Long-Term Sleep Deprivation = Permanent Brain Damage, or….

House Plant Killer
My nurturing skills might could use some work.

(alternate title)

Why I should put the damned remote down before child services steps in.

I have a lot of bad habits.* The worst of which is, I suffer temporal dysmorphia—time passes strangely in my presence. I don’t know if this is a real condition but I know that, whenever my son finally goes to bed for the night, I’m deluded into thinking that the clock stops moving and I am no longer bound by the laws of physics. Suddenly, I think I have all the time in the world.

I will happily utilize my Personal Eternity Field™ to cruise the internet, chat with friends in other states, read or, worst of all, channel surf until I develop remote-control finger. (It still twitches in my sleep trying to find something better to dream about on another channel.) But the reckoning comes when I finally do look at a clock and reality strikes twelve…or possibly one, two or three o’clock in the morning. And I have to get up at 6:30a.m. to stumble through the day.

For years I have been guilty of this. I drag myself to work on little to no sleep, drowning in caffeinated beverages until my kidneys complain for all the overtime they are putting in. I tell myself, “I’m fine. I function well enough. I am a productive membrane of sociopathy…wait, what was I saying?” I would also claim that “It’s no big deal. I’m only hurting myself.” Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I drove home from work, changed into comfy workout clothes and set up my computer in a lovely, silent kitchen. It appeared as though grandma had taken Booger (aka the fruit of my womb) somewhere for a treat. So I relax and enjoy the peace of no child running around playing “I Am a Pizza” until my ears bleed. (YouTube it later at your peril.) As the time approached 5:30, I start to question a good thing, “Hmm, I wonder where mom has taken Das Kind off to?”** So I give her a call.

“Mom, where’s Alexei?” I ask.

“I dropped him at music, like usual. Why?” Grandma/Babysitter/Person-Who-is-Questioning-My-Parenting-Skills says.

“Shit. It’s Tuesday. Crap. Gotta go.” I say, running for my coat and the keys to my car.

I was supposed to pick him up at around 5:15. It’s around 5:45 when I finally get there. I am all apologies when I race into the building to get my son. I know we’ve interrupted another student’s lesson because I forgot, for a moment, that I had a child.***

“Don’t worry, this is what interns are for!” Miranda, the saint-like, long-suffering music therapist, says. Is it any wonder the woman’s name means ‘Worthy of Being Admired’?

On that subject, I suspect that somewhere, in a future Baby Name Book, mine will come to mean: Forgetful, Lost in Thought, Probably Shouldn’t Have Children…or Houseplants.

So, I have had a clear and unmistakable warning that the long-term consequences of my tempus hubris could be much more severe than a tendency to be half-asleep at my desk. If I am so tired I am checked out of life, I might actually miss out on being a parent. Parenting is an around-the-clock responsibility. It is not for the faint of heart, nor, apparently, the short of sleep. So, I have added a reminder notice to my phone so that, every evening, it tells me the title of my favorite not-for-children’s story book:

Go the F to Sleep
An Actual Book, I Actually Own and, Apparently, Have Learned Nothing From.

And if somehow the message doesn’t sink in, it might be time for drastic measures. I’ll have to get a tattoo somewhere quite visible that says:

Tempus Fugit: Time Waits for No Man…Or Woman Either…This Means You! Now Seriously, Get Some Sleep. Your Kidneys Will Thank You.

Asterisk Bedazzled Footnotes:

*We’ll save that list for another blog, or ten.

**Das Kind—is German for somebody got down and dirty with a wurst and nine-months later produced a cocktail weenie. (Or Eine Kleine Frankfurterette, if it’s a girl.)

***Approximately ten years ago, to be exact. You’d think it would have sunk in by now.

10 thoughts on “Long-Term Sleep Deprivation = Permanent Brain Damage, or….

  1. Don’t worry, it comes with a protective field as well. It is synched to my electromagnetic signature. Anyone else attempting to don said field will be fried crispier than a McDonald’s fry.


  2. A very funny post. I read the Kristen Lamb one too and have followed her blog off and on for a while. She’s very entertaining and I got to hear her speak once at an Ozark Writers League meeting in Branson.

    Although, from what I can tell, your writing is equally entertaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that’s a compliment. I like her writing too. I imagine she was pretty entertaining to listen to at a Writer’s meeting. Are you in the Ozarks then or just willing to travel long distances for your craft?


  4. D#mn. I am NEVER coming back to your blog. Oh, no, I am actually NOT kidding. Stupid WP and its stupid collection of stupid, stupid talented writers!!

    I tell everyone: I cannot read or Follow another friggin’ person. Then, just last night, I broke down and added another Follow. And here’s you, and this is your second post I’ve read in 24 hours, and just the d#mned FOOTNOTE (oh, my gosh–Ha, ha, ha! I’m laughing while I’m typing this! My Bavarian friend and I are doing our Christmas on Sunday, and I can’t wait to share your “Das Kind” def with her : )

    My Personal Eternity Field™ has been on overload for years. Nope. Never coming back. But thank you for making me enjoy today’s visit, despite my earnest desire to encounter dullness so that I would feel no guilt when I tripped lightly away forever again. Arghhh!!


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