Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sleep Deprivation Experimentation

In order to write this blog post I’m going to have to admit that on my summer break from school, I am really immature and juvenile and since I don’t have to get up at dark hairy butt crack of dawn to get ready for work, (you are welcome for that visual) I stay up nearly every night, keeping the owls company, until 1 am or later/earlier, toe-may-toe/toe-mah-toe.  Don’t judge!  Everyone is in bed and I get peace and quiet to do whatever I cannot do during the day because too many other human beings are demanding of my precious daylight time.  So there it is. 

Last night was no exception to my summer rule.  I was enjoying a night of reading, tv watching and Pinterest perusing. Yes, I have ADHD and I was doing all three at the same time.  Around 1:45 am I was doing ‘touch and gos’ , which for those of  you who don’t know, that is when your head is wobbling and dropping causing your chin to touch your chest at which point you jerk it back upright repeatedly because you are trying not to fall asleep.  I decided at this point that I should probably give up the battle and head to bed.  After all the last 10 pages in the book I was reading were just a blur, some infomercial was on and Pinterest had lost my interest.  So I stumble and weave off to bed like a zombie with a belly full of sumo wrestler. 
When I staggered into the bathroom to remove my contact lenses, surprise-surprise, my glasses and contact lens case were not on the counter where I normally leave them.  Sigh.  Siiiiiiigh-uh.  I immediately know why they are not there.  My youngest beastie has turned into a magpie in the last year.  If you know anything about the magpie, you know they will fly around commandeering and collecting bits of stuff left unsupervised by their owners and take it back to their little nest.  Little winged flapping thieving hoarders.  Well, my child does the same.  He flies around the house, quietly collecting little things, THINGSTHATDON’TBELONGTOHIM, and then he hides them all about his room.  FYI- on any given day, his room looks like a 30 year landfill.   Finding anything in this room is an all-day event, and at times, things HAVE disappeared into his room like they were swallowed up by an interstellar black hole, never to be seen again, but probably reappearing in some other dimension, billions of light years away.  If you realize that something is gone quickly enough, you can ask him and he will promptly go find it for you.  If you are unlucky enough not to realize that something has gone missing for a few days, then he has forgotten that he took it and you are just plain ol’ outta luck.   

On the best of day it’s an annoyance.  At 2 am it’s an outright mega rage fest.  So, to be calm and diplomatic I first start searching the other rooms in case he just dropped them somewhere silly throughout the house.  Please, God, Please????   Of course, this is not the case.  As I stand at the threshold of his door, peering into his personal junk-yard, in the dark (even better), I don’t dare flick on the light because I know he will pop up out of bed like a freaking wild eyed Jack-in-the-box  and then be up until 4 or 5 am, prowling the house for more stuff to pilfer to his Bermuda Triangle portal that is hidden somewhere in his 10’ by 12’ junkyard.  I debate just sleeping in my contacts.  Really what’s the worst that can happen?  I already know the answer to this because I have in the past forgotten to remove my lenses before falling asleep.  For those of you who are wearers, you know that sleeping in contact lenses that are not specially designed to be slept in is an unwise decision.  On those very rare occasions that I forget to remove my lenses and I sleep in them all night, the next morning when I wake, the first thing I notice is that someone snuck into my room in the middle of the night and dropped handfuls of sand and rocks into my eyes.  Not those lovely river washed pebbled that are nice and smoothed round.  The kind of rocks that you step on while walking barefoot to your mailbox, the sharp pointy ones that imbed themselves into the soles of your feet, causing you to scream and howl like a pissed off banshee with PMS.  Of course only a moment passes before I realize that I slept in my lenses.  The real issue isn’t that they feel truly horrid in your eyes after a night of sleeping.  The real issue is that they dried out overnight.  That lack of blinking apparently controls the amount of watering your eyes produce and the amount of air that can get into your eye, i.e.: no blinking, no watering and no air.   What this means is that your lenses have adhered to your eyeballs.  So when you normally reach in with the pinching motion to remove your lenses at night, they slide right off into your fingertips easily.  When they are dried however; they become hard and sticky, making them stick to your eyeball like upper lip hair to a cold wax strip.  Not that I know anything about lip hair and wax.   So after gripping them with your fingertips and enjoying a pulling, tearing, tug-o-war, ending with a suction and pop-rip noise like you might experience watching one of the “Saw” movies, your contact lenses are finally removed from your eyes, but probably need to go directly into the trash and your eyes need to me pried open and run under the faucet for about 20 minutes each. 

