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October 24, 2006

(Updated below)

This morning I woke up exhausted, which is strange for me. I am never tired. A fact that annoys my husband. Though I am not sure who is annoyed by the disparity in our sleep needs, him or I. I just don’t understand how a perwson can need to sleep so much and, “Why don’t you just get up already in the morning. The alarm clock is supposed to be a signal for you to get out of bed. Not a signal for you to hit the snooze for the next 54 minutes until your wife gets fed up and tears the covers off of you and kicks you in the back.” Not that I have ever said those things… or done them.

But today I am dragging. And I noticed that the children don’t seem to be their normal exhuberant little selves. Lots of sitting around doing activities like coloring and yawning, and the ever popular whining. So maybe we have some sort of weird New England sleeping sickness.

I tried snuggling on the couch and closing my eyes, but my children having inherited my genes of getting annoyed when someone naps, wouldn’t stad for it. Payback is a bitch, huh?

I tried reading some stories out loud, but my eyes kept closing. What are those Berenstain Bears up to now, I can hardly wait to find out.

(Speaking of I have been meaning to write about this for awhile, but I never got around to it. I am a really fast reader. I don’t particularly like reading stories out loud, beyond the board book variety, because my eyes “read” the page faster than I can speak. And so I am saying the words I read a few sentences back. I’m not even sure I am explaining it in a clear fashion. But does anyone else do this? or maybe I am just weird. Or weirder.)

Anyway we ended up playing a few rounds of twenty questions which I can do passably in my half-asleep unthinking state. When I failed at that we decided to watch a movie.

One of the things that I have been enjoying about having, relatively, older children is the ability to share with them things that I enjoyed in my youth, lo those many years ago. Like the movie classics… Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters last week, and this week Beetlejuice. Even though it means hearing my children say things like, “Wow, way back when you were a child the special effects were so bad.” The “and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth” is implied.

You know what else I enjoy? Sneaking upstairs while they are huddled together watching a movie and making ghosts sounds through the heating vent. I know. I can’t believe I am allowed to parent either.


Man, you people are freaking me out with your carbon monoxide stories. We do have a carbon monixide detector but after all the people commenting and emailing me about it I moved it closer to the wood burning stove, thinking perhaps the stove was leaking. We spend most of our time in the back section of our house that is heated with wood.

I tested it and it is working properly. (In case anyone asks if the batteries are dead) We are not being slowly poisoned. Thank God because I would be racked with guilt if I was killing off my children’s brain cells, though it would explain a lot.

Also, unrelated to anything here, I have a new post up over at my other blog reviewing the book, The Frantic Woman’s Guide to Feeding Friends and Family. Go on and read and tell me if you have a system for meal planning that works.

Posted by Chris @ 8:33 am  

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  1. ephelba says:

    I spent an entire morning showing my son clips from the shows that were my faves when I was little. You Tube had snippets of Buck Rogers and Wonder Woman and Dukes of Hazard and Mork and Mindy and lots of classic Sesame Street.

    On another note, do you guys have a carbon monoxide detector?

  2. wookie says:

    Have you introduced them to “Hudson Hawk”, “Goonies” and “Evil Dead 2″? Those are my favourite bad movies, although the last one might be a bit gory just yet.

  3. Cathy C says:

    You are having way too much fun. Ghost sounds? I love it. Enjoy the rest of your day, Chris!

  4. Kbeans says:

    Ya know, I wondered instantly about the carbon monoxide detector too. Oh, God, Ghostbusters…the part where the Stay Puff Marshmallow guy comes stomping through may be the hardest I’ve ever, ever laughed at a movie in my whole life.

  5. Kate says:

    I do that with the reading too - I’m a super fast reader and I read ahead when I’m reading out loud. My theory, though, is that it makes me a better out loud reader, because I know what’s coming, so it flows better and with more expression. Or something like that.

  6. Julie says:

    My kids watched Ghost Busters last week and said the same thing about lame special effects. I don’t remember thinking they were lame back then! Such discriminating consumers we’re raising!

  7. sandra says:

    Can you be my Mom? :)

  8. Jennifer says:

    You are so funny. I love that last part. I’m a fast reader too, but I’m not sure I can use that to excuse the way I fall asleep during story time every single afternoon.

  9. meg says:

    “What are those Berenstain Bears up to now, I can hardly wait to find out.”

