Laura on Life
By Laura Snyder
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[October 13, 2008]
Getting up in the morning is hard enough, but
without an alarm clock, it becomes even more difficult because I
can't get a good night sleep when I'm worrying about when I have to
wake up. I know I'm sounding a little unhinged here, but that's how
a person sounds when they haven't had enough sleep.
For years, my husband was my alarm clock because apparently his
internal alarm was triggered at 5 a.m. every day. I didn't have to
be up until 6:30, so he'd simply wake me and the kids when it was
Apparently, his doctor thought that his internal clock was defective
and that he should be getting more sleep. He had that syndrome where
his legs would jump around all night, and that was making him wake
up so early. So the doctor gave him some medicine that works so well
that now I need an alarm clock.
I didn't want to buy one because,
who knows, my husband's legs might one day revolt and start playing
nocturnal leapfrog again, and there I'd be with an extra alarm
clock. So, I absconded with my son's, knowing that he never turned
the alarm on anyway.
I quickly realized why, when the alarm went off the next morning.
It was so loud that my husband had to peel me off the ceiling. I was
in a catatonic state the rest of the day.
Well, I thought, maybe simply knowing what time it was would help
me know when to wake up. I placed the clock on a table next to my
bed. But the neon-colored numbers were so bright that it lit up the
whole bedroom. When I roused myself to check the time in the middle
of the night, the light boring into my half-opened eyeballs
convinced me that I was experiencing the second coming of Christ. I
frantically wondered if using spaghetti sauce from a jar was a sin
until, in a more lucid moment, I realized that Christ would probably
not arrive in the form of my son's alarm clock.
The next night I placed the clock on the floor so the light
wouldn't hurt my eyes. To make sure that I was awake at 6:30, I
still had to check the time every hour, on the hour. Since the clock
was on the floor, instead of simply opening one eye and taking a
peek in the middle of the night, I had to first remember what I was
looking for, then figure out where it was and then haul my body to
the side of the bed and hang over the edge. Then my sleep-deprived
brain had to interpret the upside-down neon numbers. All of this
required a degree of wakefulness that was undesirable at 2 a.m.
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By the time 6:30 rolled around, I had fallen into an exhausted
slumber and didn't wake up until I heard the school bus brakes
Oh my gosh! I threw the blankets off and ran for the kids'
"Everybody up! We're late!"
"But ... but ..."
"No buts!" I walked over to the potential dissenter's bed and
reached for his blankets.
"No buts!" I ripped off the blanket, and, lo and behold, there
was ... a butt ... in all of its naked glory.
Shocked, I asked, "Where is your underwear?"
"I was hot! I tried to tell you!"
"Well, find some clothes to wear! We're late!"
The kids choked down granola bars as I drove them to school.
What I needed, I thought, was an alarm clock with low-wattage
numbers projected onto the ceiling over my bed. It would gently
vibrate the bed and say "Time to get up!" in a singsongy voice that
sounded like Mary Poppins.
I looked, but the stores were apparently out of those.
[By LAURA SNYDER]
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Or visit www.lauraonlife.com
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