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Challenge: Sleep Solutions

Sleepus Interruptus

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I love my quiet weekends. They give me license to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes: napping. When the lunch dishes are cleared and my schedule is free, I retire to my private little cave under a stack of blankets and pillows. Once I close my bedroom door, the family KNOWS not to disturb me. If my beauty rest is interrupted, they'll be dealing with a haggard troll…. and the consequences for waking me will be swift and painful.

Most weekends I can steal a little shut-eye by mid afternoon. I'm a firm believer in a three hour siesta. But lately, uncontrollable outside forces have been messing with the sweet slumber I desperately crave. No, I do not have young children screeching or stomping through the house like a herd of buffalo. What I DO have is neighbors. And an obnoxious ice cream truck that takes sadistic pleasure in blaring, "Pop Goes The Weasel" from massive speakers as it drives past my home. Three times. The vendor's timing is precise----he catches me the minute I am caught in the throes of a deliciously sexy dream, about to lock lips with Johnny Depp and then….POP GOES THE WEASEL!!

I grit my teeth against the sudden urge for an orange creamsicle, convinced there must be subliminal messages hidden in the tinny songs from the ice cream truck.

photo-3.JPG Burrowing deeper under the covers, I wait for the offending truck to pass my home at a turtle's pace. Just when I start to slip into the land of Noddingoff, the doorbell rings, which sets the dogs on edge. Over their incessant barking, a salesman is trying to convince me that I need to switch cable companies so that I can add an additional 500 channels to the existing 700 I already have. Hey, I never get the chance to sleep, so why not feed my insomnia with more channels allowing me to live vicariously through people testing out Tempur-Pedic mattresses on late night infomercials?

Once things finally settle down, I drift back into the slumber I have waited for all week. I never know how much time passes---it could be two hours or two minutes, but it happens all the same----the neighbor next door who won last year's Curb Appeal Award has decided to do a little creative landscaping. Possibly carving Mickey Mouse topiaries out of his hedge. As he trims the base of his meticulous creations with a weed wacker, small stones ricochet loudly like a woodpecker on steroids against my bedroom window. I'd rather sleep in a room filled with chocolate wasted toddlers than listen to the torturous tapping of flying debris from the neighbor's new lawn toy.

photo-4.JPG I decide to give napping one more shot, when suddenly I am baking in a 475 degree oven. Who invited the freaking sun into my bedroom? Within seconds, I'm bathed in a puddle of sweat from the aftershocks of a merciless hot flash.

Giving up on the fantasy of a two hour nap, I stagger into the kitchen for a jolt of caffeine to push me through the rest of the day. Peering around the corner, I see The Hubs sleeping peacefully on the couch, his lips fluffing out with each whistling exhale. I hear the TV in the background----a testosterone-infused program on cage fighting. I marvel at his ability to sleep through doorbells and barking dogs. Actually, I'm a wee bit jealous. Okay, a LOT. Deciding that it really wouldn't be fair for my well-rested husband to be stuck with a wife who resembles an Iggy Doll, I wake him from sleep. He opens one eye, peers up at me and smiles. I hand him a cup of coffee and flop down beside him on the couch. He channel surfs like a kid with severe A.D.D. before settling on the Discovery Channel. Grinning, he wraps his arms around me and I snuggle against his warmth. Within minutes, I drift into blessed slumber.

I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than nodding off during a television documentary on the sleeping habits of wombats….while curled in the arms of the man I love.

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