I’ve developed a special talent, one which my doctor tells me is specific to 40-something women: I have the ability to be wide awake for two hours in the middle of the night, every night, WITHOUT THE USE OF STIMULANTS. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. And in an extra exciting twist, this sleep-defying act is occasionally accompanied by random bouts of overheating, which give me the amazing ability to throw off my lovely, snuggly comforter with a single kick. It’s really quite a feat.
Being an expert in 1:00-3:00 am in my neighborhood, here’s a list of sounds likely to be heard at this time of night:
-A fine orchestra of crickets outdoors and the occasional solo in the unusual venue of our laundry room
-Right below my window, a 10-minute long fight between two screaming cats. I do not own a cat. I have never wanted to own a cat. Actually, I thought it was the sound of a raccoon, possum, or fox attacking a certain neighborhood cat belonging to a remarkably irresponsible cat owner across the street. But The Husband informs me (OMG, this cacophony actually woke up the comatose man in the CPAP mask) that it was, indeed, two cats.
-Our next-door-neighbor, the hospital night nurse, pulling into his driveway (a mere twenty feet from our other bedroom window) at 2:00 am. And accidentally hitting the “lock” button on his remote, which makes his car horn honk. Two times.
-Hideous, genetic mutant dogs engaging in an epic, life-and-death barking match for dominance, from the safety of their respective chain-link fenced yards
-The Husband’s text notification sound, when The Boy, who is also staying up way too late for entirely different reasons, texts him arcane details of the aircraft he saw overhead the day before. Having ditched our land line, I’m learning that cell phones tend to make unexpected sounds in the wee small hours when we leave them on just in case one of our babies needs us.
-A pirate saying, “Aaaargh, avast ye mateys.” I am not making this up. It took me two days to figure out that this voice had come from The Husband’s long-forgotten, motion-activated, pirate-themed birthday card, which was sitting on top of the armoire and flapping open in the breeze.
When this incredible talent for nocturnal wakefulness first emerged, I must admit to feelings of dismay. However, I now declare my determination to embrace it.
After all, in my new sleep-deprived state, this middle of the night thing may be all I have going for me.