To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Anyone with young children knows that sleep can be a precious and elusive thing. When my three were babies, I spent years getting by on about four hours sleep a night. However in my experience, this phenomenon just doesn’t happen once; it resurfaces during the teenage/young adult years.

Let me describe my night:

1:30 a.m. Alan phones to say he doesn’t have a safe ride home from a party and can I come and get him. Of course I do: it’s a golden rule in our house that I’ll be taxi driver any time of the day or night if it’s a safety issue.

2:00 a.m. Jamie calls to say he’s done work but is going to sleep at a friend’s place.

2:37 a.m. There’s a call for Iris. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hello?

Young male caller, obviously slightly inebriated: (party sounds in the background and the person on the phone yelling to someone across the room something about the Canada Games Centre)


Him: (more conversation with someone about the Canada Games Centre).

Me: HELLO???

Him: Oh! Hi! Is this Iris?

Me: No, this is Iris’ mom.

Him: Oh shit! This is her home phone??

Me: Yes it is.

Him: Is Iris there?

Me: No she’s not. (She’s in Atlin at the music festival but I wasn’t going to tell him that)

Him: Oh OK. I hope I didn’t wake you.

Me: Well, I’m not normally in the habit of being awake at 2:30 in the morning.

Him: OK, well PLEASANT DREAMS (laughs self-consciously).

I hang up the phone.

3 a.m. A car stops and drops someone off at our place. I look out the window. It’s Jamie coming home. I go downstairs to talk to him and I find out that plans have changed, and something has happened to put him in a foul mood. I don’t get more than this so I go off to bed again.

3:10 a.m. Thunder and lightning. I toss and turn, now wide awake.

3:58 a.m. Still tossing and turning.

At some point I fall asleep, only to be awakened at 8:33 by Alan running water in the washroom, getting ready for work. I sigh and get up to tell him he can use my car today.

Then I pull on some old clothes and go to the garden to welcome a new day in the Binger household.

It certainly gives a whole new meaning to Hamlet’s famous solilquy in which he says “To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub”. The way he was talking, you’d almost think he had teenage children!


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