Last Sunday, I decided to lie down and read for 20 minutes before tackling the huge ordeal that is Preparing Sunday Dinner. I quietly tip-toed to my room, shut the door and climbed into my bed blissfully away from the chaos and noise that was happening just down the hallway in the living room.
I barely had a chance to focus on my magazine when 10-year-old Henry opened the door (which I had unfortunately forgotten to lock) and wandered into the room.
“Whatcha doin’?” he asked, climbing onto the bed and lying down next to me.
“Just relaxing for a few minutes before I start dinner,” I told him, turning the page of my magazine.
“That sounds nice,” he said, pausing just a moment before launching into a minutes-long blow-by-blow account of his favorite scene in “Star Wars.”
Pretty soon, 7-year-old Emmett appeared in the doorway. Seeing me uncharacteristically lying in bed in the middle of the day, he frowned and asked, “Are you feeling sick?”
“No, just taking a break before making dinner,” I said.
“Oh good,” he replied, barrel rolling onto the bed and finding a spot next to Henry. “What are you reading?”
“I … I don’t even know,” I said distractedly. “Listen, boys, I came in here to have some peace and quiet. You can be in here with me as long as you lie totally still and don’t make a single sound. Got it?”
“Got it,” they said in unison, putting their hands by their sides and staring at the ceiling. I turned back to my magazine and read another paragraph.
Five-year-old Hyrum came in. “I want to snuggle, too!” he said, searching the queen bed for an open spot. Finding none, he improvised.
“Guys, look at this!” he exclaimed as he wormed his way under the untucked sheet at the foot of my bed and tunneled his way through the blankets until he reached the headboard, thrashing in that special way only a 5-year-old boy can.
“Look mom!” he yelled, delighted. “I’m right next to you!”
“Yes, I see that,” I sighed, setting my magazine down and looking at my three little relaxation destroyers.
“I’m going to do it again!” he yelled.
I lay there helplessly as he tore through my sheets two more times, his older brothers egging him on. Finally, I sighed, gave them each a squeeze and climbed out of my bed. They all followed me to the kitchen.
“Can we help with dinner?”
Later that night, Logan was already asleep when I pulled down the blankets to get into bed.
“What in the world?” I said loudly as I tried to decipher the orientation of our top sheet, which was bunched up and angled to one side. The fitted sheet was rumpled, as well, still bearing the effects of the Great Tunnel Exploration from earlier in the day. I couldn’t believe that Logan had fallen asleep amid the disaster.
“How can you sleep like this?” I bewilderedly asked my unconscious husband as I started straightening the sheets and yanking up the comforter. He squinted his eyes, exhaled loudly and rolled onto his side.
He’s used to this kind of treatment. He knows I can’t climb into a bed unless it has previously been impeccably made complete with hospital corners and an even amount of sheet overhang on each side.
There have been many nights when I have made the bed on top of him just so I could have the sheets tucked in and pulled tight like I want – no, need – them to be.
It might be a little over the top – even a bit obsessive-compulsive, if you will – but my sanity demands it. My little boys might thwart my Sunday afternoon naps, but there’s no way I’m going to let them foil a perfectly good night’s sleep, as well.
Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and a random menagerie of farm animals in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.