Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A big slice of bedtime

When ReRe came over yesterday to clean the house, neither Sam or Rachel were up yet. Sam's continued his lovely trend of waking up to terrorize the night with his screams which means he sleeps in a little later in the morning.

"They are still sleeping?" ReRe whispered when she came inside.

I told her that they were and she knocked on wood for me. How thoughtful.

"My son," she said, "wakes up at 6:00 in the morning everyday!"

"Oh, ReRe,that's awful! Rachel doesn't wake up until around 8 or 9, usually, but we put her to bed pretty late for a baby her age."

"What time do you put her to bed?" ReRe asked.

"Between 8 and 10," I said.

"And she sleeps all through the night?" she asked.

"Yes..." I trailed off when ReRe started talking again.

And this is where I remembered that I was speaking to an Arab.

"I put my boy to bed at 1:30 in the morning," she said. Her son is about a month older than Rachel, "And he sleeps until 6 in the morning and then I take him and drop him off at my friend's house and he goes back to sleep until about 1 in the afternoon."

"Oh, ReRe! How do you do it?" I asked.

"I take a nap everyday for 1 or 2 hours," she answered simply.

Optimally, so do I. Optimally I'd be in bed by 10 and up by 7 and have a nap everyday. I don't think that's happened once this semester though. It's been rough. I like my sleep.

Arabs, as a culture, seem to think they can do without it. How can ReRe go to bed after midnight, get up at 6 in the morning, take care of her son, and then show up to work by 8 AM with a smile on her face and work all day long only to go pick up her son and care for him until after midnight? And when does she nap? I try to live by the rule of not napping after dark because if I go to sleep when it's dark I want to sleep forever. ReRe must not use that rule.

When does she nap, then? When do Arabs sleep?

I've yet to figure it out. We were talking with a Palestinian taxi driver on our way home from Thanksgiving dinner (obviously a few weeks ago) and Andrew asked him if he actually gets up and goes to the mosque for the middle-of-the-night dawn adhan or if he just kind of rolls out of bed, prays, and jumps back in before the bed gets cold.

This has been a question burning in the back of my mind for years but I've always been too tired to get up at 4 AM and stumble to the mosque to check for myself. So I assigned Andrew to ask someone about it for me. And apparently they--at least this taxi driver--actually get up for the day after that prayer.

Prayer is better than sleep, after all.

I have no problem getting up early in the morning. When we lived in Burnaby my dad used to leave for work before anyone else had to be up and I would often go climb in bed with my mom after he left and would try to talk to her. She'd always tell me to go back to sleep for some reason. When I was four that didn't make much sense to me, but twenty years later I can see it's because she didn't want me chattering away to her about my favorite color at the crack of dawn.

I used to get up and go to work with my sister when she would have to open the pool by herself at 5 AM. Quite willingly, too. I would come home when my mom was coming home from dropping kids off at early morning seminary and then instead of going back to bed I'd just stay up and do my schoolwork before the day had really even started. I homeschooled myself for 2 years and usually had my schoolwork finished before Josie woke up.

Then I started early morning seminary myself and stopped going to work with my sister. But then I moved to Utah and started working opening shifts at the pool the summer I turned 16.

I have no problem getting up early. Except now. I do now. Because I love sleep so much.

All through university I tried to be in bed by 10 PM, except on weekends and holidays and extenuating (homework) circumstances (like the time my laptop crashed with my 20 page paper on it a few days before it was due and my thumb drive copy corrupted and my floppy disk copy corrupted and I just about died). And I would usually have class or work first thing in the morning.

But then I married Andrew and as much as I love sleep, I love Andrew, too. And he's a night owl.

So I switched. I learned to sleep in royally and stay up later than I've ever stayed up in my life.

Staying up for New Year's used to be torture. Now it's like midnight schmidnight.

The idea of getting up at 4 AM makes me shudder. I wake up to kiss Andrew goodbye and then I sleep in until Rachel gets up. And then when she takes naps (which is never consistent anymore--who gives up naps at 1.5 years old?) I take a nap as well. I just love sleep.

And as much as I'm a converted night owl, I'm not an Arab. I don't understand how they can have dinner at 10 or 11 or 12 at night and let their kids stay up that late and then get off to school and work in the morning. I just don't get it. When do they sleep?

As a side story, we had FHE last night and were having cake for our treat. Poor Jessica's been working hard this week. She's had several projecty things and performances this week and has been such a great help around the house. She's pretty exhausted and she likes cake, too.

Emma didn't want her cake because I put some crushed up candycane on the icing and she doesn't like peppermint so she ate the bottom of the cake and was just pushing the rest around on her plate. Jessica is a growing girl and can often be found volunteering to eat other's leftovers. This night was no different.

"Hey, Emma," she asked, "Can I have the rest of your bedtime?"

She said she was just thinking about the two things she wanted most in life at that given moment (cake and bedtime) and they just got mixed up coming out of her mouth. She still ended up with Emma's cake (and Sam's) and I told her about the dangers of eating others leftovers. I was notorious for spitting in my ice cream (to help soften it up so that I could stir it) and then not finishing it. My sister would always, always volunteer to eat it and my parents didn't clue her in until just a few years ago.

I no longer spit in my ice cream, but I do like cake with my bedtime.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, ew about the ice cream.

    I've always been a night owl. I can, physically, get up in the morning, but sleeping from 2 AM to 10/11 AM would be ideal for me. It's what I do on Sundays (one perk of having 2:30 PM church).