I Think We’ll Keep Him

Yesterday morning was a rough one.

And it was no one’s fault but my own.

Well, and my DNA’s.

You see, my brother, sister and I all inherited a gene from my daddy that predisposes us to Nightowlism.

In case you are unfamiliar with this syndrome, symptoms of Nightowlism include – but are not limited to – drinking coffee late at night because you’ve convinced yourself that caffeine doesn’t affect you at all, watching an entire season of a television show between 8 pm and 4 am (if it’s an hour-long drama, you may have to have several Nightowlism flare-ups in a row), feeling completely unable to put down a book because you have to know how it ends and therefore rationalize that two hours of sleep is all you need, deciding around 11 pm that it’s high time you rearranged your living room – but only after you clean it thoroughly, and attempting to solve a real-life murder mystery using nothing but the internet and background information you’ve acquired via FoxNews or CNN.

And the thing about Nightowlism? It’s insidious. It sneaks up on you. You’re moving along with your regular post-supper activities, and next thing you know, it’s 2 in the morning and you have a paint brush in your hand because you’ve decided to touch up the trim in your kitchen. Or you’re sprawled out on the floor of your den because you thought you might watch old “Columbo” episodes starring Dick Van Dyke or Leslie Nielsen while you clean out the drawers in your china cabinet.

In my case, night before last, I found myself whiling away the late night / early morning hours watching season 2 of “Veronica Mars,” writing a blog post, clicking through Bloglines, and catching up on email. Until 3:30 in the morning.

Because apparently I think I’m still 19 and don’t require sleep.

Needless to say, rise and shine time was not very pretty yesterday.

And on top of having to pay the piper for my lack of GO TO BED, ALREADY discipline, I spent a couple of hours Monday morning feeling worried / frustrated about something I have no business feeling worried / frustrated about because it’s something I cannot control. But the lack of sleep skewed my perspective. I was a smidge preoccupied.

After lunch, I was sitting on the couch, trying to set up an appointment via email while Alex ran around screaming words I couldn’t understand and performing some sort of stomp / dance that involved lifting up his right leg while screaming “HAH! BOOGEYDA!”

It was an incredibly relaxing environment in which to think about life and ponder my future.

Apparently Alex noticed that I was a little bit down in the dumps, because he climbed up next to me, threw his arms around my neck, kissed my cheek and said, “Oh, Mama – you’re my favorite people in the WHOLE! WIDE! WORLD!”

I didn’t quibble with his use of the the plural; since my other six personalities were just as exhausted as I was, we were all absolutely delighted by Alex’s proclamation.

And we learned something.

As a lifelong Nightowlism sufferer, I’ve never known how to cope with the after-effects of staying up too late except to either push through the next day or pray for the opportunity to nap.

But as it turns out, there is a surefire cure-all: a spontaneous hug and kiss from a wound-up four year-old little boy whose hair is sticking straight up on his head and who has Goldfish crumbs all over his Mickey Mouse t-shirt. And who loves to scream “HAH! BOOGEYDA!”

I pepped up right away.

What did we ever do without him, y’all?

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  1. I too am predisposed to Nightowlism and this week has been a doozy. I think there were 3 nights this week where I was up until at least 3 a.m. Last night my husband gently suggested that I come to bed early. Good call. I got up several times because I wasn’t ready to sleep at 11pm(early!) after all the late nighting but once I did get to sleep it was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks! Does wonders for brain funtion too…;)

  2. I have the same problem, except I wake up way too early (3 or 4 am) and start projects around the house. Then by 9am I’m exhausted.

    Love reading your blog every day!

  3. Hi, I’m Lisa,and I’m a Nightowl. This morning’s first greeting to my husband (who had once AGAIN forgotten to reset his alarm) was, “If you’re going to set your alarm for 5:30, you’d better get your BUTT outta BED!” *hissed from behind clenched teeth* It was just a little snarky. I’ve been getting up to the alarm at the same time every morning for 9 months now, and the ol’ body clock refuses to reset.

  4. Oh my WORD, woman! Why on earth didn’t you email me? I was up at the same time, just hankerin’ for something to read. It’s amazing how quiet Bloglines gets after about midnight, isn’t it?

