“Mom, what would happen if you never went to sleep?”
This, I thought to myself (oh so fleetingly) would make a great topic for discussion: all those sleep deprivation studies that have been done, the importance of rest, etc. But being in the middle of two dozen things, I summed it all up with two words: “You’d die.”
“Yup. Kaput. Your body would just shut off.”
And so we went our merry, mad way.
Until this weekend.
When I paid dearly for my sins.
The same child didn’t get out of bed on Saturday morning. I was in a hurry to get to class for my presentation, so didn’t check on the suspicious circumstances of this kid not being up with the sun.
At three in the afternoon, my daughter texts me that he’s still in bed. When I get home, he’s moaning something incoherent from his bed. I drop all my bags at the bottom of the stairs and go feel his head; he’s burning up. I take his temperature: 103.7 degrees.
Eeek. Three kids barfed on my floor Friday, so I’m pretty sure this is the same flu; I give him some Motrin and eventually I go to bed.
Not for long.
Within an hour or so, he’s kneeling by my bed. “Mom! Mom!”
I feel his head. He seems better. “What?”
“I can’t sleep!”
“Read a book.” I spent most of the night previous up preparing for my presentation. I am so not getting up to entertain him.
About twenty minutes later, he returns. And twenty minutes after that. And after that. I keep directing him to various activities/things to eat or drink.
Finally he says, clearly in desperation, “But MOM! I really think I’m going to die!”
I feel his head again. “You aren’t going to die. You want some more Tylenol? Does your head hurt?”
“I can’t sleep!”
(Yeah, still not catching on; I’m a little slow when it comes to childhood paranoia.)
“That’s because you slept all day,” I tell him.
“No I didn’t!” he insists. “I tried all day, but it was too bright outside.”
I try to explain to him that he doesn’t remember sleeping, but that he really did. Dad and his sister both checked.
“But what if I die?”
“Why would you die???” I ask. I’m getting irritated now.
“You said that you die if you don’t sleep!”
Yes I did.
Try explaining that away in the middle of the night. I had to get up and back up my claims with hard and fast data from the great Google wasteland of fairly useless information.
Oh what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to… cut corners.