    That cracked me up, Chris. Seriously.

  10. Jen says:

    I’m a fast reader too, and often just paraphrase the story when I get too far ahead. It’s coming home to roost now that my son is 5 and learning to read–he’s figured out I skip things. Last night we were reading The Wizard of Oz and I kept getting lost and having to go back. So I’m right with you there.

    I, however, have been fortunate to avoid the B-Bears in this house. The little critter books, on the other hand…

  11. Amy says:

    I read exactly like that, and it annoys my husband who reads very, very slow to no end. The change in weather around here has made us ALL sleepy–hard to get out of bed when the house is 50 degrees.

  12. Playdate Susan says:

    I have mastered the ability to read to my kids without actually processing any of what I’m reading. Because too too often, they choose crap for me to read them (superhero books, for example, with no plot at all) and I refuse to let it eat up valuable brain space.

    And then later my husband will say, “What was that Batman book about?” and I say, “I have no idea. I was making a grocery list in my head.”

  13. Jeff says:

    You are too funny with the ghost noises.

    I sympathize with your husband on the sleep issue. My wife needs 7 hours of sleep to be well rested. If left to nature, I will sleep about 9. From her perspective, that means I would start the day with a deficit of two hours of chores compared to her and she apparently keeps track of that.

    Does your husband get any sympathy when he gets a cold? Please say ‘yes’ so I can tell my wife and give her a guilt trip. I have a cold right now.

  14. T in HD says:

    I too, sympathize with your husband, Chris. My husband can run on 4 to 5 hours a night for up to a week before it really catches up to him but I am a mess on anything under 8, ideally 9 hours. Not just tired but *compltely* incapable of coping with anything. Lack of sleep has a drastic effect on my entire personality and ability to function like a normal human being. Doesn’t affect my husband hardly at all.

    Be careful around people who need more sleep. I don’t know how your husband is, but I can be very, very dangerous if bugged when I want to sleep… ;-P

  15. ann-marie says:

    >On another note, do you guys have a carbon monoxide detector?

    this was going to be my question. :)

    sounds like a nice, lazy monday. i’d take that over what my day was like yesterday.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    OK, First of all, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, go buy one and plug it in right now. That way you can post a response for all of us worriers saying “Yes, of course we have a carbon monoxide detector.” I do have a friend who had to spend some time in a hyperbaric chamber after exposure to carbon monoxide, and she really does say you just feel sleepy and maybe a little sick, and certainly not like going out and doing anything drastic like buying a detector.

    I am a sleeper. My husband used to not be a sleeper and still believes he doesn’t really NEED all the sleep he does get, but after a few days of short nights he gets big dark rings under his eyes and falls asleep reading, watching TV, sitting at the table . . . so be nice to us sleepers, as I guarantee that *if* your sleep needs should ever change, we aren’t necessarily nice about it.

  17. Woman with Kids says:

    Boy 1 just discovered Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris is his new idol. He thought the Breakfast Club was lame (”Why are they all dressed so stupid?”)

    I love the ghost sounds. Perfect!

  18. rachel says:

    I have the same reading problem.

    And we have the sleepy New England sickness too. It’s been like that for 2 days now. Maybe we should be hibernating?

    The ghost sounds are great. Wish we had that kind of vent system!

  19. S says:

    I only have three kids and I am always tired. So maybe its me who shouldn’t parent. Since you have so much energy most days, do you think you’d even notice a couple extra boys and a very small but demanding girl?

  20. InterstellarLass says:

    Don’t forget Savannah Smiles, The Black Hole, Adventures in Babysitting, Big, and the Back to the Future movies.

    I do the reading thing too. My mouth can’t keep up with my brain.

    He he. Scaring them with ghost sounds. Wonderful!

  21. Jonathon says:

    I laughed out loud when I read the “snooze” comment. That’s totally my M.O.

    I just can never bring myself to get up the first time that bastard alarm tries to drag me outta bed in the morning.

  22. Susan says:

    I am so with you here. My husband is a huge sleeper/napper, and I am not. Life is too short! I would rather DO things than waste away the day sleeping. Secondly, I hate reading outloud. And last, I love scaring my kids (ever so slightly — not to the completely psychotic point, or anything). I think I inherited that tendency from my grandmother. She was born in the late 1800’s, and used to recite a poem to me from her generation, called “Little Orphant Annie.” I remember being just 4 years old, sitting on her lap, and terrified out of my mind listening to it.