    Obviously, I suffer the same malady as you. However my name for it is The 3 Ayem Blues. Can’t tell you the number of nights I’ve spent up playing Literati or reading, or watching old CSI and Saturday Night Live episodes, knowing full well I’d feel like a bowl of warmed over oatmeal the next day. “Just 15 more minutes…” is as bad at the end of the day when you don’t want to go to bed as it is at the beginning of the day when you don’t want to get up. Sometimes I feel like the errant two-year-old, just waiting for my husband to tell me to go to bed.

    It’s sad. Really, really sad.

  5. LOL, I was up until 1 am touching up paint in the hallway… because Little was asleep and it was my BIG CHANCE to do stuff without kids! If not for coffee, I would be in big trouble…

  6. I wonder if you practiced enough “HAH! BOOGEYDA!”s during the day yourself, you might be too tired to be a NightOwl!!

  7. Night Owls Anonymous! Actually my hubby and I are both night owls. (That’s how we met… hehe) I have often decided to deep clean the house at midnight, or start and finish an entire book… Or work on my blog design… or write blog posts… Oh yes, me and the owls, we’re best buddies.

  8. I am SUCH a night owl. Have always been. That’s why I was able to work 7p-730a as an RN without falling asleep on the job like so many of my co-workers.

    And yes, I’m always itchin’ to do some project at 2am. Crochet. Paint. Scrapbook. It’s ridiculous and utterly uncontrollable.

    I’m thinkin’ our mothers were up at all hours while we were wombing, yes? It’s gotta be that.

  9. ~I didn’t quibble with his use of the the plural; since my other six personalities were just as exhausted as I was~

    this made me spit my half eaten tater chip in the floor thankyouverymuch ROFL ;) xoxo melzie

  10. I love your blog! You always make me laugh. Today I was laughing out loud through most of the post!

  11. I’m with ya, Sister! And not only the things you have written, but somehow I have convinced myself that I “think” better after the kids have gone to bed. It’s not true, but I convince myself that now that it is quiet, I may consider the lilies and such. Actually I lie to myself about it until I fall asleep at 2 or so, thinking well, at least I’m getting five hours…as much as the military, right? I’ll be ready for the fight tomorrow, right? OH. SO. WRONG! Nightowlers unite and go to bed a little earlier, so you won’t growl so badly at the early-risers who are so very cheerful…yuk!

  12. I’ve decided that mothers are night owls because we just want to be LEFT ALONE for five minutes put together to do WHAT WE WANT TO DO. Purely selfish, but absolutely necessary for sanity, even if it does involve a caffeine I.V. the next morning.

  13. LOL! This was hiliarious; I think mostly because I can so relate!

  14. Whatever you did before, I assure you it was not nearly as fun.

  15. Sarah Goodman says:

    Be still, my heart! I’ve found the other Veronica Mars fan in this country. I knew there had to be someone else.(Don’t you think Logan just needs a big hug?) Can’t get with you on the nightowl thing, though. If it’s midnight and I’m still up, I get downright panicky.

  16. I am a nightowl too. I get these incredible cravings to do ALL KINDS OF WEIRD STUFF in the might too. All the stuff you described, I have done! Cleaning, watching entire series of Friends (for the 15th time), organizing. It is a disease.

  17. i have the same problem. but worse than the problem itself is that i don’t want to change. i love my time late at night even if i feel crappy the next day. push through it and hope for naps are my mantra.

  18. Girl, I know…I suffer from it too. It is bad! And the worst part? Really, the very worst part? We are not 19 anymore (apparently after 30 this “disease” gets harder to manage and recover from when an episode hits :). But, oh, the things that can truly be accomplished after midnight!!! I bet world peace could even happen if they tried it after midnight (along with a bunch of chocolate and coffee :).

  19. I cannot even fathom staying up past 10:30pm. It would be a total waste as I not only lose brain cell usage after 9:30pm, but I would be dubbed ‘Nightgrowl’ by all those around me.

  20. I’m back… come on over to my blog today — I’m having a karaoke party! bring drinks. You can nap in the corner.

  21. I feel so much better knowing theres more of my kind out there. About the time I’m ready to crash after 2 or 3 nights in a row of Nightowlism, TNT will show about 6 episodes back-to-back of X-Files and they are, naturally, the ones where its “continued” so I HAVE to stay up to see if Mulder actually catches that little green man this time! I inherited my gene from my mom (Johnny Carson is sorely missed) and passed it on to my son.

  22. Sign me up for the club too. I am also a long-time Nightowl. Oh yes. It is the only time I can do what I want uninterrupted. Or get control of the remote control. Who needs sleep??? !

