Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Silver Lining

"Are you Kathryn?" I slowly turned around to see two police officers standing beside my minivan. "Ahh, yes officer I am." "We received a call from a customer complaining that you had parked in the handicapped space without a placard. Now I see the placard on the floor of the van - it must have just fallen when you tried to hang it up, but they were also complaining about how you parked." I took a few steps back to look at my parking job. Holy Cow! Which spot had I been aiming for? Or was I not aiming at all? There were two handicapped spots with a smaller spot in between them with stripes to give each spot a little extra room. I had parked with my van mostly in that striped spot but angled so that my front end was taking up a small part of the spot on the right and my rear end was taking part of the spot on the left. I looked back at the two officers who were studying me intently - probably trying to figure out if I was drunk. "We were paging you throughout the store but you didn't answer so we decided to wait out here by the car." They had been paging my name throughout Giant Eagle? Was I that exhausted that I actually walked through the store unaware that my own name was being loudly paged overhead? "I'm so sorry. I'm usually a good driver - I'm just reeeealy tired right now. I only got about an hour and a half of sleep last night." Probably because I looked like death warmed over, they cautiously studied me some more and then said: "O.K. just drive safely home."

Yep, it has finally come to that. I am so sleep deprived that I am walking, and apparently driving, around like a complete zombie. Bill keeps a sleep chart on the children because they both have sleep problems and the data helps their doctor. In any case, looking back over the data for September to the present, it is no wonder I can barely function these days. Bill and I try to share the overnight responsibilities but since our move I have been trying to take on more of them since Bill makes a long commute. He used to do the same when I was the one with the long commute. In any case, let me share some data with you to give you an idea of what I am talking about...

Let's take a look back:
Sept 1 up at 4:00
Sept 3 up at 3:45
Sept 5 up at 2:15
Sept 6 up at 1:30
Sept 7 up at 4:00
Sept 9 up at 2:00
Sept 11 up at 3:00
Sept 14 up at 4:00
Sept 16 up at 4:00
Sept 18 up at 3:00
Sept 21 up at 12:30
Sept 22 up at 2:30
Sept 24 up at 3:30
Sept 25 up at 3:00
Sept 26 up at 3:30
Sept 27 up at 4:00
Oct 2 up at 1:00
Oct 4 up at 2:00
Oct 6 up at 1:15

Just for the record, we count any night where my son sleeps past 5:00 a success and he NEVER sleeps past 6:30. The parking "problem" happened on October 6th. I had gone to bed at 10:30 only to be woken up by Jessica around 11:00 because she was "sleep walking." She was pretty fitful so it took me until about 12:30 to get her peacefully sleeping again. I had just fallen back asleep when Will woke up. So now we know why my brain was mush when I was attempting to park my car.

For most of you reading, this blog entry is just another "poor Katie" moment, but that's not why I wrote it. This post is for the many readers who just said: "wow, I'm not alone." Sometimes when I am following Will around at 2 in the morning I feel so alone. Not in the physical sense, but alone in my daily struggles. At those moments I force myself to remember that there are countless Moms out there who are just like me - sleep deprived, financially strapped, and terrified about the unknown future. I feel sad for their struggles, but also comforted to know that I am not alone in mine. I know that things will get better - I will eventually get to sleep, I will someday start a savings, and the children will one day become more independent. But in the meantime, I will continue to try to make the most of those early hours with snuggles, tickles, and if I'm lucky, a little leisure reading. Sometimes it is hard to find that silver lining but if we look hard enough, it is always there.

                   The Silver Lining!    

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