Rise And Shine
RISE AND SHINE
To be quiet honest, I have no idea how old I was when I was first diagnosed with Insomnia, or even if I was ever truly diagnosed. I remember hearing mum talking to the doctor about it a lot and telling him that I barely slept. I also remember the doctor telling my mum that it can seem like that with children sometimes.
There were times when my mum would get so tired, that she would have me babysat for a while, just so that she could get some sleep herself.
Over time my mum tried numerous remedies to help me sleep, everything from exercises to dietary supplements. She tried sending me to bed early and when that didn’t work, she tried keeping me up til late. Nothing seemed to be of any help and despite her constant pleas, she received no help from medical practitioners either.
Eventually, it became routine that I would go to bed at 8.30 each night and mum would check on me to make sure I was asleep before going to bed herself.
Falling asleep was the easy part. It was staying asleep that I had trouble with.
Being awake in the early hours of the morning, while my mum was in such a deep sleep that there was no hope in me waking her, was the norm. It happened every morning.
Perhaps things would have been different if my mother had given me the little brother or sister that I had always asked for, but she didn’t. Thinking about it now, there may have been numerous reasons for that. I got bored on my own very quickly and would set out to make my own fun. Any parent would cringe just reading those words.
Mum and I didn’t get the chance to go out too often, as she was a single parent at the time and she worked a full time job. Each morning she would get out of bed, go to the toilet, and then head to the kitchen to make herself a cup of coffee.
I decided it was time for mum and I to start getting out a bit more. The best way to do that, was to give her a reason to go out. So one morning I emptied the entire milk carton down the drain. Sure enough, the next morning when mum came out to make her usual cup of coffee, only to realise we were out of milk, she hurriedly got dressed and we got to go to the shop before school. What made this even better, was that the time it had taken for us to go to the shop, mum decided that she didn’t have enough time to make my lunch for school and I got to order my lunch for the day.
That was the beginning of our competition. Every morning before mum woke, I tipped the milk down the sink. When that got boring, I started doing other things, like emptying the contents of the freezer on the kitchen floor, opening all the packaging and sliding around in the puddle on the floor as everything defrosted.
One morning, I decided to make mums coffee for her, but I knew that I was not allowed to use the kettle and I wasn’t able to reach the mugs on the top shelf, so I collected the coffee, sugar, milk and a jug of cold water and proceeded to tip the contents onto the white carpet in the lounge room. I had watched mum making coffee before, so I knew the order. Coffee first (the whole container), then the sugar (also, the whole container), then the whole two litres of milk, followed by the jug of water. By the time mum woke, the contents had dried onto the carpet. I was amazed. My mother however, was not as excited to say the least.
My mum had tried putting locks on the fridge, freezer and the cupboards. That made things a little more interesting. It took me a while to figure them out, a few days in fact. Mum seemed happier and she thought she had outsmarted me, but eventually I managed to figure out the locks and continued my morning caper.
After trying numerous techniques to stop me, mum eventually decided she would have to try and wake up before me. The first morning she woke up at 6am, to find that I had already beaten her to the kitchen. The second morning, she woke at 5am, still with no luck. Eventually she had worked her way down to 2 o’clock in the morning to find the house was a wreck. Not only had I managed to get into the kitchen, but I had also dragged the contents of my play room through the house and torn apart the bathroom.
That was when mum invested in a lock for my bedroom. Every time I made a mess early in the morning, the lock would be on my door the next day, until I learnt that making a mess in the house really didn’t pay off. Instead, if I was going to have my freedom in the mornings, I was better off playing in my playroom and leaving mums things alone.
To this day, my mum has still not managed to wake up before me and I often call her in the morning to read out something new I have written, or just to say hi. I now at least have the courtesy to wait until the sun is up before I dial her number, but I am still often greeted with her groggy voice. I am getting better as I get older and I am sure that my mum is getting worse. I guess I have never been able to understand what it is people love about their sleep. It seems so boring and such a waste of time to me. But each to their own, I guess.
To this day I have not managed to master the art of sleeping. I have, however learnt to be a tad more considerate of others need to sleep and in my opinion, I am a little less destructive. As a child, I never saw sleep as something people needed, instead I thought my mum needed a bit more excitement in her life and I had set out to give that to her. Secretly though, I believe my main aim was to convince mum that giving me a sibling would be her best chance at keeping me occupied. I have a feeling that my actions may have been a tad counter.