  23. Hi. I’m the poster child for NightOwlism. If you don’t believe me go back through my archives and look at the times most of them were published.

    I know I’ve suffered from NightOwlism since I was a teenager for sure and possibly even longer.

    I think I got a throwback gene for GretaGarboism, too. “I vant to be alone.” I gotta have me-time and if the only time I can get it is from midnight till dawn, so be it. Plus I do tend to get more done when the hubby is asleep or gone. When Jessica was growing up I did a lot of my housework and hobby stuff after hubby and Jessica were both asleep.

  24. Oh yes indeed… 3:00 A.M. and I am the epitome of clear, rationale thinking. The “hangover” the next day is just so painful.

    At the time it is so much fun when the house is all mine. It is so peaceful with the world asleep and the possibilities seem endless. I seem so focused on the project, the program .. so in the moment. It is probably just the caffeine…..

  25. Hey there. My name is Sharan and I can certainly relate to the nightowlism issue. I am particularly familiar with solving a murder from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (especially if it is a Law and Order Marathon)! I solve these mysteries as I clean up the kitchen or rearrange a cabinet. The bad part is, if you have to be up and getting 4 kids out of the bed at 5:30am and 6:30am to get on a school bus at 6:30am and 7:30am. This is confusion, I know and thank the Lord, school is out for the summer! I love your blog…keep on blogging!!

  26. Tammy H says:

    Oh my — I’m a nightowl that is trying to teach vacation bible school this week. TRUST ME – The two don’t mix!!!

  27. I too suffer from Nightowlism. However, only in the summer months. I teach school so I’m disciplined enough not to let it take over during the school year. But seeing how summer is here, I stayed up last night until 2:00 am watching the first season of Top Chef!

  28. I JUST wrote a post about the joy of spontaneous kisses! Aren’t they the best? Especially from the kiddos. So glad he brightened your day. :)

  29. Hello. My name is Groovy and apparently I am an alien.

    I think 10pm is late. My only forays into the night have accompanied either severe physical discomfort or a REALLY good novel. Otherwise I’m alseep before 10pm and up around 6am in the summer. ( In the winter it’s dark, so I don’t wake up as readily.) Usually I’m good for a solid nine hours of sleep, sometimes more.

  30. Well, first of all, it’s quite clear what “HAH! BOOGEYDA” means … it means … “Hiyah! Boo Get Ya!”

    Anyway, I wouldn’t know anything about Nightowlism … now … because I go to bed at 8:45 … now … but before Hunter … ho, ho, ho … Nightowlism was my stalker, and we did.not.get.along. Now I’m just exhausted from chasing Hunter all evening. Sad excuse for saying, “I’m getting old — harumph.”

  31. Just email me when you get bored. I have Nightowlism also. I’m NEVER (unless sick) in the bed before 2 am. I don’t know what I’d do if I was blessed with my husbands genes to pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow. Instead I’m usually sitting in bed on the laptop, watching Food Network or Bravo, waiting for something on my Google Reader to pop up or for more emails to arrive.

  32. I totally understand – having been a night owl all my life. Just this past week, I had SO much to do with the end of the school year that I did what I WANTED TO DO until around about 9 p.m….then told my husband how much I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO DO and stayed up till 1 a.m. every night except for my early night of 12:15…Of course, then I had to get up and TEACH 31 4th graders the next morning. Thankfully they are all sweethearts!

  33. Oh, I’ve found my people!! I’m such a nightowl that the deciding factor to homeschool was when my husband said how early I would have to get up to send them off to public. Forgetaboutit, abc and 123s? Piece of cake compared to getting up early.

  34. Please let Alex know that I think HAH! BoogeyDa! is not only hysterically funny, but also might be the means to Take Over the World…

    I plan to use it frequently :)

    (My Family Thanks You and Alex)

  35. Now, as a night owl, should we not have the ability to make our heads spin 360 degrees?

    I’m just sayin’

  36. Guilty her too! Up late, rise ealry. Not always a good plan for a busy mama.

  37. Phyllis R. says:

    It makes me feel better to know there are others like me. I LOVE my “quiet time” from oh, 11 pm. to about 2 a.m. HOWEVER, when I was younger, I could do this for years on end. Now, not so much. I really pay for my Nightowlism with next day Brain Fog. And yet, I can’t seem to stop. It’s just nice to know I have “company” out there.

