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FLASHBACK: Oh sleep, you have escaped me!

Every once in a while I look through my past writing and dust off something from the vault. This piece was originally written in April, 2008, about a month after Ethan turned three.

Saturday morning, 7am. I awake to the sound of rapid little footsteps headed toward my side of the bed. I jam my sleep mask which has migrated to the top of my head sometime during the night back over my eyes and pray the sound is coming from my cat. Who maybe gained 20 pounds overnight?

I am not so lucky. My son heaves himself over my body, and I wince as I am jabbed square in the bladder. This is not good. Please, give me 30 more minutes.

I turn on my side, my back away from the wiggling toddler. Maybe he will bother his father.

I am not so lucky. A little voice whispers in my ear “Mommy, is it good morning time?” I ignore him in the hopes that he will decide to lay his head on the pillow and quietly snuggle for a bit. Maybe I can have 20 more minutes?

Maybe he will fall back asleep?

I am not so lucky. I hear him grab something off the ledge of the headboard and start playing with it. What did I leave there last night? What could he be into? Reluctantly, I turn over and nudge the mask up off my eyes. I pry my eyes open to see him playing with a mirror compact. Sleeping takes precedence over the cheap plastic case . Oh, sleep… I miss sleep. Just ten more minutes.

Maybe he does not notice me looking at him?

I am not so lucky. He takes my face in both hands and presses his nose to mine. I see only huge grinning eyes. “Mommy, you are awake!”

“No,” I say. “I need to rest a little bit more.” He climbs onto me and straddles my belly. “Sweetie, please let me rest a little bit more.”

He smiles lovingly back at me. “Okay, Mommy. I will wait right here on your tummy while you rest.”

My choices are to lie here and suffer a child who cannot sit still bouncing on my bladder or get up and head to the bathroom. No no no no! This is not fair! Gimme five minutes for crying out loud!

“Oh!” my little boy exclaims. “Mommy! I’m going to go get something from downstairs. I will be right back.”

As soon as he is out of the room I haul out of bed and race to the bathroom. Maybe.. if I can back to bed in time… maybe… three more minutes…

I am caught halfway from the bathroom to my pillow. I look enviously at the man still sleeping on the bed.

“Mommy! Yay! You are up! Let’s go play!”

I am defeated.


  1. Teri says:

    Now I have to pee.

  2. Kerry says:

    I can picture those huge grinning eyes exactly! You’ve captured this moment beautifully, and moms everywhere can relate.

    • Abi says:

      Thanks, Kerry! Those days are no longer. Now I have to drag him out of bed in the mornings.

      I kind of miss those days.

  3. lailani says:

    I have a hyper friend- Melissa. We were on a trip over the holidays and everyone decided to nap. After 7 or so minutes of lights-off in the afternoon time, she whispered to me: are you awake?

    Yes, but I’m going to lie still with my eyes closed for 12 more minutes. You need to do the same.

    Okaaaay, she whined.

    45 seconds go by. Has it been 12 minutes yet?

    No. Shhh.

    I have to pee, she says.

    I told her if she got up and rustled around, she’d have to make up the time she took to pee when she laid back down. She stomped off to the bathroom, returned, laid down.

    She whispered to me: If there was a movie about your life, who would play your character?

    Alicia Silverstone. Now shhhh.

    She was quiet and still for 2 minutes before I gave up and let her turn the iPod on for an impromtu dance party.

    I feel kind of like I’m paying it forward for my possible future motherhood.