The Sleepless Night

We had our annual fundraiser for the rescue on Saturday. It was a loooong day.  However, it all pays off in the end. Our volunteers band together and do a kick-ass job (we work on it for about six months prior) and as a result, the rescue is able to pay its veterinary bills and buy leashes and collars and whatnot.

I worked at the fundraiser all day and then drove home (two-hour drive). I had my heart set on taking a nice long bath. By the time I got everything unpacked, it was around 9:00.  I set up my daughter's portable DVD player in the bathroom (yes, decadent, right?) and watched a documentary while I soaked my old-lady bones and sipped a wee bit of merlot. I went to bed at around 11:45. Then, at some point, I got up and let the dogs outside (how did I know they wanted to go outside? My foster dog jogged into my bedroom and peed on the floor, so that was my main clue).  A few minutes later, I let them back in and then climbed back into bed.

At 2 a.m., my husband returned home from playing cards at a friend's house. He woke me up. "Hey, did you know Gideon was outside?"  So, depending on what time it was when I let the dogs outside, I'd either left my boy outside for a few minutes or two hours. I felt about two inches tall and was ready to report myself to the ASPCA. Anyway, I am not sure if it was the guilt of leaving my dog outside or what my deal was, but I could not fall back to sleep. I stayed in bed for almost two hours, flipping this way and that. Have you ever been too exhausted to sleep?  It's an odd phenomenon, but that's how I felt. Plus, I was having beaucoup pain in my hips. Finally, I decided to get up and do something constructive. I popped two Tylenol PM and then listened to some music on Spotify while I worked on counting cash from the fundraiser. I figured I'd wait for the Tylenol to kick in and then go back to bed. It never really did. Glassy-eyed and desperate, I slid under the sheets once again and repeated the toss-n-turn routine from around 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Clearly defeated, I gave up and got out of bed for good. I had to teach religious education at church at 10, so I had to declare the battle for sleep . . . over.

I teach the youngest age group at church - Pre-K through 1st grade. I am terrible with kids but I try not to let on to the kids that I know that they know that I'm terrible with kids. I just try my best to muddle through. I've learned that if I have them warm up with a physical activity, there is a higher chance that they will sit still for the story time. I played Simon Says with them.  I stood up at the front while six adorable kids faced me. My brain told me to say, "Simon says 'take a nap!'" but what my mouth said was, "Simon says, 'do some jumping jacks!'"  The kids were pretty merciful with me in general, though. No one cried, which is always a plus.

My daughter wanted me to take her somewhere after church on Sunday. P took her to lunch at Noodles while I worked on a bank deposit for the rescue and watched a saved episode of "Project Runway" (I was glad to see Ven go home - what a tool). I was too tired to do anything too ambitious so I offered to take her to the mall for a pretzel. She accepted the offer.

On the way to the mall, I heard this from the back seat: "Mom, I have a really important question for you."

I turned down the music. I have heard this introductory statement from her before and it is usually followed by a question about her adoption. I always do my best to answer those. I waited and listened.

"Mom, how are people made?" I sat quietly for a moment. Then I did the sensible thing - pretended I did not hear the question.  I hoped she'd change the subject and tell me whether she wanted a regular pretzel or a cinnamon one.  No such luck.

"I mean, how are HUMAN BEINGS made? How are they made?"

Shit. Think fast, Claudia. Think fast.  No sleep. Brain not working. 

"Welllll," I started.  "All human beings start as a tiny little embryo in a woman's uterus. Then the embryo grows into a fetus and then a baby. Then, nine months later, the baby is ready to be born."

Please please please don't ask me how the embryo gets in there. 

"Mom, can I get an ICEE with my pretzel?"


I went to bed at 9 p.m. on the dot last night.


Anonymous said…
Very funny! I got the how babies are made question a couple of weeks ago too, and it's funny how suddenly the car went silent as I tried to think of how to approach it and the kids sat in anticipation of the answer. I am sorry to say, though, that I copped out. I told them it's complicated and I would have to find an age-appropriate explanation that they would understand, so I would get back to them. Yes, I really told them that. I am such a wuss.

In the meantime, I have not looked for that explanation and they haven't asked again.


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