let ’em finish

by MrsFatass on September 28, 2010

It’s four in the morning.

The house is quiet except for the hum of the fan under my laptop. I can hear the rain pounding on the deck and the windows. Nobody is hey mom-ing. There’s really nothing I should be doing (well, I should be sleeping, but you know what I mean) and nobody needs anything from me right now.

I’ve been up for an hour. Thing Two has started coming into our room every time she wakes up through the night, and Trophy Husband and I sleepily walk her back to her bed and tuck her back in. Tonight was my night to patrol. Sometimes I can fall back to sleep with no problem, but every now and again I end up wide awake in the middle of the night. This was one of those nights.

I can usually predict when these nights are going to happen. Sometimes nights when I do my homework before bed, the thoughts keep me dreaming so vividly that it doesn’t really feel like I’m asleep, and eventually something really does wake me, and I lay there staring at the ceiling quizzing myself on whatever it is I was studying. Other times it’s a book or something on television that keeps my mind churning.

But most often, it is worry or a sense of panic. Something I build to fever pitch in my brain, but others wouldn’t really give it a second thought. Details and minutae and snippets of these little things that ‘normal’ people wouldn’t notice or remember, I spend hours analyzing and cataloguing and replaying and reliving. This time it’s a mixture of a conversation I had with a friend last July where I should have remembered to ask about  her sick mom but didn’t and maybe she thinks I’m a bad friend now, and how we’re going to add paying for a magical on the outside, practical on the inside Christmas for two kids with long wish lists when we are counting every penny as it is. And did we remember to make Thing One brush his teeth after he did his inhaler? I am SO going to be the reason he has a mouth full of cavities one day. And he hasn’t had a dentist appointment in a while. I wonder if he’s going to need braces. I should do that before Halloween; all the parties and trick or treating ending up in piles of candy around the house. Man, I was NUTS to say yes to being the head classroom mom this year to plan all the parties, but I swear that woman cornered me. I wonder why the teacher sent me a note saying that they call the class parties ‘celebrations’ and not ‘parties’? What’s wrong with the word party? What did I say that night to make her think she needed to make that distinction? I need to remember to look up both words tomorrow to see what the actual difference is. Mrs. Tim served coconut ice cream at her party on Saturday just for me because it’s my favorite, and holy cow it was good, and there’s some left, and well, I do have a key to their house. Holy shitballs, can you even imagine how weird THAT would be if they stumbled into their kitchen and found me there eating coconut ice cream? Awk-ward. I wonder if I could ever explain that away. Man, if they hated me because of that we’d have to move out of the neighborhood AND join a different gym. But that coconut ice cream was really good. I really should say thank you for that again. And I really have to start on birthday thank you notes. Seriously, nobody is going to want to give me a gift ever again because it takes me so long to get a note in the mail. CRAP! I have got to get to the post office tomorrow. . .

Yes. Welcome to my four in the morning brain. You like?

I’ve long since given up trying to fall back to sleep when this happens. No breathing exercise or glass of warm milk quiets the chk chk chk of my brain once it starts. Now I just submit. Get up, enjoy the stillness of the world when everyone is asleep but me, and try not to dread three in the afternoon, when the lull will hit and my body will be ready for sleep, but I’ll be covered in hey-moms and honey?s. And I just have to ride out the thoughts because much like Snots the dog in Christmas Vacation, once they lay in to ya, it’s best to just let ‘em finish.

This post is me, letting ‘em finish.

 ** By the by, THANK YOU for all of the great GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS comments yesterday! Seriously, when I say I don’t want warm and fuzzy, you guys get TOUGH. And just so you know, I DID hit the gym yesterday for 10 miles of cardio on my favorite bike. AND I did push ups and sit ups as ordered. AND? A bunch of you got out there and got to work, too. We did it. One good day. Nice work, everyone.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

MizFit September 28, 2010 at 5:31 am

oh oh oh oh I have that brain too.
and the 3p dread.

we are sisters from another MizTer with kids who are so similar.


