Well, it has been a while since he's graced us with the material for one of these stories. I guess we were due.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when Cody started a new rotation at a clinic in a town about 30 miles from where we live. Because he was going to be getting up at least 45 minutes earlier than normal, we attempted to get into SOMEWHAT of a routine at night. (For past attempts at routine, see this, this or this).
Cody is a night owl, and all attempts to determine what I am (night owl/early bird) have failed. If I have to get up early, I am most certainly NOT a night owl, but am more of whatever type of species you imagine being horribly snarly and mean. If I can sleep late, then I am happy to stay up til whenever. Cody doesn't care if he has to get up early - actually he DOES care, but all attempts for him to override his natural compulsion to stay up late are generally met with failure. He tries to go to bed, but always finds something more interesting to do, like watching SportsCenter or losing his keys.
This perfect storm of disorganization results in the evening "routine" Cody and I have developed over the nearly four years we've been married. Sometime between 7-10pm we eat something, and usually we're watching television while eating and/or after we're done eating. Either that or we've gone out to eat somewhere, and may or may not even come back home until 10:30-11. Sometimes we forget about eating until really late, and then Cody tells me that he's hungry. Those are the nights I feel like a REALLY good wife.
We end up watching things that have backed up on our Tivo until at least midnight, and it's only then that either one of us even thinks about STARTING the true bedtime routine; a complicated dance that involves the following:
- Locating and bringing inside Sophie, the outside cat
- Chasing Jill (the mean cat) out from under the guest-room bed and into the laundry room
- Thawing the raw meat patties to feed Lydah (which is, as Cody puts it, "an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege")
- Taking Lydah out and making her go to the bathroom so that she doesn't wake us up at 3am by standing over us in bed, panting
- Getting into bed
Of course Cody has to have a movie playing in the bedroom DVD to fall asleep, a habit I HATED when we first got married but have now gotten completely used to and hardly even notice. It was a good trade for me anyway, because the habit he had to lose out on in the compromise was the one where he set his alarm clock like, over an hour early and HIT THE SNOOZE, EVERY FIVE MINUTES, FOR OVER AN HOUR. Boy, those were the days.
(The habit I had to lose was listening to soft music as I fell asleep. I know, who would EVER WANT TO DO THAT?)
Anyway. By the time we've stopped watching back episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and finished the bedtime routine, it's easily 1am. And I don't care, because I hardly ever have to be up early in the morning but Cody does care, because he has to be up early every day. And you might think that he would catch on to the fact that every day he has to be up early, and every night he stays up late, and therefore every morning he is miserable, but you would be wrong. Each night it's like a brand-new misery; he looks at the bedside clock, reads off some permutation of "AM", and gets all upset.
Recently, though, with the new clinic rotation and added insult of a 45 minute drive every morning, Cody decided to make a change. I fully support all of Cody's "change" decisions (for their entertainment value if nothing else), and so I happily went along. Plus, I already have my doubts about how I'll ever make it as a mom (see: total disorganization, lack of routine, staying up late, sleeping late, needing my sleep desperately), and I kind of feel like I NEED to get on a good routine as far as normal sleep/wake habits.
11-11:30pm was decided upon as the bedtime goal, and for the past couple of weeks, I'd say that we've hit that goal at least 70% of the time - a success, in my opinion. It's still hard though, to get up earlier than you're used to, and since Cody's been having to do that, I've been fielding all 3am Lydah bathroom breaks. She's just so annoying, that dog. I know it's probably our fault, feeding her so late and then expecting her little system to do a digestive miracle a mere 20 minutes after she's eaten, but geez. Can't she hold it 8 hours?
No. No, she can't. And when she decides she wants to go, she does this awful thing where she walks around on the bed, stepping on all our limbs, and then finally squeezes herself in between our heads, sitting upright, panting loudly. Since Cody can sleep through a tornado (and has, actually! another story for another day!) I am ALWAYS the one woken up by hot dog breath on my face. (Sidenote: foreshadowing for future midnight baby feedings, anyone?)
Normally we fight over who has to take her out, a fight which involves me waking up, Lydah panting heavily, Cody sleeping peacefully, me getting annoyed that he's somehow managing to stay asleep, me kicking Cody and telling him to take Lydah out, and him saying okay and then rolling over and falling back asleep immediately. Without taking her out. But for his first week of work, I just decided to forego all the procedure and skip to the part where I take her out. I mean, that's what happens anyway, 90% of the time. Oh, and obviously we don't have a fence, or all of this would be totally pointless as we would just open the door, shove Lydah into the backyard, and be done with it.
Earlier this week though, Cody took Lydah out to the bathroom before bed and didn't stick around to make sure she went. This is a surefire way to make sure I get woken up at 3am, and so when it happened I was annoyed. I took her out, but as I came back to bed I told Cody that the next 7 times were all going to be his turn. He mumbled "okay" and rolled over. Always coming up with something new, that Cody.
Anyway, last night Lydah started up with her whole panting routine and somehow (miracle? karma?) Cody HEARD her, and woke up. He also remembered the "next 7 times" conversation and dragged himself out of bed to take the dog out, griping all the way. I rolled over to fall back asleep, relishing in the freedom of covers all to myself and appreciative of Cody for taking the stupid dog out. I didn't really expect him to do it.
Cue to OVER AN HOUR LATER, I am suddenly awakened by frantic dog barking, coming from outside. I jump out of bed, blearily looking around for Lydah or Cody, seeing no one, but hearing even louder barking from outside. I open the french doors from our bedroom and run out onto the screen porch, yelling for Lydah. At the same time I hear Cody opening the front door and calling for Lydah from the front porch. About a minute later Lydah comes bounding in the house, full of puppy energy, happy to be back inside. Cody walks back into our room looking sleepy and I ask him if he just left Lydah outside, roaming the neighborhood, for over an hour. He confirms that he did. I ask him why. He says he fell asleep on the couch after he opened the front door and let her out. I tell him that I certainly hope he doesn't think this counts as one of his 7 turns. He says that it should.
So I ask you, Internet: Should it?