Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream (Bill Shakespeare)

Tonight my son and I will sleep (yeah, right) at a sleep clinic in a children's hospital. My sleep talking, sleep walking, shower taking while asleep, thrasher, turner, midnight oil burner, wake up exhausted son.

He takes after me. We don't "do" sleep easily. It's something we chase and it is not readily caught. Once we've got it pinned to the ground we duke it out and thrash around uneasily. We tend toward sleep apnea on my side. And we have both types: obstructive (low palette, fat tongue - would make a great singles ad) and central (brain doesn't show up for work and tell you to breathe). Grizzly Adam's side gets restless legs. Our poor son dove head first into the shallow end of the gene pool.

So tonight, naturally, he will not exhibit any of those aforementioned behaviors because they will be watching. And we all know how that goes. He'll have the best sleep of his life.

Not I. I am being relegated to a chair in his room. He will sleep lying down and I, presumably, will sleep lying up. And why I must be right there, every moment, in the room while he's sleeping, I have no idea. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for staying with your kids for just about everything. Hey, I HOMEschool for Pete's sake. But when he was three, and in the same hospital, they told me I could go home and they would take care of him. Of course, I didn't go home. I slept in a chair that laid down. But now that he's 13, I have to stay with him in the full-and-upright-airplane-crash-death-defying position?

Well, that's just the way it is. He and I have pulled our share of all-nighters. What mother hasn't? I'm just spoiled because I thought when I weaned him we would now sleep through the night. And we did. Five years later.

So here we go toward another "Night of the Living Dead." Maybe I'll try to find a shower, like my son, and go lay down on the floor of it and sleep. When some tired, naked janitor steps in and turns on the cold water to wake himself up, I'll know it's time to go home, or go blind.

Copyright 2009


  1. Ok, you are cracking me up again. But seriously, I hope you do find out something at the sleep clinic. Like how to sleep.....?

  2. I hope they can help him with this testing. I also hope you can sleep sitting up. I slept sitting up myself just last night. I am hoping tonight is a better night for both of us.

  3. Been there and done that. I hate sleep studies. It's bad enough to have people watching you and listening to you, BUT, to be wired up with 20 pounds of electrodes and 10 pounds of goo...not my idea of fun.

    I've been very fortunate, and have found the right doses of the right medicines. Sleep is not to be underated!

  4. Hmmm..Robynn, did it occur to you that they really want to study YOU so they know how to deal with the son's problem??
    Just thought I'd toss that at you since you won't be sleeping with a pillow or anything that you can cry into...
    My son and I fell out of the same gene pool(or was that into)...are we related???

  5. p.s....
    I noticed that you are on first name basis with ol' Bill...maybe that's where the sleep or lack of, issues came from..centuries ago.

  6. You sure have a knack... for telling a story... I mean an honest to goodness, not-made-up story. Had me laughing, but sympathizing too. Thanks for the smile.
    Sure hope something good comes- as quality sleep is SO necessary.

  7. I am laughing very loudly right now!!! Hope it goes well and you figure out whatever keeps him awake. Tonight however, it will not be hard to figure out what kept you awake. Take a long nap tomorrow.

  8. Oh, Robynn, I feel your pain! I've been developing patterns of sleep deprivation lately, myself. Just thought the problem was part of aging. I admire the fact that you can still find humor in the midst of your pain!

  9. Hope you're actually getting some zzzz's right now. Whether in the shower or the straight up chair. Sleep is such a big deal, I am not a happy camper if I don't get it. And it has to be just right. Perfect temperature, fuzzy blanket, favorite pillow, white noise, clean pajamas, sleep number set to 45. Of course none of these factors, and the planets, are ever lined up properly. So I pray you and your son have a successful night. Can't wait to hear more about it.

  10. Maybe you should talk to my mom. She used to work nights in her 20s, and she would lean up against a wall for her 10-minute break and sleep. Mind over matter, right? Whew! Good luck to you, anyway.


  11. You poor thing! I hope that they're able to help him and I hope that your night isn't completely unbearable! :)

  12. Neabear: I have no IDEA why they call it the "Sleep" clinic when it should definitely be the "Sleepless" clinic but THANK YOU!

    Kathy: I'm sorry you slept sitting up and figure you must be sick. I'm going to bed right now and I'll lay there and pray for you.

    Libby: Aren't those the greatest? You would know. I know we walk the floors together.

    W.O.W. - Yes, that thought occurred to me and I think you're on to something. Boy would I love to read THAT report (or the BLOG)! And yes, old Bill and I are so similar in so many ways I feel a firstname basis is appropriate. You know....HE's famous - a few people know ME, HE wrote long, eloquent plays - I'm a short story hack, HE became rich from his work - I'm up to a buck fourteen on AdSense. So I'm glad you could see how joined-at-the-hip we really are. You tell Cowboy to hang on to got a good eye!

    BZ - You are too kind to me but BOY I appreciate it. And yes, sleep is a sweet thing.

    Reg: Glad you're laughin' friend but you always have that ready, beautiful laugh. (You all should KNOW this woman - I'm blessed I get to!)

    H. Mama: You just see the best things in me and I thank you for that. And I do think sleep weirdness can get worse as we get older. But I don't know how much weirder I can get!

    Linda: I'm with you. I did take my own pillow and blankie last night (my son took his as well). Gotta have my comforts of home. Apparently, this makes backpacking Europe out.

    and Squeegie: How do some moms do it? Mine can STILL take 5 minute naps anywhere, anytime and wake up feeling refreshed. She used to sleep in the women's lounge at work for 10 minutes on her break. After 10 minutes I'm just beginning to find a comfortable position! My mind works too fast and hard to shut down...or to shut UP for that matter.

    Well g'night (or good morning) y'all! Thanks so much for feelin' my pain with me. I'll post later today when I wake up.

  13. Oh goodness - even in your pain you make me laugh!

    I'll be thinking of you and your son. And hoping that the janitor doesn't want to take that shower...

  14. Am so late for this post, so will comment here and then move on the next post, and so on...
    sleep is so precious, and so awful when you cant.. really hope that it works... restless legs is TERRIBLE!! I get those... but have found the cure. One big glass of water... and a bit more if it doesnt stop... plus a little walk about to stop symptoms straightaway. Right. On to next post. See you there!

  15. Awww..Ol' Bill may be famous, but you are the next up and coming!
    Short stories are the "IN" thing nowadays! People don't have time for long love plays!