Sue F September 28, 2010 at 6:40 am

1000 mph brain, and always in the dead of night. Just when you want to rest and sleep, and instead you’re on the edge of panic. TOTAL. PAIN. IN. THE. ASS.

I’d hit some strategic coffee at 2.30pm if I were you and stave off the snoozy feeling :o)


Fitarella September 28, 2010 at 6:58 am

Ooooh I know that hour well. So days I beg to fall back asleep and others I loooooove the quiet me time. You can come take a nappy at my house this afternoon. I’ll cover for ya 😉


Becky Johns September 28, 2010 at 7:03 am

Wow. Sometimes, short of some details, I think we live the same life. I’ve been up all night. Charming, eh? Sending you ideas in a few. And, by the way, I just recently tried 5-Hour Energy. I know. I know. People freak out over stuff like this. But it’s got no more caffeine than a cup of coffee, but is PACKED with B6 and B12. The bottle is 2 oz. I drink 1/2 earlier in the day, 1/2 in the afternoon, on those days (like this one) where sleep is not an option, but neither is ditching the day. There’s no sugar or caffeine crash. It’s very gently to the bod. I like Grape flavor 🙂 AND only 4 calories for 2 oz. Just sayin…


Coco September 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

Scary how familiar your brain is. I’ve decided that I really should write a thank you note to my elementary school teacher, and planned out how I would let her know what an inspiration she was . . . . How dare that teacher lecture you on the difference between a party and a celebration (but please let us know what that is when you figure it out). Doesn’t she know that you’ve just had the whole twittering, facebooking, blogging, cyber-universe celebrating your birthday month suckhole? She knows not who she messes with.


Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) September 28, 2010 at 7:12 am

I have moments like this, too, but they usually KEEP me up at night…not wake me up in the morning.



Angela September 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

Oh hay, I KNOW that brain. Sheesh. I must be your mystical brain overload twin.

Except I didn’t get coconut ice cream.



mimi September 28, 2010 at 7:39 am

I know what you mean about those can’t turn the brain of moments, it happens to me all the time. Also I’m a light sleeper so I hear everything, I sometimes feel like I don’t know what a real nice deep sleep is.
OMG it’s good to see someone else has the mile a minute scatterbrained thought process, I sometimes feel I have adult A.D.H.D. without the hyperactivity.


3rd Time Loser September 28, 2010 at 7:59 am

If my daytime brain could do what my nighttime brain does. I could rule the world!!


Jules - Big Girl Bombshell September 28, 2010 at 7:59 am

Oh lordie, do I know that brain and that stillness! I have been there for the last 20 years. After all those years, I have come to consider it my time. That is when I write. I start my day, just like this. Exercise for my brain, to get the lead out. Writing all those crazy thoughts, my worries, my fears, my dreams…They are my morning pages. They are what get me to the other side of myself each and every day.


Laurie September 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

I love the silence of 4 in the morning, if only I didn’t have to then do a day.
Imagining you in the kitchen with the coconut ice cream. If I saw you in my kitchen, I’d just pull up a spoon.


Kerri O September 28, 2010 at 8:13 am

Your 4 am brain is eerily similar to my 5 am brain this morning…different worries, different cast of characters.


Ryan @NoMoreBacon September 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

Did you seriously write this at 4am?

Because if you wrote something so clear and so perfectly illustrated at 4am, I’m registering for the “O’Lear School of Amazing Writing” today!

Do you have any admission forms?


Anjali September 28, 2010 at 8:29 am

If it makes you feel any better, I’m in the same boat. My doctor told me that those dang hormones go into some sort of metamorphose in the mid to late 30s and cause all kinds of insomnia! Yea!


Stacie September 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

Oh goodness. Your 4am brain is just like my brain allthetime.

The best time for getting my brain to focus and think in depth about any one of those things is when I’m in the shower. Seriously, I do my best thinking and problem solving in there. If it didn’t have so many complications, i would take my books into the shower to study. (TMI? Maybe.)


