I’m willing to bet that, if you’re a new parent, you’ve lain awake some nights hearing that first little cry over the baby monitor, and prayed that Li’l Bundle o’Joy will just snortle himself back to sleep.
As you lay there counting off the brief minutes until you’ll be forced to greet the day, I’m willing to go double or nothing that you started counting off the hours until Li’l Mortimer was a grown-up kid and would sleep through the night. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Readers Interrupted, I am here to tell you THAT heavenly moment may never come.
Recently, after a grueling weekend that followed a grueling week, I stood at my office door for roughly 10 seconds before realizing that I was attempting to open the door with my car key. Which wouldn’t be so bad; a key, after all, is a key and I think we can all see how one might grab the wrong key to insert into a lock, which in all fairness looks like every other keyed lock.
Except that I wasn’t using the key; I was standing in the hallway stupidly wondering why the remote trunk release on the key wasn’t making the door pop open. When I hung my head in embarrassment, I realized I was wearing two different shoes.
I took that as a sign that I might need more sleep, so when I arrived home that evening I informed the Interrupteds that I was going to bed early. And so I did.
At 2:30 a.m. I snapped awake, hearing a furtive noise in the main part of the house. The dog? I rolled over.
At 2:31, I snapped awake. More stealthy noises. A crafty burglar who knew how to beat the alarm system? Dad Interrupted snored on.
At 2:32, I realized that the burglar was using the microwave, which indicated that it wasn’t a burglar or if it was, it was one so inept that I could easily take ‘em. So I threw on a robe and headed for the kitchen only to find my youngest son channeling Netflix on TV and dancing around the kitchen cooking nachos.
When I asked him why oh why was he not snug in his bed, dreaming of whatever a 14-year-old boy might dream, he could only offer, “It’s just that it’s so nice to have the house to myself.”
By 3 a.m. he was hustled off to bed, I had stumbled off to my own and had fallen asleep again, thinking that I had two full hours before I had to get up to go to work.
Except that I didn’t, because my husband’s cell phone started to ring right next to my head at 3:45. A work-related call from a job site. Dad Interrupted politely took the call, and I rolled over and mercifully fell asleep.
For three whole minutes, when Dad Interrupted’s alarm, set in anticipation of that phone call, blasted me from a sound sleep, never to return.
So now you’re standing in the middle of the kitchen holding a crying baby with a nuclear waste diaper and you’re wondering if you’ll sleep through the night again.
I don’t want to sound cranky, but I’m cranky myself from no sleep, so please understand when I say: I wouldn’t bet on it.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Elizabeth Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears monthly.