Are you an insomniac? Well, that’s too bad for you, because I’m not. I can sleep like the dead. Anywhere. At least I could, until I got married and had kids.
I don’t know if this is unique to my house, but there are things that happen in my bed that cause me to be awake. A lot.
Rather than trying to explain, I decided to add illustrations to ensure my points are conveyed properly.
I’m just going to let you in on the secret right at the start. It’s my wife. If you’ve met Aimie, you know she’s tiny. She weighs 114 pounds. The poor thing. Unlike her, I’ve been blessed with the ability to store roughly an extra 100 pounds in a package almost the same height as hers. Circumference may be slightly more, but I haven’t measured, so who knows, right? I’m the lucky one in this equation. Just you wait until another seven lean years hit us – I’ll be the one who’s sitting pretty with plenty of reserves, thank you very much. Anyway, where was I?
Right! The sleeping thing.
So this is what we think of when we think of a blissful marriage. A relationship where the two people get along. There aren’t major issues. They love each other. It’s all just so…. perfect! Yes, folks, this is how we sleep in our bed. Yeah, not really.
Typically, our bed feels a lot like this. How is that possible, you shout in dismay? Your wife is tiny! You just said so! How can she make you cower in the corner of the bed, trying not to fall off?
I suppose I should practice full disclosure here. I do like cuddling. But it has its limits. Those ridiculous couples on TV that sleep like spoons for the whole night and wake up holding each other, and then roll over to stare into each others eyes, and say “I love you” don’t really exist. Do you know why? Have you ever tried to accept someone’s proclamation of love while smelling their morning breath? Not easy to do, is it?
OK, so what I’m saying is this: eventually, I like my own space. I don’t ask for much. Just enough for me. But often, I don’t get that. I get this instead. Crowding.
Sometimes, it’s not full-body crowding. The night starts off well. Things look good. Wildsau has his precious space, and happy times are here. Then, much quicker than you might expect, my wife re-aligns. I call it “The Alignment Shop”. She somehow angles her body so that she’s sleeping at a 45 degree angle to mine. I don’t even know how she achieves this perfection – it’s the same every time! There must be a giant protractor in our room somewhere, because she manages to get it right every time. And I have her legs laying on top of me. Being the loving husband I am, and respecting my wife’s sleep, I usually don’t do much about it. Including sleep. I don’t do much of that either.
There are variations to “The Alignment Shop” too. Often things start off great, as I noted. Aimie’s body stays exactly where it’s supposed to be. And then, just as I’m about to fall asleep, she manages to fire one leg over my legs. Even though it’s “tiny”, when I need my space, that one tiny leg feels like it weighs about 300 pounds. I don’t know if she straps jogging weights to it at night, or what the deal is. But there’s no denying that leg is on top of mine and it’s there to stay.
My wife tells me she has “restless legs syndrome”, which sounds a bit unbelievable to me. Is that a real diagnosis? I can assure you of one thing though. Her legs are the only things that are restless, because the rest of her is getting a fantastic sleep.
Often, it’s not Aimie I have to contend with. There are other peas for this princess. For example, her pillow. Aimie has this amazing ability to move her pillow magically to wherever I need space. Also, she never needs her pillow. I firmly believe she just brings her pillow into bed as a partner in this conspiracy against me. Most often, I will find myself jacked up on one side, wondering if I had a lift-kit installed while I was dozing. But no – that’s not it. It’s just Aimie’s pillow, crowding me out of my space. Somehow it finds its way into my personal space, and takes on a life of its own, pushing me to the edge. Of the bed, that is.
There are times where, and I’m not exaggerating, I think Aimie’s partner in this scheme is trying to off me. I have often woken up with that ridiculous pillow smothering me. Or at least it’s trying to. Ho ho ho, surely you jest, Wildsau. No pillow could be that cold-hearted. Really? Try me. I have a very strained relationship with this pillow of my wife’s, and it’s not for lack of me trying. I suggested counseling, I baked that pillow a cake, I did everything. Why, oh WHY does it hate me so?! I’ve went so far as to fire that pillow into the corner of the room after some of these attacks. Only to wake up later – with the pillow on me again.
