Why am I not asleep? By all rights I should be dead to the world.
After a long weekend off for the holidays I awoke Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. PST and left at 7:30 that night for work, which went like this: two hours of grocery shopping for the Boy’s home, another hour to unload and label ingredients for meals, 10 minutes to jot down the rest of my meal plan notes – then upstairs to keep an eye on my darling demon babies through the night.
Midnight: An email from my boss arrives in my personal account. “Can you make it to the meeting at 2 p.m. tomorrow” she asks. “I want you to do a 15 minute training on the kitchen” she says; knowing my inner kitchen Nazi, who has been going nuts over the laziness of several staff members, won’t be able to refuse her request. I confirm I will be in attendance.
I then pull out the kitchen SOP that I wrote for the house and go over my notes with equal measures of dread and delight. Dread because a 2 pm meeting for me is like a 2 am meeting for 9-5er’s. Delight because… HELLO! I AM A KITCHEN NAZI AND YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GET ON BOARD WITH THE RULES!
For the next few hours I work quietly on meal plans and recipes for the house, trying to ignore what the cold is doing to my fibro. I’m never warm at work.
3 a.m. a kid I’ll call FloofyTop – for his fabulously floofy Jewfro of awesomness – makes his nightly Mecca to the toilet. We have the same interaction every night. He stumbles out, waves and smiles, pees, washes hands (Plus 10 points!) comes out, I say “Sleep sweet” he says “I’ll try” and goes back to bed where he tosses and turns for 10 minutes. I can almost set my clock by FloofyTop.
Then the house phone rings… at 3:20 a.m. Never good and rather unexpected; I race for the phone – but don’t reach it until after it wakes another boy. I shall call this one PantsOnFire, due to his inability to open his mouth without B.S coming out. I’ve had a tough time connecting to this one; borderline sociopathic tendencies, loves to talk, hates to sleep, gets bored and finds little ways to occupy himself like starting fires or ‘playfully’ smothering his bunkmates with stuffed animals while they sleep. Gee, not sure why we haven’t hit it off.
Phone stopped ringing; no message left. Fun times. It takes me until 4:30 to get PantsOnFire back to his bunk. That done, I take a breather then finish off my paperwork while opting out of a much-wanted cup of tea, since I want to try to nap between getting off at 8 and going to the meeting at 2. Like a responsible adult would.
Flash forward (boring stuff, boring stuff, and boring stuff) to when I was ready to leave – Overall not a bad twelve and a half hour shift – and then the woman who hired me showed up, early, specifically to say goodbye to me as it was her last day with the company. So much for getting out the door right at 8 (well, 8:10 by then) because of course she wants to chat…and I don’t want to burn bridges with co-workers who like me enough to hire me once and are offering job recommendations without being asked. Look at me… adulating like a badass AGAIN!
Okay, home at 9:45 after a quick stop by the store because second daughter needed tampons and doughnuts and a bit of ‘oh please call the school because ‘cramps, teenager, no shits given’.
At this point the mental conversation is pretty much… “I have four hours…if I lay down and fall asleep right now I can get in three hours…oh who am I kidding, I’ll toss and turn for an hour and then finally doze off just in time to need to pee, which will require me to also pet the dog who will by then be acting as if he’d never been petted, fed or loved in his life. Just hold out until after the meeting, no caffeine, have some nosh and water and sleep after the meeting”. Plan made. Luckily, I dozed off for about 30 minutes before the gotta pee/give dog pets/might as well get ready and go time came. Left early for meeting, took dog and walked him for 20 minutes – go me! I’ve got this (hahahahaha)
So… 24 hours, 30 minutes of sleep… … I’m fine. Everything’s fine. Did that tree just move?
Got thru the meeting, which ran long because… … meetings suck. Got home at 4:45 p.m. managed to fall asleep about 6 pm. Woke up at 9:15 (damn bladder) got to work on time at 10 even though I had permission to be late. Silly, silly me.
Coffee, coffee, energy drink, juice, cheese-and-bagel, coffee, coffee, coffee, tea, tea, tea….
Then… … Another midnight email from my boss “How would you feel about taking a more administrative role – but working Mon-Friday morning shifts. Not front-line staff. You’d run the kitchen and handle scheduling/transporting the kids to appointments 1 on 1”?
Oh god… a whole list of caffeine and exhaustion fueled pro’s and con’s emerged. Decisions, adulting… ahhhh!
2 a.m (this now being Thursday) I get a message from FT morning staff – he will be god knows how late due to an ‘embarrassing medical concern’. This is a younger guy, mid-twenties… he sees me as a mother figure it seems… and since I know medical stuff – questions were asked and answered. Along with a lot of me reassuring him that ‘dude, bodies are bodies, shit happens, go to the doctor’etc… this lasted until about 3. Whatever, it was TMI but it killed an hour, yay.
3a.m. phone rings. Are you kidding me? I grab it… “Hi der, yeah, this is Duder from Secure Transport, I’ll be there to pick up YappyDog (because he’s sweet and I adore him even though he’s actually a kinda creepy kid who reminds me of a YappyDog) at 4:30 instead of 5”
Okay, half an hour early, that’s cool. I’ll get the kid up on time still – all is good. Then I hear PantsOnFire behind me. *Sigh*
I tell him to hit the showers to unwind and get back to his bunk. #I’mtootiredforyourshit. He complies with only a medium dose of argument and BS. Get him back to bed in time to wake up YappyDog who happily rolls out of bed and starts talking 72 words a second; clearly excited – yet sadly worried – about his home visit. Hits me right in the feels every damn time.
I get him medicated, fed, lunch packed and out the door in 20 minutes – and luckily no other kids wake up even though the new driver was yelling cheerfully from across the parking lot. Good lord man… it is 4:30 in the morning and while I appreciate you, pipe down sir! Pipe down!
6:10 a.m. second staff member messages her kid is sick and she’ll be late. Now we’re down two staffers at the roughest part of the day (because teenage boys in group homes LOVE mornings), which leaves another part-timer and a new hire part-timer – and me… exhausted, due to leave at 7:30 or sooner because of overtime me. Oh sweet lord of Chaos; your blessings are many.
Got out at 7:35 under the ‘no, seriously, I’m too tired to be safe around children or sharp things’ clause.
Now it’s 11 am. I tried to lie down and sleep when I got home, but tossed and turned with pain and a spinning mind. So here I sit… sipping water and waiting on Tylenol PM and my other meds to kick in… writing a blog that should come with a warning label…: written by a sleep-deprived, semi-insane, single mother of two teenagers while she should have been sleeping but couldn’t and she already washed the dishes so there is nothing left but Netflix and the soothing feeling that comes from rambling on ‘paper’.
But seriously, I don’t do The Math all that well …but I’m coming up with just under 5 hours of sleep over the last what… 45.5 hours? WHY AM I AWAKE?! Come on body…shut this shit show down for 8 hours or so!
Please. Because manners may count.
Here is wishing you all happy sleeps…whenever they come.