I’m so tired, I feel like I haven’t slept in weeks. Know why? Because I haven’t.
Partly, I blame peak TV, with its ample selection of softcore pornography masquerading as historical drama, sci-fi fantasy and/or police procedural.
I also fault the ubiquity of ice cream in our freezer; I just can’t help but lie on the couch for hours, basking in the frosty afterglow… or, fighting indigestion.
But mostly, it’s my kids who rob me of sleep (and with it my youthful vigor, although TV and ice cream bear some responsibility, too). This time of year, every year, not only do they resist going to bed — they don’t stay in bed, either.
Our daughter’s room faces the rising sun, point blank. Of course, I put up a blackout curtain — by which I mean aluminum foil and duct tape — but still, by 4 a.m. it’s like a dope grow in there.
Then there’s our son, who, despite scoring the darkest, coolest room in the whole house, inherited my wife’s propensity for extremely light sleeping—whereas I can sleep through gunfire. I mean, we used to live in Brooklyn AND the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Point is, between that and Harry Potter-based nightmares, the boy spends more time in my bed than I do.
Anyway, I’m tired. How tired am I?
I’m so tired I’ll fall asleep any time I sit quietly for a few minutzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Sorry. Must’ve dozed off for a second. I’ll just put on some Slayer, here… Much better.
Now, where was I?
Ah, yes. I’m so tired the bags under my eyes have bags under their eyes. But the bags under those bags sprung for Botox, so they’re looking pretty tight, actually.
So what if that doesn’t make sense? I’m so tired I don’t even want to argue… actually, no, that’s not true. I’m an insufferable know-it-all; I love arguing.
I’m so tired I dream about sleeping.
I’m so tired, I down a 5-Hour Energy every five minutes, and still nothing. Weird; it works for all the people in their commercials…
I’m so tired I spend entire weekends — plus all state and federal holidays — ag-team napping with my wife. And we’ll continue to do so until the kids figure out how to pick the lock on our bedroom door (and they’re getting perilously close).
In fact, the only time my wife and I are both awake together these days is when we’re trying to get the kids to go back to bed.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Every once in a while, as I said, we do manage to stick it out to the televised portion of our night. But usually we both pass out before the second act plot twist, especially for episodes light on the soft-core pornography.
I know, I know: I shouldn’t complain. If I want more sleep, I should move down South.
Accepting summertime exhaustion is part of the deal I’ve struck to live here, I guess. Plus, my wife just brought home an industrial grade coffee grinder, so it’s all good.
Still, that doesn’t stop me from griping entirely. The other night, discussing the situation with my mother, she had the nerve to blame me — me! — and the rest of today’s parents for our collective ineptitude.
Apparently, we’re doing it wrong, and not just the sleep thing — she means everything, in general. When my mom and her septuagenarian friends get together, that’s what they talk about, all the mistakes we’re making with their grandchildren.
Okay, mom, well, if that’s the case… Where do you think I learned my parenting skills? Who taught me how to do this stuff?
You, all right! I learned it by watching you!
Parents who indulge their kids, have children who indulge their kids. This message brought to you by the Partnership for a Nap-Free America.
• Geoff Kirsch is an award-winning Juneau-based writer and humorist. “Slack Tide” appears twice monthly in Neighbors.