Friday, April 20, 2007

A Sob Fable

It has been Spring Break this week at our house. Since there has been no school all week and a vacation was not in our plans, we’ve been vacationing at home. Which translates into a fun activity each day and staying up really late each night. After almost a week of this bustle, it is starting to take its toll.

Last night it was 11 PM when DH and I were ready to succumb to exhaustion. We turned off the TV, told the girls (who would stay up until 2 AM if given the opportunity) to brush their teeth and head upstairs to bed. Upon entering our bedroom, I kicked off my slippers and flopped on the bed.

DH was snuggling under the covers when he asked as to the whereabouts of S2. It was then I realized that he had not gone to bed when S1 did, but was still at the neighbors watching a movie. Completely worn out, I assured DH, though I did not necessarily believe it myself, that our son was responsible and would be home as soon as the movie ended. A few more minutes of silence ensued then DH supposed, “What if he fell asleep during the movie? Will they wake him up? Will they even be able to wake him up?”

DH’s worrying was not unfounded. Such a scenario is highly likely for S2, as he seems to go into automatic sleep mode at 10 PM no matter how hard he struggles to stay up late. The poor kid has never experienced New Year’s Eve celebrations. Even the midnight fireworks fail to rouse him from his seemingly drug-induced slumber.

As we laid in bed a couple minutes more worrying about S2, we finally decided we needed to go across the street and bring him home. But did I mention we were in our nice, comfy, thick-mattressed bed? And it was really late? And we were really tired? Another minute passed before DH offered weakly, “Do you want me to go?” A long pause set in. “No, I can,” I faintly replied.

I tried to will myself out of bed, but before I had even moved a muscle, I realized I could hear D1 and D2 brushing their teeth in the hall bath. So I called out for them. D1 came into the room and feebly turning her direction, I asked her to take D2 (for protection from the boogieman, of course) and go get their brother at the neighbors. Seeing this as a way to delay bedtime by at least ten more minutes, D1 and D2 readily agreed and quickly left.

What kind of mother sends her little children out after 11 pm on an errand? My kind. My overworked, burned out kind.

A few minutes later as Mr. Sandman was within grasp, I remembered hearing the front door open and close. Confident my children were safely home, I let sleep overtake my drained body. Only a few minutes had passed when my dreamlike trance was abruptly ended by a sharp scream. DH and I both sat up, then the crying unfolded. Loud and long. And it sounded as if it were coming from a little girl’s lungs...outside!? I bolted out of bed and ran out the front door to see D1 trying, rather unsuccessfully, to lug D2 across the street. I rushed to their aid and carried D2 into the house.

Apparently, the girls had fetched their brother and sent him home while they stayed and talked with the neighbors. Yes, at 11:30 at night. When the girls finally started to make their way home, D2’s big toe failed to see the small metal scooter lurking in the neighbor’s lawn.

I spent the next 15 minutes calming down D2 who was crying more out of fatigue than pain. An ice pack, a back rub, and a face tickle later she was finally ready for bed.

Moral of The Story: If you are too tired to do a task, you are certainly way too tired to have your children do it.


  1. I have a nephew that sounds like S2. He's only 5, but he'll just walk up to my sister in the middle of the day and say, "mom, I need a nap", then he'll go to sleep - regardless of the activity around him. Once, he slept across three laps under the table at a restaurant because we were out at about 8 pm - too late for his little body.

  2. Abi,
    Your narcopeltic nephew and S2 sound like a match made in heaven!

  3. Hi Deborah,

    Great story. Great work. Great way of telling it. And you speak to all of us because just swap names and that's everyone else's story as well.

    Always a pleasure to read you.

    Take care


  4. David-

    Thank you for the compliments I am very flattered!

  5. Deb, "narcopeltic"? That was a huge word, girl!

    Sometimes, having kids do it for you is like shooting yourself in the foot :)

  6. Sorry - that should of been narcoleptic. Seems as while my son is a narcoleptic, I may be a dyslexic.

  7. Hi Deborah,

    Have posted something on my site, in honour of a comment by you.

    By the way, as you know, (see yr reply above) any comments I make or compliments I deliver are always made in honesty and sincerity.

    But as a parent, you knew that already!



  8. what in the world is a face tickle? Funny story!

  9. Dear Anonymous,
    I'll be really sad if you've never experienced a face tickle. It is how I calm my kids down before bedtime or when they are sick. You just lightly drag your fingers across their forhead and down the sides of their cheeks, down their nose and across their eyelids. Now please tell me you've had one.


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