As a slightly past middle aged woman, I know what it is to deal with insomnia. Sometimes I lie down at 9 pm and I’m asleep at 9:03. Of course, on nights like that one I wake up at 10:30, 11:03, 1:35 and 3:40 before getting up at 6:30.
But there are other nights where I toss and turn from 10 to 2 and finally fall asleep at 3, only to wake up at 6 with a headache.
So why in the world would I even consider sleeping with not only my aging husband of 40 years, but also our two dogs?
It. Makes. No. Sense.
This is my typical night, just so that you understand the pressures at work here.
I go to bed. Paul is in the living room, watching sports. The dogs, Lennie and Bentley, are beside him on the couch. I settle into my bed, ice pack in place on my lower back. I sigh. I settle back. I curl up on my left side.
And I hear the inevitable “ticky-ticky-tick” of Lennie’s claws as he comes down the hall. I lie still on my pillow. Lennie jumps nimbly onto the bed and settles himself into a tight curl somewhere around my legs. I fall asleep to the sound of Lennie’s gentle, rhythmic breathing.
I come awake again around midnight. The covers are now tight around me, and my butt is exposed to the cool night air. I can tell, as I roll over, that Paul has come to bed and is sound asleep beside me. Lennie is still at my feet, on top of the covers.
But Bentley is stretched out to his full length on top of the covers between Paul and I. He is happily dreaming and is totally at peace.
I roll onto my right side, slightly annoyed that I am lacking coverage on my chilly old bottom. I try to pull up the blankets, but find that I am thwarted by the two dogs who are snoring on top of the quilt.
“OK”, I think, “This is ridiculous. I need to sleep. I need my blankets. I need my bed.” I get up, thinking that I will go to the bathroom and then come back to dislodge the hounds and reestablish my human superiority.
I walk back to the bed, my phone in my hand for light. I see Lennie, curled up and sleeping like a baby at the foot of the bed.
I decide that he’s OK. I mean, he’s only at the foot of the bed. He isn’t really impacting my sleep. Much.
So I turn to the other guy. To the soft, sweet, silky puppy who insists on sleeping so close to me that we seem to be fusing at the spine.
“You need to move!”, I hiss, as I slip back under the covers. “I am really REALLY tired!”
I push him off of me.
He softly and silently turns into everyone’s favorite stuffed animal. He melts. He becomes totally inert. He shloops himself onto my chest.
“Ugh”, I whisper. “Get OFF!”
He snuggles just a tiny bit closer. He lifts his soft, silky snout up toward my cheek. He lays his head against mine.
“Sfhshshsfsh” he breathes into my ear.
I try to resist. I do. I straighten my spine. He straightens his and continues to breathe into my ear.
I want to be strong. I want to move him off of the bed and onto the floor. I mean, seriously! What kind of badass woman lets herself be pushed around by a puppy?
I wait for just a second. The warm, soft fur lying against my neck feels good. The gently repetitive breathing on my cheek is oddly reassuring.
“I’ll get you guys off in a minute.” I tell myself.
Then I curl onto my side, feeling Lennie’s warmth against my feet. I sigh, and pull the covers up over my shoulders. As I do, I realize that Bentley is under those covers, his softly sleepy head resting next to mine on the pillow.
We all fall asleep.
I’m a soft touch. I’m a jerk. I’m an aging old lady who loves waking up in the middle of the night with both arms around a warm little body.
Who am I kidding?
I’d rather sleep with these snoring, shedding, gassy little guys than without them. And that’s the honest truth.