I hate when our going to bed routine gets altered…and last night it did.

Ignoring any good marriage counselor’s advice, Rick and I usually go to bed at different times on purpose. I’m going to “man-up” for a moment and say it is basically my fault. Rick produces a very reasonable amount of noise while sleeping and has fulfilled his part in correcting our issues. I just have a difficult time getting to sleep with ANY noise. I can’t help it. Therefore, Rick let’s me know when he takes his Melatonin to induce sleepiness and I jump up and head to bed knowing I have about 20 minutes to get to sleep before he gets drowsy and comes in to join. By that time, I’m sound asleep and it works out just fine. Just in case you were wondering, we aren’t 70.

Last night Rick sweetly said it was my turn to decide what we were going to watch. He then went on to report that WVU had a basketball game the next night and he was calling dibs on the TV. He also informed me not to expect any social interaction or parenting from him during that time. Don’t get me wrong, he will still help with the kids, they may just have to eat dinner and get their baths by 4PM.

(My husband is such a fan, he didn’t consider this, on the back of my kid’s head, overdoing it! Thus, another reason I now cut his hair at home!)

(Heading off to a game! By the way, Rick wrote up a pre-nup that stated he was allowed to go to all home WVU football games. I obviously signed it.)

With this new bit of information, I chose a chick flick without any regards for him. I ended up watching it alone. Rick’s interest was lost when no one got killed in the first 20 minutes. When it was over, I headed to bed tired and sleepy knowing I’d drift off into a beautiful sleep almost instantaneously. I tip toed past my husband, who sleeps like he is in a coffin without a blanket or duvet cover disrupted and hopped into my side of the bed. I lay there for a moment in utter relaxation but then quickly became highly irritated and wide awake, with no possibility of going to sleep in the upcoming future.

You see, Rick doesn’t fall into the category of a traditional “snorer”. My dentist brother fit Rick with a snore guard as a wedding present. That was one heck of a gift from my brother for many reasons. My money conscious husband would say that the number one reason was that we only had to pay shipping costs for a marriage saving device that would usually run about $800. Knowing that % x W(whole)=P(part) you can perform some simple algebraic conversions to determine that shipping/$800= thank you best brother ever for the nominal percentage saved. While I told you that Rick is not a snorer, I didn’t say that he wasn’t, what I like to call, a “puffer”. I lay there listening to long, deep, relaxed inhales followed by a short pause. Then, after the pressure of the exhale builds up, it’s through heavy, relaxed lips, that it puffs out. That’s it, very mild rhythmic puffing. I however, absolutely can’t take it. I want to sit up and yell, “for all that is good and right in this world…JUST BREATH!!!” I resist, knowing he has lovingly gotten used to sleeping with his lower jaw attached to his upper for my benefit. There’s nothing like hearing “good night Sue” through clenched teeth. Its hot.

I dig through my top nightstand drawer to find my ear plugs. I could only find one. I believe I have discussed earlier about having my things regularly stolen and broken and even one time soaked with saliva undiscovered until I put it in my ear. Talk about a Wet Willie. I then began kicking myself for not getting up in the middle of the night last time this happened to write ‘ear plugs’ on the grocery list.

(Note: One would think you could find these in the Women’s Sleepwear department at WalMart but you can’t. Don’t waste your time, listen to me and head to the Hunting department.)

I lay there on my side with my top ear plugged, trying to tune it out and get to sleep but I couldn’t stop wondering how a man, who walks around all day, inoffensively breathing, so quickly becomes an irritant when lying supine. I consider this a universal problem for most marriages from what I understand. A couple of my friends’ husbands use CPAP machines at night. (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) I’ve seen them at the hospital in the ICU. I could imagine the machine’s humming being somewhat soothing. However, just one wrong head turn and the seal of the mask on the face is broken and a loud, flapping fart noise slips out.  I could just imagine myself jumping from the bed, awakened from a deep sleep in fight or flight mode thinking someone had replaced my husband with a 400 pound man passing gas.

I lay there, wide awake, thinking about Harrison in his full bed and Sophia and Haley in their own rooms in their queen sized beds. I then wonder why we, who both work hard to pay for our house, decide it’s reasonable to sleep in the equivalent of a twin bed beside each other sharing a room. Don’t get me wrong, if you read Cold Cuts you know that I’m happily married. It just seems regressive and I like to move forward. I also can’t stop thinking about how I could design a standing frame for people who suffer from snoring.  I imagine that standing while sleeping like you’re a horse and with the proper head position maintained by straps, the problem could be easily solved. With a few minor details in my design left to be resolved, I decide I should get up and find another sleeping partner.

Haley has the nicest bed but her internal compass, with pillow pointing North, is not yet properly functioning being only 3 years old. She has a tendency to sleep dew East which means her sweet little feet jab you in the ribs all night. She is quite however. I contemplate my other options. Harrison’s compass, being 6 years old, is correctly working so I headed across the hall and knew I quickly fall asleep with my quietly sleeping son.

I was reaching maximal relaxation and I knew sleep was right around the bend when I heard him. How could I have forgotten that Harrison had a new nocturnal roommate. You can meet Mickey in Warm Blooded Love. I laid there for a moment hoping Mickey simply needed a little drink and would soon return to his nest. He then however hopped on his squeaky wheel and began blazing a trail toward nowhere. I imagined his inner hamster voice repeating as he ran, “I’ve gotta get outta here, I’ve gotta get outta here”. The pitter patter of his feet and squeaking wheel were almost tolerable. It was the intermittent gnawing of hamster enamel on the metal cage bars that made my skin crawl. The gnawing was followed by what I believe sounded like hamster “hands” shaking at the door in an attempt to avoid playing with Harrison tomorrow. I listened to a couple cycles of: drink, run, gnaw, and shake before I moved on to my next sleeping partner Sophia.

Sophia’s room was warm and cozy and most importantly QUIET. I drifted off to a beautiful sleep but what seemed like minutes later, I heard Haley, in a cheery voice state, “it’s time to get up time”!

So instead of taking a nap on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I enjoyed telling you a story. Sitting in the sunlight and watching birds at my feeder, my heart can’t help but sing a childhood song. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

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