  38. O my goodness! I have just discovered that I suffer from Nightowlism!

  39. I too inherited Nighowlism from my father…and am a chronic sufferer…

    so much so that I have rules…if the clocks hits 4am…there is no reason to go to bed…so I go for a walk about 5am and drink lots of caffeine…hoping for an afternoon nap…which I usually can get…which just spins the cycle more…because then I’m not tired at night…

    but I definitely multi-task all night…when I got my new dell last year…I ordered it with a tv tuner/dvr & dvd player…so I can watch movies and tv shows all night long while I check email, blog and whatever…

    but even in my pre-dell days…I used a mirror on my desk to watch the tv on the other side of the room behind me…

    I’m sick…so sick…lol

    blessings, mamabright :-)

  40. My life is all about ‘Sex and the City’ and shoe coveting at 3 am in the morning. I wish I had the Nightowlism upgrade that came with the organizing gene… Then I could justify my insomnia.

    Now, if I could only get rid of that pesky boss that frowns on me napping at my desk at 11 am.

  41. I very much know the joy of those special little person hugs and kisses! That’s what makes my world go round! It doesn’t matter what mood you’re in does it? A simple act like that puts it all in perspective!

  42. Whee! What a relief. I thought I was the only one that was a nightowl. Oh, what agony when you are married to an early bird that is dead to the world as soon as his head hits the pillow. No joke, it takes my husband less than FIVE minutes to fall asleep, snoring, no less. I see Jay Leno every night, then a good book until 3:00 a.m. It’s rough this week with VBS having to get up so early. This is why I DON’T miss working!:-) Sleeping late is the best part of retirement. When I retired, I told Hubby never, ever, ever ask me to see 5:00 a.m. again I saw the sun rise for 35 years and didn’t intend to do that again. I’m relieved to know there are so many of us nightowls out there.

  43. I, too, suffer from stupidity. Er…nightowlness. I have suffered the side effects of this condition many, many times. Getting love from your little man is a sure-fire way to cope. Go to sleep tonight.

  44. I would always rather stay up late than get up early, but it is quite a problem, as toddlers like to get up early, and if you don’t get up first, well, the morning is pretty much shot. My mom is such a night owl that she actually stays up all night, and sleeps during the day! I have some friends who are not night owls, and around 10:00, they get all bleary-eyed and lose the ability to function at all. Not me! I could go all night!

  45. Now I know what ails me! :)I paid dearly for staying up until 3AM the other morning, watching a show and computing! I also sit up and read a book that I can’t put down and lose track of the time!

  46. I just want to say “thank you” for your blog. I wandered over about a month ago and I enjoy it so much.

    I always save your blog to read right before I go to bed. It gives me a good laugh and sends me off to sleep with a light heart.

    (Yeah, no pressure there!)
    Anyway, thanks and God bless you sister!

  47. What do you know?…my Nightowlism has me here at almost midnight reading your blog!

  48. Uhmm, I’m on the East coast, so really that comment came at 11:37!

  49. I have that problem, too… especially at the end of a book. I loved your comment about thinking you’re 19 again and don’t need much sleep… DH and I talk about that very thing all the time. I can remember surviving for weeks at a time on four hours of sleep a night… now I’d better get 7-8 hours, or watch out! :)

  50. I’m so not a night owl, so I can’t relate to that part, but I do know the effects of a wet crumbly kiss right on the lips. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  51. I can so relate!! Getting involved in a project/reading a book/thinking I’m 19/trying to manipulate the day so I get a nap….I am definitely a night owl!

  52. Why, pray tell … can’t we email you? Her Majesty MUST be able to receive emails at all times!!!

  53. Wow! That is something I remember doing and it was quite fun! I paid for it, but it was fun. These days, it’s get my 15 mo old in bed, then I do 1 of 2 things: I either curl up on the couch to wind down, then fall asleep; or I go straight on to bed!!

    But then again, in 2-3 months my husband may find me scrubbing floors at 2am. Something about when you’re expecting another baby………..!!

  54. Emma Kate says:

    At least you enjoyed your Nightowlism this time. Remember all that head rubbing — yikes — oh, the good ole days!!! ha ha

  55. Guilty! Me too- I think I enjoy the solace- but boy do I pay later!

  56. I’m in the same boat! It sure is nice to have the peace and quiet but it sure sucks when the baby is up at 5am and the other 2 roll out of bed at 7am! lol

  57. I inherited Nightowlism from my mom. *groan*

    Where can I get me one of them there “HAH! BOOGEYDA!” boys? Sounds delightful. :)