Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April Fool's

Before April comes to an end, it is time for me to own up to something:

I woke up on April 1st and thought, “Who could I play a joke on today?” The answer came just a little bit later, when I began a day of hilarious and outrageous jokes, all played on ME! After dropping the kids at school I discovered an opera CD I’d forgotten in the car at some point, and put it on. The beautiful, sonorous voice of Andrea Boccelli filled the car, and I loved listening to something I had chosen rather than what the kids wanted. I actually smiled on the way to class! What a great way to start the day! Until, uh-oh, I realized I’d been so blissed out with Andrea that I’d missed my exit to the JCC and yoga class. But I couldn’t just turn around because that exit was the last one before heading over the San Mateo Bridge, which runs TEN MILES across the bay into the east bay. I knew from previous experience that there was no way out, I was going across that bridge. So I relaxed, listed to Boccelli, and enjoyed the view, for ten miles across and ten miles back again (plus $4 for the toll).

I got back fifteen minutes into class and it was full, but never mind, I’d do my weights anyway. First I stopped in the locker room to dump off my yoga mat, and proceeded to lock it and THEN set the combination. Oops.

Later my pen ran out of ink and then the toilet paper ran out.

My streak of good-natured fun continued as I raced from elementary school pick-up to preschool pick-up only to realize upon pulling into the parking lot that I’d already arranged a ride for my son. After that, kids recovered, I drove them to their ice-skating lessons, leaving my purse behind.

There was even more. Mostly, I felt a little off-kilter, as if anything could happen. Like backing the car over a nun. Which luckily, did not really happen, as she saw the car and waited, but I didn’t see her until I was most of the way out of the driveway. Granted, she was old and short, and I was very apologetic and she was very nice about it, and did I mention it didn’t really happen, but I’d better get the hedges trimmed lower.

So, with the exception of the Sister, I’m sorry if you were waiting for a joke and I didn’t play one on you. There was no short-sheeting or broccoli in the cereal bowls.

This year all the jokes were reserved for me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Sleep. I want to talk about sleep because I’m starting to believe in the vague notion that more of it is better. For instance, I did an experiment last week. I went to bed at 10:30 instead of the usual 11:30-12 creeping toward 12:30 – which usually is for no good reason except I need a certain amount of non-kid time at the end of the day and as daylight savings glows brighter each night, they go to bed later and later, even when I start baths, etc. at 6:30.

Anyway, I went to bed at 10:30 and lights off before 11:00 and nothing after that, just blissful dark, and I got my husband to go to bed early, too, because otherwise I can’t sleep, and the next day was, and this might be coincidence, I don’t know, better. It was a good day. I got the kids out the door on time without major fights or yelling. I dropped Aaron at preschool and he extracted a plastic butterfly from his jeans pocket (the jeans were, remarkably, clean enough to wear a second time and it was in the pocket from the day before). Then his face became very sad and he looked at me sadly and held up the butterfly, which was missing an antennae. “Are you sad?” I asked. He nodded. We tried to think up a plan to fix it, though I couldn’t see how to make another antennae that would stick. Maybe trace it and cut out the piece of paper and decorate it? No. I knew I had to leave, but we walked over to his wonderful teacher and I turned him over to her to continue the brainstorming process. Later, she told me they figured out a way to attach a piece of yarn, and happy enough, he left it behind and went off to play something new. It was a good day for him.

I picked up him and Sophie later from school and we hiked around in the local park, climbing up into the scratchy, trail-less woods looking for leprechauns, a year-round activity for my kids. A spinning leaf in a ray of sunlight is always a sign that they are there.

At the end of the day, I felt better than I had in weeks. I was tired, but I hadn’t become a stark-raving lunatic, a desperate, overwhelmed mom too tired to come up with anything to do and bickering with my kids over little things.

It’s little things all the way. I don’t want to be depleted this early in the game. They are only 7 and 5 and we have a long way to go. The only problem was, and I was afraid this was going to happen, as soon as I had one good night’s sleep, I was more tired that night. How much sleep will it take to catch up? When I don’t sleep enough, I’m too tired to notice my tiredness and I don’t know if I want to know. But I want to be a better mom and a better person. So I know I have to give in, and dream.