As fun as this sounds, I do opt to continue to search for my lens case and glasses in the ‘pit of despair’.  It doesn’t give me a warm fuzzy toward James, that he is lying in bed, snoring like a hibernating bear with some pretty serious sinus issues, while I am pawing through his labyrinth at 2am trying to find my property!  As much as I want to grab him by the feet and flop him to the right where his happily sleeping form will plop face first out onto the floor, I resist the desire because ultimately I will suffer for waking him.  Oh and because I’m a good mother too.  Yeah, that one should have gone first.  Good mother first, suffer for waking him second.    I begin my methodical search by looking in all the usual hiding spots.  Sometimes I hit it lucky and will find stuff right away by looking in these secret happy hiding holes.  He doesn’t know that I know where these hoards are and I won’t be telling him anytime soon because I know he would find new places.  One of these crevasses is a favorite spot of his to hide my keys.  Yeah, not giving up that I know where that is!   Back to the search, the first thing that I find when I enter his room is his Imaginext Space Shuttle Launching Pad.  With my left shin.  Too bad that’s not what I was looking for, because I could have just limped away and been done.  Then I found a few spare Legos.  With the soles of my feet.  I didn’t even know he had Legos.  I certainly didn’t buy them!  That would be like me buying James a set of drums, or a wooden baseball bat, or a bag of hard plastic army men.   After some silent cursing and Lego extraction surgery, I make it to his bedside table and as quietly as possible, slide open the little drawer.  Of course it makes a creaking squealing noise that sounds incredibly like the Wicked Witch of the West’s cackle, through a bullhorn.  James snorts a few times, rolls over toward me, bring his arm in a lovely high arc and slaps my bent over back so it feels like I was just stung by a Portuguese Man-o-War.  I’m not experiencing a great deal of tender feelings for my child right now.  Most people look at their sleeping progeny and feel an overwhelming sense of love and an urge to gently kiss their sleeping face.  Not feeling it right now.  If that boy knows what is good for him, he will suddenly stop snoring and be as still as the night about right now.  Though he does not become silent, he is still for the remainder of my search.  Guessing his subconscious self-preservation sense kicked in, as I may have made a guttural growling noise when he slapped me.    I can feel my right eye twitching as this point and I decide I should hurry up my search before I start growling some more. 

Glasses are not in any of the normal hiding spots, so then I resign myself to searching his toy box and dresser drawers.  Ugh.  I retrieve my cell phone to use as a flashlight, of course I managed to step on the Legos on my second trip back into his room.  Couldn’t miss those.  I paw through his toy box, rifle through his drawers, I even venture into the scariest place in the house, His closet.  Fortunately his closet has an independent light.  So I slip into his -not a walk-in closet- and quietly close the door.  I am barely fitting in here because there is ‘stuff’ stacked higher than my head in every direction.  I’m pretty sure there are some clothes hanging in here somewhere, but I surely cannot locate them.  Somehow James dives into this shoe box sized closet every day and comes out dressed in clean clothes.  I’ve often wonder if he could have some magical portal in here that leads to another clean organized closet where he finds his clothes and dresses himself.  Probably not, but it still seems more likely than him finding clothes and getting dressed in here.  I try to turn while searching and a pile of stuffed animals, stacked in a reality defying arrangement, fall quietly onto my head, essentially filling in the tiny area I previously had around me, trapping me in my spot.  Since I was now in danger of having a claustrophobic hissy fit, I decided I had searched the closet long enough and release myself from what felt like the trash compactor scene from Star Wars.  Where was my wookie when I needed him?  Still no lens case, no glasses.  By this time I am audibly mumbling very naughty things and both of my eyes are twitching in a synchronized rhythm.  I re-evaluate my resistance to sleeping in my lenses.  Nope, not prepared to have to use an ice scraper to remove them in the morning.  I debate just removing them and throwing them out, but 1. They are brand new and 2. I am legally blind without my lenses or glasses, so no, not going to put myself in the position of needing to get up in the middle of the night and stumble around blind either. What if the house caught on fire?  I’d sure be toast then.   

