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The things one accomplishes at 3:30 a.m.

February 18, 2010 - Betsy Bethel
There I was, lying in bed this morning at 3:30, listening to the deep breathing of my husband on my left, my daughter on my right and the dog at the foot of the bed. The cat lay sandwiched between my knees.

It was Night 5 (in a row) of being rousted from dreamland by shouts of "Mo-ommm!" coming from my daughter's room. Night 5 of playing strip the sheets, strip the kid, toss down the chute (the wet clothes, not the kid), head to the bathroom — don't forget the stuffed pony and bunny, if they haven't been drenched — wipe down the kid, dress her in fresh jammies and shuffle her blindly into my bed.

Of course, she instantly falls back to sleep, but not before plunging her ice cold feet into my belly.

I, on the other hand, am too busy to sleep. Well, my brain is. I plan renovations, make a grocery list, clean out the car, fix the gutters and plan family vacations. I wonder how my cousin with five kids ages 8 months to 18 is faring — how does she do it?! I discover my weekends are busy through May. I take the cat and dog to the vet, get my hair colored, clean out my sun room/office that is buried under two years' fallout of "What do I do with this? Oh, I'll just stick in here."

I visit my mom in Georgia, my sister in Dayton, my aunt in Columbus, my friends on the East Coast. Those poor snow-bound things! Snow, snow, snow. I shovel it, salt it, break up the ice, build a snowman with Emma, make snow angels and forts.

As my husband shifts — thank goodness! — and Emma mumbles something that sounds like "That's my Valentine!", the cat decides it's time for her bath. Lick, lick, lick. So annoying! I boot her off the bed and she meows in protest. I hear a car drive up the ice-covered hill and a thump on the porch below. Four a.m. newspaper delivery. Excellent. Did my driver get her car fixed? Is it a substitute driver? Hope he or she stays safe on the route.

An icicle drips onto the porch roof outside my window. I ask myself for the hundredth time what theme I should adopt for Emma's 4th birthday party — it's coming up fast! Whoa. Gotta send invitations, or should I just do e-vites? Is everyone's mom on Facebook?

*Deep sigh*

I wish I could get to sleep. Emma snorts and I smile. 5 a.m. Dave's alarm goes off. He gets up. It isn't long before I smell coffee brewing. Mmmmm, coffee, just in time for me to fall ... back ... to ... Zzzzzzzzzz.


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