Monday, December 3, 2007
How Not to Get a Good Night's Sleep
I love to sleep. I need to sleep. I crave sleep. Even as a toddler, I had to be dragged out of bed every morning by my older sister, whose job it was to make my bed before she went to school. When I got older, my father would wake us all at an ungodly hour and keep coming back until we got up, so I cleared out my closet and installed a sleeping bag in the bottom. After he came in the first time, I would crawl into the closet and close the door. He'd come back, see the empty bed, and assume I was up and about somewhere. In college, I would warn my new roommates not to wake me for any reason short of natural disaster. I am not a nice person when awakened out of a sound sleep. I barely survived the baby years. It's all a blurry fog of sleep deprivation and midnight diaper-changes and nursing six times a night. Now that I make my own bed, my father lives across town, I don't have roommates, and my kids are old enough to pour their own cereal, I am very protective of my sleeping time. So when my husband woke me at 2am and said, "You're not going to be happy about this," I was pretty sure he was right.
Sophie wet the bed.
This would be bad enough if Sophie were a toddler with a leaky diaper. Unfortunately, Sophie is a 110 pound Newfoundland dog with a bladder the size of a tanker truck. And she had a lot to drink before she went to bed. In our bed. Between the two of us. After she had already wet her own bed. 2am is not the time to discover that your Newfoundland has an incontinence problem--trust me on this.
For a few, sleep-hazed moments, I considered just going back to sleep with the idea of hanging onto the edge so I wouldn't roll into the small lake in the center of the bed. Propped up on an elbow, starting blearily at the bed, I reluctantly accepted the fact that I would, at some point, want to turn over, and that landing in a pool of cold dog pee probably wouldn't make me any happier.
I got up and surveyed the extent of the damage. She was sleeping on the dog blanket that I drape over the bed every night to protect it from dirty paws and shed hair. Although it works fine for this purpose, it was not up to the task she put it to last night. The leak soaked through the dog blanket, through the top of the duvet cover, through the down comforter, through the bottom of the duvet cover, through the top sheet, through the bottom sheet, through the mattress pad, and into the mattress. In other words, every item of bedding, as well as the mattress, was soaked. Even in my semi-conscious state, it was obvious that everything would need to be washed. And since I just washed every single piece of bedding on the bed last week, I know that, even with my "canyon capacity" washer, it takes four loads to wash it all. There was no way we were sleeping in that bed for at least a day.
Fortunately, we have a guest room with a queen sized bed and clean bedding. We stripped the bed, sprayed the mattress liberally with Nature's Miracle, threw in the first of many loads of laundry, and stumbled into the guest room. After a little fussing and adjusting, we got ourselves settled in what used to be our bed. We slept in that bed for more than eight years. But you know, it seems to have shrunk. Every time either of us moved, the other woke up. I got an elbow in the ear and once awoke just as I was falling (or being shoved) out of bed. My husband complained that I "socked" him and that I was "flopping around like a sick mackerel." I don't think he found it endearing.
I finally gave up on the sleeping idea at 6:30 this morning, when Sophie leapt up onto the bed, with the clear intention of going back to sleep herself, and landed squarely on my bladder. I staggered down the stairs, mainlined some coffee, and got to work.
Dogs. You've gotta love 'em.