Drifting off during bedtime stories ain’t just for kids anymore.
I’ve read all our books, even the brand-newly-rented library books dozens of times. And I often change the words to engage Peanut in the story, adding questions for him or descriptions of the illustrations. In fact, he thinks one page of his favorite book actually says, “what do you see?” because when he reads it to me, that’s how he reads the page.
Anyway, when we read (several times a day), I sometimes (not proud of this) close my eyes and read the book from memory. I check in often, but I’m tired. My eyes hurt. We’ve read these books hundreds of times. They are not treatises in philosophy. They’re children’s books. I have a Master’s in English. With honors. I can handle faking Where the Wild Things Might Be if I Were Looking Right Now.
So I occasionally, also, fall asleep while intoning my made up version of the story. (I mentioned being somewhat ashamed of this, right? But I mentioned that the kid doesn’t watch t.v. and that he doesn’t sleep through the night and that our bedtime ritual is precise and regular and has been since four months old and that I don’t have any help except when Spouse is home and that I’m writing when I should be napping, right? You did, at least, get that from the title of the blog, right?) And Peanut sometimes turns in my lap to figure out why I’ve stopped. Or he begs, “Please. Read.” loudly enough for me to awake.
Last night I jerked back awake because I heard myself say, “They ask the pigs, but no help. They ask the police officer…but…no help. They…..ask…….the………..guerilla marketing.”
I only woke up because I thought I was in a meeting. Once I realized it was Bananas Gorilla, I turned the page and closed my eyes again. (Mr. Fixit comes next and tows the car, in case you were worried that the police officer didn’t help. He radioed for help but couldn’t stop. Chasing a repeat litterer.) Peanut didn’t know what guerrilla marketing meant. I need to step up the branding flashcard sessions.
As with the time I was on summer break and woke up with a book in my lap, terrified that I was missing lecture, late for a test, and late with a paper, only to realize that I was reading for pleasure; waking up this time I was terrified that I’d be fired for sleeping on the job, would have to find a new job, and would languish in a state of underemployment where I made no money and earned no respect.
Oh, wait. That wasn’t a dream. That was my life. Some days I wish I could get fired and that they could hire someone more capable for the job. Except that I’m the they and I don’t know that there is someone more capable.
Guess I should nap tomorrow.
“Some days I wish I could get fired and that they could hire someone more capable for the job. Except that I’m the they and I don’t know that there is someone more capable.”
Thank you. I have never read anything that captures my feelings about motherhood with such elegant economy.