Monday, September 29, 2014

Sweep the Leg

I’ve always been one hell of a sleeper. My favorite pastime, besides constantly bemoaning the relentlessly sticky South Louisiana humidity, is crawling into bed at night with a bag of veggie booty and passing out face down and drooling into a good book. I am still trying to figure out a way to work an 8 hour day from my bed. I think it’s absolutely possible.

I used to be able to get by with less sleep, though. Now, less than 6 hours and my whole body and soul punish me for it. I get so cranky I actually growl to myself while getting ready in the morning— a feral dog slapping on moisturizer and scratching at mange. At this moment I am so exhausted I actually think I can hear my hair growing. I down two, three cups of shitty work coffee, feeling it souring in my stomach, wishing I could just bypass my mouth entirely and mash the grounds to a nice paste I can inject right into my arm or between my toes or my eyeball or wherever it is people inject things into themselves.

Usually I make more of an effort to get good sleep nowadays because I know what a vile and worthless piece of bitchy excrement I am when I don’t. Being sleep-deprived is what I would envision a bad acid trip to be like, but with more yawning. I speak from the dank bowels of experience in this area because
I spent the first two years of Lily’s life without any real, substantial sleep.

‘Sweep the Leg’ was a game conceived in a state of serious sleep deprivation. I created it when Lily was about 18 months old, an age where she was big enough to kinda grasp bipedalism, but not so sturdy that she could get anywhere fast without falling down a lot. The game quickly became a favorite in our house; we’d come home from the park and instead of laying down to a sweet nap like other toddlers I knew, Lily would demand, ’SWEEP THE LEG, MAMA! SWEEP THE LEG!’ and for the next two hours, I’d lay on my back in the middle of our giant, king-sized bed and pretend to be asleep. Then Lily would jump up and down next to me and shriek like a maniac. Without warning, I’d reach out and literally swipe both her legs, so that they’d fly out from under her and she’d tumble onto the bed in a giggling heap of hysterical glee. I think even then she was an adrenaline junkie; there was this insane thrill she got from never knowing when she was going to be completely wiped out. I loved the game too, because it was the only game I could play with my kid where I got to lay like a corpse. It was a setup that worked well.

That is, until one day I accidentally fell asleep mid-game and swept a little too far. Oh, I will never, ever forget the sound she made hitting the floor. It haunts me still. Nothing in the world stings like hearing your kid in pain. Except when you’re the dumbass who caused it. Then it’s a million times worse.

She ended up being fine. Just a little surprised. And probably her feelings were hurt more than anything, that Mom could actually over-sweep and send her to the floor on her butt.

That day I learned an important lesson, and was never sleep deprived again!

That’s a big, fat lie. But I think that might’ve been the last game of Sweep the Leg we played for quite a while..

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