is not the requested bit of technological flotsam. “It’s the one that plugs into the wall.” Yes, I know that, but I just want to go to sleep. I shove my hand into my own backpack, (I know where MY backpack is) and miraculously pull out the requested cable. I put it on the table next to the card and head back upstairs.
Sigh. It’s 9:34 and I’m ready to drift off. Wait. Wasn’t that my daughter still sitting at the table downstairs when she is supposed to be in bed? Out of bed once more… and it’s not just a matter of swinging my feet over the edge of the bed onto the floor. I am laying on the floor. I have to stand all the way up. Down the stairs, with empty water bottle in hand, to pack the progeny off to bed, refill the water, and collapse back into bed. Big sigh.
It’s 9:39. I am drifting off to La-La Land. Slumber is such a blessing. SMACK! I have slapped myself awake. The sound of a mosquito suddenly whining right next to my ear has prompted this reflex action. At least I killed the mosquito, although my ear is still ringing from the blow. Stupid mosquito. Stupid reflexes. Back to the business of sleep. It takes longer to drift towards slumber, though, after you’ve been slapped up the side of your head. I take one last, drowsy glance at the clock… 9:45… ahhh. I’ll be asleep before 10.
BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP… Aaugh! Who is setting off a car alarm at this time of night? Sounds like our car alarm. How is that possible? Who cares… they can steal the car. It was a free gift anyways and we usually use our bicycles. The alarm stops. It was Elsa who set it off looking for her phone. “Have you seen Elsa’s phone?” I am NOT getting up to look for that phone. I AM ASLEEP!
Joel comes to bed. Sigh. Finally. My personal heater… comes with computer attached?!? He settles in to watch a download of “The Daily Show.” I just want to sleep. “Do you have headphones?” I ask pointedly. He takes his show elsewhere. Finally, peace and quiet. I creep slowly to the edge of that welcoming, fuzzy land of sleepy-pie. Almost asleep… come to Momma… shh.
“I got you some water!” Aaaargh. I am wide awake again. “I already have some water,” I snap “No, I brought it. It’s right by your bed.” “Yeah, next to the bottle that I just filled.” Too tired to argue, I look at the clock… 10:48 pm. Sigh. Completely different kind of sigh. Sleep Sabotage Mission Complete.