Your Parenting Info Sign Up


by Ronald A. Rowe | September 1st, 2010 | Elementary

When do we lose the childlike ability to sleep through just about anything? Somewhere along the way in our journey to adulthood, we make the choice to stop giving ourselves fully to sleep. We refuse to let go of a partial sense of awareness even in the midst of our deepest sleep cycle.

I’m wondering about this today because the difference between the way I sleep and the way my children sleep was highlighted by circumstance last night. Electric, my four-year old son’s pet hamster, managed to chew his way from his plastic cage and make his way into the space between the bookshelf and the wall in the room next to my bedroom. The sound of the rodent squirming around was more than enough to ruin my night’s sleep.

Falling back on my innate primitive hunter instincts, I was able to fashion a trap from the materials at hand – a clump of hamster food, a plastic Halloween bucket, and my lap desk. At three AM I stumbled, groggy and grumpy, into my 4 year old son’s room to reassemble the hamster’s cage and drop the little critter back in. I decided that the best plan to keep him put until morning was to jam a Mega Block into the opening and tape it in place with packing tape. (I never claimed that I was a sharp thinker at 3 AM.)

I entered the nine year old’s room to get the packing tape, stubbed my toe on a remote controlled car, spun around, and banged into his dresser. Only then did I remember that the packing tape was in the kitchen. To the kitchen and back to the hamster cage to finish my repairs.

Through all that, I wasn’t quiet. I may have let loose an involuntary word or two when I stubbed my toe. Tearing the packing tape off the roll makes an annoying (and loud) noise. Neither boy so much as opened one eye.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s childhood 1, adulthood 0. I can’t sleep through a rodent gnawing on paper in the next room, but the children can sleep through a major impromptu carpentry session five feet from the bed.

Comments on Sleep