So tell me this... By the time your youngest child is in High School, they should be sleeping through the night, yes? I mean most kids master this in the first year of life. Am I wrong? Even kids who have a little something extra? I'll just go ahead and answer that stupid question for myself.... Nope, not always so. I mean really, this is my third child. I've already survived two teenagers. Teenager #1 was "The Strong Willed Child"
who delighted in postulating hypothesis' based on the limits of my sanity and then using her natural born skills to test them out. Daily. She had an infuriating knack for arguing about things. Everything. Even things that I agreed with her on, she would change her mind just so she could argue about it. But I survived her tests, and arguments and she survived my sanity lapses. Teenager #2 was such a mellow kid until he turned 13. Then he had a wee transformation. This kid fabricated so many wild stories that he could come into the house soaking wet and tell me in was raining and I'd have to go look myself. This same child decided that his calling in life would be troublesome, edgy humor and he endeavored to make sure he truly was Olympian quality at it. I'm certain the principals and the district superintendent had my cell number on speed dial and his photo on a dart board on the back of their office doors. But again, I survived this child's particular brand of nerve killing mischief as well. But teenager # 3, this child may be the one to snap the camel's back, the one who makes the fat lady sing, the one to pick that final straw. He who must not be named just might be that kid who pulls that fateful Jenga block from the very bottom of my sanity tower and brings it all tumbling down. Why you ask? Because he gets up at night. I'm sure you're thinking that the Jenga tower must have already fallen because that doesn't sound like such a big whoop. But oh, he doesn't just get up at night, no.... He gets up and gets into things. For example, Halloween night, I took My Precious trick or treating, he got tons of candy (fabulous) and I doled out a small amount for him to have that evening and explained to him that we would have a little each day but we couldn't eat it all at once because "it'll make ya 'green apple nasty' sick". Oh, but he understood. Fervently nodding his head and saying "Well... Isuredontwannagetsick". That's right, my dear, so I'll just put this here purple pumpkin full of sugary treats right up here on top of the fridge and we'll hit em' up again tomorrow. Little did I know, in his head, tomorrow was in three hours. So we went through the the nightly routine, and he quickly drifted off to dreamland. Yippee. I quickly did my own sleepy time routine and hit the hay as well. It felt like ten minutes had gone by when I heard a giggle and a rustling noise. Oh fantastic, what the hell was that? My first thought was Oh please let it be a psychotic clown playing an accordion in my living room because if its not then that means my darling wee beastie is out there, obviously getting into something he shouldn't. Rustling and giggling continue along with an occasional "oh man!" Unfortunately, daddy is in Spain and it's unlikely I can find a way for him to handle this from halfway around the planet. Although I do at least take a moment to run through some mental scenarios to avoid having to get out of bed at 1 am...again. None of them have a desirable outcome and a few of them might call for some bail money. Sigh. Yup, I'm gonna have to get up. I flop one leg over the side of the bed with the hopes of it dragging the other leg with it. I was banking on the scientific principal of inertia. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. Apparently that doesn't work at 1 am because my one leg just dangled over the side of the bed while leg # 2 stayed firmly planted on the mattress. I dredged up from the bowels of my brain, a tiny sliver of willpower and managed to get both feet on the floor. That little part of psyche that worries about the safety of said giggling manical clown, managed propel myself to a sitting position and get me standing on two feet, which just happened to be partially numb from the tense position that I apparently sleep in. Both feet tucked up and my arms wrapped around my knees. Obviously this is not a fabulously circulatory position choice for the forty something crowd because said numb feet we're definitely not in the cooperating mood. I staggered to the door and bumped into the wall twice on my trek down the hallway. When I crested the living room door, what do I spy but my precious angel, tucked up on the couch, headphone on, blasting P!nk's Funhouse at a volume that makes the fillings in my molars vibrate, and lo and behold, there in his lap is the purple pumpkin bucket with at least a dozen mutilated candy wrappers scattered all around him. Fortunately for him, and not so fortunate for me, there were also several half eaten pieces of candy laying about where he had obviously been taste testing instead of wholly consuming. Maybe that would minimize the stomach horror that would surely follow a kid with Colitis who had just fully consumed more than 12 pieces of pure sugar, caffeine and God only knows what else. I zombie walked up to him (feet still numb), pulled out one ear of his headphones and said "For the love of all things sane, what the Sam Hill are you doing"? He looked up at me with his chocolate infested toothy smile and said "Oh, hi mom. Good morning. Want some candy? I saved you some." This is where I heard the dangerous creak of the Jenga blocks. Oh how they sway and jiggle. I pulled his headphones all the way off, informed him of the unholy time of night that it was, cleaned up the candy mess and dragged him back off to bed. Once he was tucked back in I hid the purple pumpkin in my closet and crawled back into bed, where my feet could comfortably fall back asleep until real morning time. I hadn't had my head on the pillow for more than a minute when I heard teenager #3 flopping around on his mattress, which has many old and stiff springs. As I lay in bed for the next hour I was serenaded by a symphony of squeaking, creaking and popping bed springs with a melodious farting accompaniment, as my angelic son apparently was suffering sugar spasms, caffeine seizures and Colitis quakes. Again I'm going to mention that I'm forty something and though I haven't quite topped the hill and slid over it, I can surely see the top. And someone my age who has flown too close to Insanity Bermuda Triangle and somehow miraculously managed to escape every time, this new lack of sleep is weakening my jet engines. I fear one of these days the Disturbed Dimension is going to drag me in. I do take some comfort in knowing that I probably won't be lonely in there because I'm quite sure the three teenagers parallel exist in there too.