@!%&*#!@!!,  Where are my glasses and case?????  I shuffle out of James’s room and stomp through the house again.  Maybe they are out here and I missed them.  Not in the living room.  Not in the dining room.  Not in the guest bath.  Not in the kitchen.  Not in the fridge.  (Don’t laugh, you’d be surprised what I’ve found hidden in there)  I walk to the front door and look out into the darkness.  In frustration, I allowed my head to fall forward where I have failed to judge the distance to the door and my forehead strikes the leaded glass panes.   As I am cursing the door and rubbing my head, I turn to head back to James’s room and by the power of Greyskull, what do I see?  My glasses and contact lens case is sitting among the fish food and algae pellets on top of the aquarium.  Now why exactly, in the hell would James put them there?  Gawd!  That child.  When he gets up in the morn……. Oh.  Wait………   Oh crap on a cracker!!!!  Now I remember.  I was getting my medicine earlier from the bathroom medicine cabinet and on my way out of the bathroom, I grabbed my glasses and lens case so I could just take them out in the living room instead of in the bathroom where I might wake my sleeping spouse, who does in fact have to get up at 5:30 am and go to work. (It makes him really unreasonable crabby when I come to bed in the wee hours of the morning and wake him.  Men.)   I paused to feed the fish their night time snack and must have set them down there.  Whoopsie.  Sorry James.  Really glad now, that I didn’t flip your sleeping self out of the bed onto your face.  You probably would have been pretty upset.   

So finally, after an exhaustive 55 minute search, fraught with peril, terror, pain and frustration, I had my lenses out and glasses on (yes I sleep in them) and I finally crawled my very exhausted self into bed.  By this time it’s past 2 am and I’m so ramped up that it takes me a good half hour to finally fall asleep.  Not long after my lensless eyes closed and I finally entered dream land, I hear an odd noise.   I don’t open my eyes because, well, I can’t.  I’m too freaking tired and no matter how I will them too, they just won’t open.  Just as well.  I don’t really care what the noise is unless the house is on fire, which I don’t smell smoke so it probably isn’t.  But then, the noise is a little closer and suddenly my glasses are gone and my left eye is opening, on its own accord.  Oh and look, my eyeball is beginning to focus on whatever pried my eyelid up by pulling on my eyelashes and is hovering approximately 3 inches in front of said eye.  Wouldn’t his Occupational therapist by proud to know how excellent his pincher grasp is because it’s my darling son, who has shuffled into my room with a plate full of breakfast junk food that consists of a pop tart, a chocolate muffin, a pack of gummies, a fig newton and a hotdog bun.  He then leans down and kisses me almost directly on my eyeball and says “Mom, I made you breakfast”.  At this point I realize that I cannot stay in bed and disappoint the breakfast chef, I’m going to have to get up.  Sigh. I ask James what time it is.  7:12 am. Lovely.  Since my left eye is open already and I still cannot seem to will the right eyelid to lift, I ask James to kindly pry open the other eye.  He happily obliges me and giggling he pops that lid open using his perfectly honed eyelash pulling technique.  Thanks son.  Okay, both eyes are open and at least one of them is working on focusing.  James sets my delicious looking breakfast on the nightstand and assists me further by grabbing my feet under the covers and yanking them out from under their warm home and plopping them unceremoniously onto the cold wood floor.  Alright, I’m up, I’m up. 

I stagger to the living room, bumping into walls, door and the aquarium, thankfully it’s a big one and cannot be tipped over, even by my extra-large plus sized self.  I join James in the living room for a rousing and educational round of Sesame Street watching.  I’d really like to reach through the tele, grab that annoying little Abby Cadabby and give her a Flying Fairy School lesson, sleep deprivation style.  But I sit quietly and eat my muffin and hot dog bun, wondering for the 12 billionth time why I never took up drinking coffee.  We sit like this through Sesame Street and then into Dinosaur Train to which I notice that James’s incessant talking is suspiciously not present at the moment.  I figure he’s either got food stuck in his throat or he’s unconscious, because these are the ONLY two circumstance where he is quiet.  Jiminy Christmas Tree!!!  He is ASLEEP!!!! 
And he is sleeping on top of the remote.  There is just zero chance that my extremely exhausted self is getting up to squat in front of the tv and change the channel by hand on the cable box, so….  Dinosaur Train it is.  Aurgh!  I guess this is my karma payback for mentally haranguing him last night when he was, for once, innocent of all charges.  Although, after he woke me at 7:15 in the am, I was revisiting my decision not to flop him onto the floor last night.  Sigh. Siiiigh-uh.

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