  23. Keith says:

    My kids hate it when I force my 80s movies on them, too. But they did love both Ghostbuster movies. I can’t stand reading aloud, either because I always yawn once per page. Not matter what time of day. As for scaring the kids, my 5 year old asked last night why I golf with little white balls and I told him that Scotland outlawed using children’s skulls in the 1800s is why.

  24. Lilly says:

    I get the New England sleepyness whenever I’m back there in the winter. That is why I refuse to move back to MA even though my husband wants to. Sometimes I end up watching the clock ticking and feeling blank. Maybe I’ll take a carbon monoxide detector the next time I go and see if that’s the reason. Or is it the cold and quiet and short days and snow?

    And I love that you make ghost noises through the vents….

  25. crunchy carpets says:

    I find that about 4 hours of sleep is good for me….I can function fine on that and have trouble napping….if the sleep is constantly disturbed though…watch out.

    My dh is a night owl and can sleep all day if you let him.

    My bed time reading (when I have hit THE wall) is punctuated by me yawning and I ‘read’ ahead and usually change words as I go to things that Adam will understand better.

    Dh bought the complete set of “Land of the Lost”….Adam is mezmerized.

  26. allysha says:

    I read fast outloud, too. But usually it’s because I don’t like the particular book chosen and I just want to get it over with. Boardbooks are a happy length I can deal with, tired, or not. I guess I need to develop a better attention span…

  27. Caya says:

    I have found that with younger kids, I can skip 1 or even 3 pages at a time, and they never notice. I just hold the pages tight together as I turn them and they don’t seem to notice. You would think that the storyline would be unintelligable when you skip pages like that, but with the little kiddie picture books I found my kids really don’t know the difference. Sure, Spaceman Spiff has just leaped from talking to his superiors on a space station to being actively engaged in fighting the slime monster of Nebula 6 with no explanation whatsoever, but my kids seem to accept that sort of thing. Another trick is to just read one sentence on each page; amazingly enough, that works too. (Of course I only do those things *sometimes*.) It gets harder as the kids are older though, but by then I can make them read the books to ME. I just help with the harder words. Good practice for them, too.

    Sorry about the Sleepies. Yes, it’s definately that kind of day!

  28. Fold My Laundry Please says:

    I have to echo several other comments and suggest getting a carbon monoxide detector. I also live in a state where the heater kicks on sometime in early September and doesn’t turn off until sometime in May (Idaho) and we are always reading terrible stories in the paper about families who thought they were all getting sick but ended up in the hospital with CM poisoning, or worse, dead. Also, getting your heater checked out for leakage couldn’t hurt.

    I’m a “make ghost noises” sort of mom, too!

  29. owlhaven says:

    My hubby and I both read like that, so when we read stories to the kids they come out rapid-fire. I’m hoping that it will just mean the kids will have better listening comprehension and also end up being faster readers themselves!


  30. Mom101 says:

    You are never tired? Really?

    That confirms it. You are officially Bionic.

  31. Elizabeth says:

    You would have loved my grandmother. She used to walk the grandkids into the woods and build a fire for what she called a “wienie roast” - then say she heard something out in the woods, and to wait a moment while she checked it out. Then she would go out and “play witch” - screaming and cackling. Of course we all knew a witch lived in the woods - don’t they always live in the woods in the nursery stories? We all really hated this, and also couldn’t wait until we were older and could do it to the younger cousins.

  32. liz says:

    I’m with you on the reading outloud issues. Same reason.

    I love that you do ghost noises through the registers. That is so cool.

  33. Christina says:

    See, I can’t tell my dh that you did the ghost sounds with the movie, he’ll want to do it and give me the creeps! LOL

  34. Becky says:

    lol, I would never kick my husband in the back after the 12 time the snooze alarm has gone off! Never!;)
    I ditto your feelings on reading aloud. My mom is always getting on me for it. “you love to read, why dont you read to your kids more…”

  35. a suburban housewife says:

    FYI- we had some carbon monoxide issues a while back and you shouldn’t place it in front of your heat source because it won’t detect. You should put it near a vent that releases the heat. Ask me how I know this…

  36. Pieces says:

    You could always call the fire department and have them check carbon monoxide levels. It would go like this:

    You: I’m never, ever tired but I am today.

