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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

February 18, 2014

I was laying on my left side, sleeping quite peacefully when the disruption began, quietly at first, then more persistently…

“Not now, Jimbo,” I mumbled half-heartedly.

His nuzzling continued, morphing into little love bites on my right earlobe. I could feel his warm breath as it caressed my neck…

“Noooooooo,” I whined, longing to return to blissful sleep.

My complaints fell on deaf ears. I swatted ineffectively behind me but he just wouldn’t stop. It was unlike him to ignore my needs… and I was decidedly NOT in the mood for love.

Begrudgingly, I cracked one eye open and peeked at the clock… it glowed back at me, its green numbers nearly boasting aloud as it read; 3:00 a.m… 3:00 a.m.

Sleep is a precious commodity at our house… more precious than gold. More important than money…

Jim routinely gets caught up in a bad habit of napping too long during the day when he hasn’t slept well the night before, then he can’t get to sleep the next night.

My sleep/wake cycle was sacrificed when I worked shifts as a nurse for nineteen years. I’m paying the price now with disrupted circadian rhythms.

The nuzzling on my neck continued and I was becoming angry. “What is he thinking?” I wondered. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I knew what he was thinking… what I really wanted to know was why now?

We’re not newlyweds; we’re rapidly approaching our twenty-sixth anniversary. We know one another better than anyone else… we don’t always see eye to eye, but we work things out. We balance each other. In some ways, we’re completely opposite, and in others, we are one. Many times, we complete each other’s sentences… We know what the other is thinking… usually.

“Why now?” I repeated aloud.

Jim became more persistent and my irritation increased exponentially.

I flipped onto my back, prepared to give him a good tongue-lashing. I knew just what I was going to say…

But it was I who was startled…

I opened my eyes and mouth at the same time, which turned out to be a mistake…

Heidi interpreted those actions as an invitation to inspect my dental work and wash the sleep from my eyes… she jumped onto my chest causing me to exhale with a whoosh. Then she set about her work, licking my face vigorously while pawing at my hands.

She was awake and well-rested. Eager to begin her day with a session of ambitious play.

Me, on the other hand? I wanted sleep… several more hours’ worth.

It took several minutes and a stern reprimand to convince the dog to settle down before I was able to go back to sleep.  Jim slept through the whole ordeal and I tried not to resent him for that…

The following morning, Jimbo told me that when he came to bed the night before, after I was asleep, Heidi wanted nothing more than a rousing session of play… which he strongly discouraged.

We were united that day, and every day since, taking turns tossing Heidi’s toys and playing ‘tug’ with her…anything to deplete her energy… all in pursuit of restful sleep.

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