I’m afraid I’m turning in to an accidental night owl. I never was one before; I’ve always been a morning person. But lately when I get in bed I just start thinking and my mind races, and I toss and turn. Sleep doesn’t come, and I look at the clock and realize I’ve been lying in bed and changing positions for two whole hours and then I get so angry about the wasted two hours that I REALLY can’t sleep and it’s just a vicious cycle of sorts. Then I finally fall asleep and am awakened by one of my cats at 4 am wanting to be let out. I’m livid about this, by the way; I’m completely accepting of the fact that my children are going to be waking me up during many nights over the next 18 years or so, and I signed on for that. I did not sign for it with the cats, so both of them are now getting the boot each night before I get in bed.
So sometimes, while I’m practicing my Not Sleeping routine, I think about current things that are occupying my waking hours, and sometimes I think about past things. Usually such memories are embarrassing ones. Why is it that we can remember every little slight, every humiliation in minute detail?For example, I lived in Rome for a summer during college. I graduated with an Italian language minor, and I learned more living with a host family for 2 months than I ever did during classes. These months weren’t without their embarrassing moments, of course; the best one was the evening at dinner when I blithely said to my host mother, ” Non vale il pene” which I thought was “it’s not worth the pain” which basically is an equivalent to “no big deal.” Now, see, it would have meant that, had I not said “il pene” rather than the correct word “la pena.”
That’s right, folks. I said “It’s not worth the penis.” At dinner. To my host mother.
Luckily she had a sense of humor.
And you know what the worst part was? I had READ that slip-up in a book. The protagonist in the novel did the same thing and I REPEATED the mistake. In the words of Homer Simpson, I certainly felt S-M-R-T.
Please tell me there are those of you who have done something similarly humiliating. Strength in numbers, people!
The house is much, much quieter now. We’ve mastered the dropoff, the pickup, the waking up, the lunch making, the hair combing. We’ve figured out how to schedule bathtime, book time, bedtime. We listen to music, we talk about our day, we giggle and laugh. I get frustrated when I have to ask her seven times to please put on her shoes. She gets frustrated when I won’t let her have a snack ten minutes before dinner. We have a routine. We know each other. She thinks I can fix everything.
But yesterday she came home quiet, and said that S and S, her preferred school pals, didn’t want to play with her. “They said they were playing a game with just two. So they wouldn’t let me play. And that they didn’t want to be my friends today.” I wanted to hit something, to hold her tight, to play with her EVERY DAY and show her that those kids don’t matter.
But instead I just held her, and smoothed her hair, and read her a book. And that night, I cried in my bed, because someone hurt my baby’s feelings. I can’t believe it’s already starting.