    Hot Firefighter: And you have how many kids?

    You: Yeah, well, they seem sort of quiet and tired today too.

    Hot Firefighter: And you are complaining, why?

    See? Wouldn’t it be such fun times?

  37. Nicki says:

    I have the same problem with reading out loud. I hide books that are not board books. And the best books are those that are easy to memorize, then I don’t actually have to read, just recite. I’m getting a complex about the monoxide detectors, must get the husband to check ours to make sure they work!!

  38. carrien says:

    I read the same way. I also fall asleep all of the time reading children’s books out loud. Maybe it’s because I”m pregnant, or sleep deprived, or both, but I hide certain books too because I just can’t handle reading them one more time this week.

  39. Maddy says:

    Red Dawn, Goonies and Back to the Future I, II and III are all in our children’s DVD collection, not to mention Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Next is Dirty Dancing, not expecting a big reaction this one, a bit girly for two boys.

    I sadly confess to hating reading out loud to my children and avoiding it as often as I can. I nod off and yawn the entire time.

  40. Kristie says:

    I am SO glad to know I’m not the only ones who yawns uncontrollably when trying to read aloud to my children! Seriously, I thought I was a defective parent or something. Then, their elementary school asked me to volunteer to read to other kids, and I yawned the entire time then, too. NOT a good trait for a parent volunteer to have. :)

  41. Brigitte says:

    I’m also glad to know there are others who yawn uncontrollably when reading aloud!

    And it IS New England sleeping sickness. I think if I could sleep 20 hours straight, I would (although with the overcast, windy, cold, low-light conditions, it’s probably really depression on top of the sleepies).

  42. Kellie says:

    I am with a lot of the others and say it’s a sleeping sickness. It’s been the same way around here for 3 days. The baby is taking an additional nap, she’s sleeping longer for her morning nap and I have all I can do to keep the lids open while she’s napping from noon to 2:30….

    I LOVE the ghost sounds….not so much when MY mom use to do that to me but, it’s funny as all get out now!!

  43. meritt says:

    Dude… it’s Fall. And COLD. And WINDY. and YUCKY.

    HElllloooo? That is why I, (who can live on 3 hours of sleep in the summer months) would choose to sleep from October to March EVERY YEAR IF I COULD.


  44. Contrary says:

    Heh, I’m glad I came a little late to this one or else I would have been all, “OMG,get out of the house before you all DIE of carbon monoxide poisoning!!!!”

    Or not.


    Glad you’e not dying!

  45. jay says:

    Well I’m glad you’re not being poisoned!

    My husband and I are the same way with our sleep - we’re just at completely opposite ends of the spectrum and some days, it’s complete crap.

  46. Elizabeth says:

    I read that way too-in elementary school, my teachers didn’t believe that I could read that fast and actually comprehend, so I had a bunch of reading tests. Among other things, I figured out that when I read, I look at the middle of the paragraph first, then my eyes flick to the words on the left, then on the right. Isn’t that weird? It sure helps when you want to read an entire Harry Potter book in one day, though!

  47. Darren McLikeshimself says:

    Sigh, I have to admit that my first thought while reading this one was “gas leak.”

    I am so my mom’s child.

  48. Carola says:

    Do you take vitamins? I have only one kid, 9m-old and I began working about 3m ago…I am exhausted…I am way too disorganized and I always read you blog looking for inspiration (which I always get, thanks!). I have no idea how you have so much energy, I think it is completely normal that once in a while you feel tired. My case it´s just the opposite, once in a while I feel energyzed.

  49. nabbalicious says:

    Ha! I thought “gas leak,” too. But I’m so glad it isn’t! Phew.

    I wish I could be like you and not need so much sleep. Imagine the things I’d accomplish…

    And ghost sounds — hee!

  50. Sarcastic Journalist says:

    You just described every day of my life. Also, it is like that times twenty when I am pregnant. Now you know why I’ll never make it to seven kids.

  51. Kristen says:

    I read fast too - and it drives me nuts to read out loud to the kids because I feel like I have to make myself sound like a slow record. GAH.

  52. Eskinose Kisses says:

    Maybe you’re pregnant! He He He