Now, there are times when my wife isn’t to blame. I can’t explain it. I just can’t fall asleep. Occasionally, it may (but this isn’t for sure) have something to do with the fact that I’ve had 3 cups of coffee after supper. But not always. Sometimes it’s just an unexplained phenomenon. The wheels are turning, I’m thinking about something, and there is nothing I can do to convince my body to sleep. Of course, these are the times where every other factor is perfect. My wife’s body moves into the right sleeping position (nice and far away). Her legs stay where they should be when sleeping. Her pillow keeps to itself, likely plotting its next ambush on me. Everything is just right. Except I can’t sleep. So frustrating!
Finally! SLEEEEEEP! Beautiful, restful, refreshing sleep! I love it! I need it! I need it so bad that I might just snore once in a while. Of course, I know exactly what my snoring is like. It’s like music – soft, soothing, a gentle rhythmic lullaby to anyone’s ears. Really, I should record it and sell it, because that’s how awesome my snoring is. But hey – guess what? Guess who sleeps in my bed, and doesn’t agree with how awesome my snoring is? Not only does Aimie not appreciate all the effort I put into my snoring, but she has also devised an exceptionally cruel way to snap me out of it. She smashes her hand on the mattress about 20 times. Instead of rocking me gently awake and perhaps nuzzling me to assure me everything is OK, and just letting me know my snoring is a shade less than perfect for her, she BANGS THE MATTRESS WHICH AMPLIFIES THAT HORRIBLE SOUND DIRECTLY INTO MY EAR. That works out well for her, of course, because I stop snoring. Guess what I do afterwards? That’s right. I’m back to not sleeping. Oh, and I know you’re all concerned about my poor wife – she’ll invariably fall asleep seconds after the anti-snoring campaign has taken place. It’s unparalleled cruelty, my friends. Unparalleled.
OK, OK – fine! You got me. There are times when I can actually sleep well. Somehow things align perfectly, we both make it work, and I get real, honest-to-goodness sleep. And it’s amazing. And rare. I haven’t done a full study on it yet, but I believe I might have better odds of being struck by lightning in my bed than getting a good sleep there. Again, the scientific data hasn’t been compiled yet, but seriously, it’s got to be close.
There are ways for Aimie to get me out of this beautiful, beloved sleep too. There have been plenty of nights where we’re both having a great sleep. After what feels like just seconds of amazing, deep sleep, Aimie jumps up and gasps loudly, shaking me awake.
Aimie: “What was that sound?!?! I’m so scared!!”
Me: “Oh really? I was fine, until you just freaked out and I soiled myself. But I didn’t hear anything. Go back to sleep, and I’ll change my shorts.”
Aimie: “Really? You didn’t hear that? Maybe I didn’t hear anything either. You’re right – it was probably in my dream. Good night. I love you.”
Me: “Well, I guess I’ll just French-braid my ear hair, because there’s no way I’m falling asleep again. Want to help me? Aimie?”
Followed by the soft, even breathing of my wife who falls asleep in 2 seconds.
OK, so allow me to add one more variable. See me sleeping up there? So peaceful. So happy. Awww, we’re both getting a good night’s sleep. It’s a treasured thing, let me assure you. It IS possible, and it does happen on rare occasion. I’ll admit it. Here’s the rub. It’s called children. Anytime you think you’re having a good night’s sleep, count on the possibility of giving it all up. I don’t know about your kids, but mine have special talents. Like sneaking into our room. Quietly. And then standing creepily above me. Until I, in my deepest sleep, sense a disturbance in the Force. I sense that something is wrong, and a terrible feeling of dread falls over me. I slowly open my eyes, and THERE! There’s a black shape looming over me, causing me to scream like a little girl. Why?! Why don’t they whistle a little warning song as they come in? Not my kids. They’ll stand there, for minutes – silently awaiting old dad’s awakening and the cardiac arrest that will invariably follow.
Two things to take note of here – 1) I will never, EVER fall asleep after my kid scares the supper out of me in the middle of the night. And 2) See Aimie in the picture there? Yep, sleeps right through it. Really happy for her. That she can do that. Really happy.
So that’s why I can’t sleep. I’m sure I’m the only one who suffers from this affliction, but I feel a lot better now that I’ve shared it.
And of course, I’m still crazy about my wife. True story – I couldn’t sleep the night I thought of this post. I got up at 3:00 AM and drew out these illustrations on my iPad. The glow from my tablet woke my poor wife up. I felt bad, but she asked what I was doing. I showed her, and she laughed till the bed shook. And after I said I might write up a little post about it, she said it was a great idea. And she smiled at me sweetly, told me that she loved me, and fell asleep with that smile on her face.
I didn’t fall asleep until 6:00 AM.
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