No, this isn’t going to be about sex. This is about harmonious co-sleeping. A compatible match-ress, made in heaven-ly slumber.
One can do without sex (last mention daughters, I promise), as long as the entire human race doesn’t stop having it, I guess. But no one survives for too long without sleep. Sleep deprivation is torturous, it turns me into an unproductive, mean, cranky, glass half-empty cow. I think I’ve developed a phobia to lack of sleep after dutifully breastfeeding hard to settle babies.
Now the babies are older, I’ve noticed someone else becoming higher maintenance once the lights are out. There are the things he’s always done, little things which one can generally overlook, even laugh at. Not laugh with to the point where said co-sleeper thinks he’s funny and it’s all worth a repeat performance (like a child milking the same joke over and over again). Not just playing Dutch ovens, but the rocket launching farts that startle both of us awake, hearts pounding, and have to be given a score.
Or the whaling. Husband breathes in slowly, then exhales on my face, up close. I move my head further back on my pillow. But even from there the gale force winds still manage to give me a new, sometimes garlic infused hair style. Over and over I wait for the exhalation, like a dripping tap, until I’ve had enough and push the spouting whale over and beach him on his other side, or I give in and turn over.
More and more prevalent is the stealing of the doona. This involves making elbows stiff as wooden clothes pegs to pin down any doona that might threaten to leave his side if I turn over. This is performed with a lack of generosity he’d never show when awake. Or lately, what I have come to call fletching. It can’t be restless-leg syndrome because it involves the whole body. One leg under the doona, then two. No, one over, damn it, now both legs out. Now turning with such vigour the whole mattress undulates like a water bed, except it isn’t. No, back again. Slow intake of breath, is he going to whale on me? No, he’s turned over and exhaled at the now billowing curtains. Oh lordy, if he had the excuse of being an ex-circus gymnast I may toy less with the idea of divorce in the wee hours.
Dear future husband, perhaps my methods of falling asleep have become higher maintenance from exposure to the above, but I can reassure you that I’m no trouble, really. It’s just that, I fall asleep like a surfer. I ride the wave of sleep, and this wave can’t be missed, or it’s eyes wide open until the next wave, however long it may take in surfacing. Catching this initial wave of sleep is crucial.
It cannot be interrupted by questions about unpaid bills, the amount of petrol left in the car, the possible whereabouts of missing scissors, or judging a late entry of unhappy gas. And as promised, I’m not going into other types of interruptions. This wave is like a window of opportunity, the breaker which body surfs me to the blanket-show on far-away sandy shores, to the land of sweet dreams, of rejuvenation and optimism to start a new day.
Dear future husband, could you also please agree to take a daily dose of digestive bacteria? Why do men’s intestines carry on as if they’ve eaten nothing but road kill all day?
What about snoring I hear you ask? At least I have only been accused of doing this in the last couple of years, and I’m aware it’s a desperate attempt at Freudian projection. Until I hear that recording played back I refuse to believe I snore. So, as I said before, I’m no trouble, or have very few, I am the Solla Sollew of sleepers. Also, I’d promise to get a lock on the bedroom door. My dog waits until midnight, then knows to push against the door (in case it’s not shut properly). If it isn’t, there might be a dog in the middle of us on waking, under the doona. It’s not as gross as it sounds, really. Except if he wakes up first, like this.
Or has eaten something disgusting, again. Just like his master.
Perhaps I’d better reconsider the husband thing, and stick with the devil I know. It’s just as well that when my husband’s awake (and had enough sleep) he’s a good sport. And he let me write this. Humour is not more important than a good night’s sleep, but it’s close.