That Half-Conscious Compromise

I wish I had started this blog back in August. I would have loved to recount all the varied and extreme changes my life went through with the addition of Doc to our family. I know it sounds strange, but man if he didn’t turn my life upside-down.

We brought him home at the very early age of 6.5 weeks, which is very young. He had this tiny little bladder and so every night Wes and I took turns taking him outside to use the restroom. Sometimes as many as 5 times each night! As he got older he was able to sleep for longer and now he can sleep the whole night through. For the first three weeks, however, I couldn’t do much but survive as I was out-of-my-mind tired.

I would come home from work in tears and Wes would be very concerned and ask me what was wrong. I’d laugh and say “I don’t know. I’m just tired and stressed and apparently that means I cry for no reason”. I had one anxiety attack and Wes and I both lost our tempers more times than either of us can or is willing to recount.

All this to say, we got through it. The only way I can describe what the first three weeks was like is to say it was like having a baby that grew up at a thousand times the normal rate. It was exhausting and intense but as he got older it got easier and now we’ve moved onto fun stuff and life is a lot less tearful.

Last night, however, I was vividly reminded of Doc’s younger-puppy days. He has been getting over Kennel Cough since before we even brought him home and he still coughs now and again. It was about midnight (Wes and I had been asleep for about 2 hours) and Doc woke up and was coughing pretty badly. It wasn’t his worst episode but it wasn’t his lightest either. He was coughing for who-knows-how-long (time is bizarre when you wake up in the middle of the night. There’s no telling how long anything takes when you’re half asleep) and Wes and I were both awake listening to it.

Finally, we both got up out of bed. Wes let Doc out of his crate and I got him some water. Doc drank a bunch of it and then went back to sleep and didn’t cough again. I went right back to sleep as well but poor Wes took a lot longer to get back to sleep so now he’s a very tired man.

Wow, it takes me a really long time to get to the point sometimes. I have to counter this by saying, however, that if you’re reading this you’re probably not in a huge hurry for me to make my point and I like writing so I guess I’ll just keep going.

I am what is called a “lucid dreamer”. This means that I am fully conscious while I am dreaming. This makes sleeping a LOT of fun, because if I don’t like my dream I can just change it to whatever I want (which usually means I become a spy). This also means that waking up in the middle of the night can become a bit of a tricky business because it is very difficult for me to differentiate between my conscious dreaming and actual consciousness.

Wes has been woken up many times as a result of this. “Honey, there’s water coming down the walls in the studio! It’s gonna ruin the carpet, go stop it!” “Wes, there are rats in the house! They’re everywhere, go make them stop!” Sometimes I just start laughing, and other times I speak gibberish and Wes just tries to ignore it. Such a good husband have I!

Last night, I can vaguely recall getting up to give the dog some water. I believe I even gave Wes a discourse on the virtues of giving children water in the middle of the night when they have a cough (at midnight, mind you, when he has just woken up. You can just guess how attentive he was). When I’m woken up, though, it’s like I’m halfway between sleep and wakefulness. It’s a half-conscious compromise that ensures that I can still function but will be able to jump right back into my dream. It’s a fine line to tread, however, and my balance isn’t so good when I’m tired.

I just worry that someday I’m going to get up in the middle of the night and not realize that I am still dreaming and try to perform espionage in my own house in the middle of the night. Wes and my kids will wake up and find me dressed all in black and sleeping in the kitchen, surrounded by every cordless phone in the house that I disassembled last night while trying to install a “wire tap”.

It hasn’t happened lately. In fact, the last time I remember sleep-walking was when I was in middle school. However, I have faith that with enough sleep deprivation my dreaming brain will get jazzed up enough to do something incredibly silly like that. If it does, I promise to blog about it.

One thought on “That Half-Conscious Compromise

  1. This reminds me of one night a while ago…I think it was around Halloween last year…but I yelled at Tim in the middle of the night to stop stealing all th spaghetti sauce. (I was dreaming we were spaghetti sauce vampires) Although maybe that’s not as strange as when I was awake and he was still asleep and I commented on the enormous black hickey (this was quite a while ago) he had left on my neck the night before, and he said it serves me right for marrying a black man. We were neither married or black so this resulted in lots of laughter once he was awake.

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