My ability to sleep for lengthy durations is what legends are made of.
Not to sound cocky, but if the Sleep Olympics were to ever come to fruition, I would be its Michael Phelps. It’s been said, mainly by my husband, that I could rival hibernating bears, or possibly a famous groundhog.
Last week’s two-hour ice-related school delay was just what this sleep-junky needed. New Canaan’s impassioned parent advocacy group that is promoting later, healthier school start times makes excellent points about student wellness and the pitfalls of chronic sleep loss.
What may be overlooked is that weary parents, like me, also could operate at a much higher level of competence, and caring, with a bit more time under the covers.
With the two bonus hours awarded by our superintendent, I coached myself back into sleep endurance training mode. Ironically, both of my children decided to break their own personal records, and for once, woke up early. I tunneled further under my duvet, willing to risk suffocation just to drown out the impossible: Children who wanted my undivided attention and wakefulness.
Naturally, it was also the dawn of my son’s eleventh birthday, so akin to Christmas morning, he swaggered into my bedroom and begged incessantly to open “just one” present—the amuse-bóuche of birthday gifts. Not getting the answer he wanted, I was mom-mom-mom’d to exasperation. The only weapon against such harassment is the threat of donating all presents to charity—say, one that aids children who allow parents to sleep—or, to simply embrace my inner pushover and give in.
OK, one present … Fine, just open them all.
After I conceded defeat to the birthday bully, my teenager, who normally could flatline until mid-afternoon, began jamming on her electric guitar at 7 a.m. Self taught, my daughter can really shred, and while I would like to be supportive of all musical endeavors, I may have used some harsh words to keep the noise down. Hat’s off to New Canaan Music for steering us toward an entry-level Fender guitar and amp, because I cannot imagine the volume generated by the more professional models. As advertised, her amp very effectively amplifies noise—I mean, music—and can even penetrate many layers of winterized bedding.
Having fended off the birthday boy and Joan Jett Jr., my favorite child, the dog, started whining to go outdoors—probably for some peace and quiet. The two-hour gift had officially turned into a two-hour standoff: me against everyone.
In solidarity, I can relate to the annual harassment of sweet Punxsatawney Phil, groundhog and seasonal soothsayer, who is rudely beckoned, forced out of hibernation and lured from of his cozy burrow. From personal experience, I assume that Punxsatawney Phil predicted an early spring arrival just to get the media off his back and to ensure everyone would disband and go home happy. The poor little guy had at least six more weeks left to sleep.
Aw, Phil, I know the feeling.