My whole life the one activity that I have really loved, the one thing that I’ve been really good at, is sleeping. I’ll have to ask my mom what kind of baby personality I had in terms of sleeping, but it seems to me that since I started school the one thing I could do exceptionally well was sleep. Other kids were good at math, won the science fair, could do things that involved hand-eye coordination (like soccer or tennis, both of which I tried and was miserable at). Me, I could sleep. I think I actually could win a gold medal in snoozing through my alarm, being late to school/work, and/or oversleeping. In my tender 27 years I’ve probably already set a world record without even knowing it.
In college I could easily sleep until 3 pm on a Saturday while my roommate watched a Real World: Boston marathon as the residents of my dorm simultaneously had a flag football game in the hallway. It is well known that when I am depressed about something, you can find me asleep – with the dog, of course – in my room. This is a genetic marker passed down on my mother’s side. My grandmother could often be found asleep on the couch covered from chin to ankles in the day’s newspaper (another genetic marker: we must be covered in order to sleep properly). My mom is usually asleep in her chair with a dog on her lap by no later than 9:30 pm, especially if we’re trying to watch a movie she’s never seen.
Anyway, everything was going just fine with me and sleeping, until I married *gasp* a morning person. I knew when we were dating that it might be a problem when John would be knocking on my door at 6 am to take me out to pancakes. Back in those days it was so romantic and sweet and I let it slide because he thought I looked good in my jammies with no makeup and didn’t mind being seen in public with me that way. *sigh* And then I came home and went right back to bed with a full stomach and a whole bed all to myself.
Then we got married. He got up between 5:30 and 7 am while I got up at 9 at the earliest. This upset my new husband, who couldn’t stand the hours he had to wait for me to get up so we could be together. It also bugged him that my dog Henry wouldn’t leave his spot next to my side of the bed until I got up for the day. And so, the dance began. At around seven, he would come in and start poking me. He would "accidentally" leave his alarm on snooze and hide in another part of the house with his headphones on. He would get the dog up on the bed and try to get him in on it (but we know whose side Henry is on, so that tactic was a bust).
After a few months, it was clear that THIS WAS NOT GOING TO WORK. There might have been a fit of tears and screaming in tired frustration that I needed more sleep than he did and he’d better leave me alone SO HELP ME. For the most part he gave up and let me sleep. He accepted me for who I am. Eventually I got a job that had me up at 5 am most mornings and I was up before him anyway. He learned that if I didn’t nap there was crying and gnashing of teeth and no one was happy.
But now that we’re back in a position where I don’t have to get up too early, old Johnny is making a re-appearance every once in a while. This morning he left his alarm on snooze, again. Then, he sent the dogs in. Then when my phone rang at 8:30 am he came in and said loudly "CAN YOU TALK? NO? NO, SHE CAN’T TALK RIGHT NOW. WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?" And so I was up at the ungodly hour of 8:50 am and threatening my husband that if he doesn’t let me sleep now that I’M NEVER HAVING KIDS WITH HIM BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THAT BABIES DON’T SLEEP and MEN DON’T KNOW HOW TO BREASTFEED.
Hopefully our kids will get my sleeping gene. Or else my husband better figure out how to start lactating.