Cleaning Sticky Books: 7-22-11

Madam Librarian: Our daughter’s first volunteer day at the Ridgefield Library was less than stellar, from her perspective. Her job was to wipe off the sticky smears left by preschoolers and the like on book covers and pages. To her credit, according to her coach, she did a thorough job. I thought that was grand. She followed through on the task at hand.

The Second Week of Programming: The second week of her ABD program ended a day early. A family party intervened. But it was clear that despite a slightly shortened week she was psyched.

Sleepless On Long Island: Across a ferry and through Long Island lanes we reach a houseful of cousins, teeny ones and tall. Amidst a smattering of aunts and an uncle, a tumble of towels and sun hats our daughter claims a place on a couch in the upstairs hallway as her bed. “I’m twenty-one and don’t want to sleep with my parents.” By tonight there will be ten kids sleeping on makeshift beds with our gal in the middle of it all. Problem here? Yes and no

Changing Times, Common Themes: Sleep was an awful adventure for years with our daughter: to get her to go to sleep was a Herculean effort; and in the middle of the night, to get her back to sleep after she woke up (never gently). For years I slept in her room so her middle-of-the-night wake up would not disturb brother or father. With me present and in reach, she would go right back to sleep. I cannot recall when I was able to return to the parental bed, but I think it was when she went away to school. She was 16 by then. That chapter is over.

A Headache Times Three: What remains is the inability to modulate footsteps, door closings and voice. So last night, while others rested, our daughter plowed into our room, cold from the A.C. And in search of a sweater. She had unpacked all her clothes by her sleeping couch, but no sweater. Of course. When I wrote up a packing list for her to follow, it was 90 degrees in the shade and getting hotter. I didn’t have a sweater either. Three times she woke me up for a variety of reasons. Excited by the pending festivities she was up at 6 searching for her vitamins (I had those) and frankly I can’t recall the content of the other Reveille in my ear. But I do know that a headache ensued each time. The worry here comes from years of lost sleep, hers I mean, leading to meltdowns at inopportune moments, and crankiness. Though crankiness still occurs, often accompanied by the determination to abort any mission, enjoyable or not, meltdowns thankfully do not. The age-old solution of a ride in the car still works, but with L.I. Weekend traffic, not a likely choice. Not enough momentum to keep a nap going.

Fingers Crossed she will be carried off by the waves of splashing laughing cousins and sustain her energy until she drops off to sleep on her adult couch later along with equally well-spent happy relatives. And her poor younger cousin who was stirred out of her bed by our daughter’s movements and vocals will be left in peace this summer’s night.

Fingers Crossed!

©Jill Edelman, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. 2011

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