Sleep Deprived

I used to wake up every morning at 6am, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee with my husband, then spend a couple hours working on the computer before my daughter woke up.

Now she wakes me up around 4:30 or 5:00 each morning with her obnoxiously cheery “Hi, Mamma!”

I can’t even begin to describe how grouchy I am when I have to engage before my morning cup of coffee.

I used to be excited to see my daughter come bursting through the door to the kitchen in the morning. She would always strike a certain pose as she slammed the door shut behind her, and it reminded me of Christopher Reeve’s Superman. Now when I see her eyes peering at me just over the mattress of my bed I get a seething clench of dread in my chest. Not the kind of warm fuzzies we mothers want to have about our children.

I am a mean person when I am sleep deprived – a point which my two-year-old has not yet clued into, but would benefit greatly from knowing.

These days when I consume my morning cup of coffee, I am standing in the middle of my kitchen with squinty eyes watching cable news — or Barney, depending on which one of us has the stronger will that morning – while Ruthie eats her bowl of cereal and I periodically shush her for trying to talk to me.

Disoriented, I have vague memories of silence, of birds chirping, of that still in the air as the sun begins to rise. I wonder what the heck I was thinking, spending those precious mornings doing something so stupid as paying bills or returning emails when I could have been writing, or reading, or sleeping for crying out loud.

I now believe that an organized life is overrated. I do what I can, but if you come to my house and find balls of dog hair floating across the hardwood floors and dirty dishes in my sink you won’t see a look of apology on my face, because that means I had a nap today, which means I won’t bite your nose off when you try to talk to me.

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