by Viv Sade
My tendency to “doze off” in the presence of young children under my care is legendary. My own kids often played to that sleep factor defect by announcing over breakfast that they had made it home by curfew the previous evening.
Since I could not admit that I had absolutely no idea if they were telling the truth or not because I had fallen asleep at 9 p.m. in the recliner trying to watch the same movie from beginning to end for the ninth time, I could not ground them for suspected lateness.
Once, while babysitting my granddaughters, I tiptoed out of the bedroom of the four-year-old, who was sleeping soundly and heard the two-year-old — who was born with her eyes wide open and did not sleep until she was eight — jabbering baby talk and giggling. I peeked into her room and she grinned and waved me in enthusiastically.
“Mon Andmah, read dis book,” she said.
I read through Dr. Seuss’s, “Green Eggs and Ham” three times and the two-year-old was still bouncing on the bed and off the walls, excited at the thought of outlasting Grandma. Geesh. The toddlers even had me figured out.
I finally turned out the light and told her very gently that it was time to go nite-nite. I laid down next to her and patted her back. It was a little chilly. I reached down and covered up with a furry, very soft, very warm, very snuggly blanket.
The next thing I knew it was 1 a.m. and I was alone in the very tiny youth bed. Yikes!
In a panic I ran to the living room and found the two-year-old and her sister on the sofa, next to my upturned purse and spilled contents, their little faces illuminated by the soft glow — and probable radiation — of my cell phone.
Even though I have trouble downloading a photo, finding a website or even making a simple call, today’s kids know how to operate handheld devices long before they know how to use a toilet.
I guided the girls back to bed and made myself sit upright and stay awake until they were fast asleep.
I had no idea how long the girls had been making calls or pushing buttons on my phone, but the next morning, as the four-year-old and I ate breakfast while the two-year-old slept in, I noticed I had three text messages and two missed calls.
Message No. 1 from a longtime friend:
Uh, Viv, am I just way out of the loop (always a possibility) or is your response “TehyedY” nonsense? I Googled Tehyed and came up with a county name (I didn’t look closely enough to figure out the state.) Or is it the name of the Iraqi city where Geoff is currently stationed?
I’m confused, and I suspect it has nothing to do with the glass of wine I’ve drank and everything to do with those tiny buttons on your cell phone. Or did you Butt Dial this text to me?
I’m confused, and I think I need more alcohol to figure it all out. Is it Pub Crawl Time yet? — Becky
Message No. 2 from my brother:
Not quite sure what to make of your late night – or more like early morning – text.
Did you call me a dkdkdkkaosllslslslslsl? Should I be insulted? nFkdgjaldkgjldskjgldkgjl right back at ya!
Message No. 3 from a potential employer that I had sent my resume to four weeks earlier:
Dear Ms. Sade,
We are in receipt of your email stating “vassasassadassssadfass.” We thank you for your interest in our company and will contact you when we have made our decision.
Voice mail No. 1:
“Mom! Is everything OK? Why are you calling at 12:50 a.m.?! Pick up the phone! What is going on?!”
Voice mail No. 2
You know I value you as a friend, but I value my sleep more. If you ever call me TWICE at 1 in the morning again and hang up, I will waterboard you. That’s after I pluck out your eyebrows and glue them to your upper lip with Super Glue. It WILL get ugly.
— The author developed a habit for sound snoozing shortly after birth and her addiction continues to grow.