Jack Sh*t September 28, 2010 at 8:54 am

You probably scared the teacher when you introduced yourself: “Hey, I’m Sue… and I like to party hearty!”

I know all the fretting and stresses of parenthood can be daunting, but take a deep breath and try to enjoy the experience. In a couple of heartbeats, they’re gonna be teenagers that know everything and just want you to quit being so fucking lame… (don’t worry… they grow out of that phase, too… eventually).

Lastly… you probably need my recipe for NyQuil smoothie. That’ll help you catch some Z’s!


JourneyBeyondSurvival September 28, 2010 at 9:34 am

Ha! Jack.

My question is this: how did you get them to slow down long enough to capture them in type? I mean, did you just start in on the one that happened to be in your head as you finished typing the last one? If it’s anything like me on a morning like this, we’re looking at 1/4 of the action here.

Am I right?


Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul September 28, 2010 at 9:38 am

I can certainly relate to a brain that won’t stop. I am a believer in your strategy of just allowing the thoughts to pass. Just like most things in life, attempts at control only make it worse…


kristi September 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

I do this too! It sucks. Because I never lay down during the day, I guess I feel guilty. I have always worked and every since I got laid off, I try to stay busy all day til’ I get TC from school.


chris September 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

I used to do that.
Then I figured out noone cared about things that happened a year ago, and if they did then they were probably uptight a holes anyways. I worried myself grey. I corrected my perspective by saying…what if I died tomorrow? Would this be worth thinking about? If not, I don’t.
So, think of death as imminent. That’ll calm you down. lololol.
I hope you feel better. and ninja sneak eating coconut ice cream….while I know you wouldn’t actually do it, would be too funny.


ldswims September 28, 2010 at 12:29 pm

If you ever go for that ice cream – take pictures.

That was super sweet of your neighbor to get that just for you. That’s awesome and makes my heart smile – and it wasn’t even for me. 🙂 I love it when people do nice things just because.

As for the 4 am…I’m right there with ya. If something by chance happens to wake me up at that insane hour, I’m hopeless. 3:55 – I can go back to sleep. 4:15 – I can go back to sleep. But between those two cutoffs…dangit. I read blogs now. That stops half of my “problems” right in their tracks….


bossymommy September 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm

You funny funny girl. Love your writing. Wanna be you when I grow up. 🙂


Mrs. Tim September 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm

A key is given to be used. If you come over to finish the ice cream that is rightfuly yours at four in the morning, just make sure you bring some coffee.


SeattleRunnerGirl September 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Yeah, this is SO my brain. Not so much with the anxiety, but with the somanythingstothinkabouticantshutitoff. I’ve found one thing that helps me, and it’s weird. Starting at 300, I count backwards in my mind by 3s. For some reason, that’s just enough “work” to distract me from the cray-cray going on in my mind, but not so much that it keeps me awake.


Drazil September 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Seriously – this fever pitch stuff in your head….I live like that too so I propose we go back to the suckhole month. It is still your birthday month – it’s not October yet. Yet, I’m glad you found a way to deal with the thoughts instead of shoving them down or blowing them up – you let ’em finish….I should try that. Loves you!


theantijared September 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I voted for you as one of the top 50 Tweetpersons with a swear word in their name who inspires me and is a mama. It was tough because, as you know, I really do enjoy @fukballs and @nutsaplenty, who both inspire me to no end.

Wait, I should have put this in yesterdays comments!

Uhhh….I ate a watermelon.


Quix September 28, 2010 at 11:41 pm

For the last three years I had a break from that. However, since the promotion I dream work, and very occasionally get up and can’t go back to sleep because I’m work-thinky. Occasionally I’ll have conversations 3-4 times before I actually have them and things always go worse in my head and I freak out. Definitely looking forward to my comfort zone expanding to catch up with my job title. 🙂

It’s not nearly as bad as it used to be though. Ridici-crazy amounts of training knocks me right out, no matter WHAT is going on.


merri September 29, 2010 at 6:52 pm

LOL wow did you borrow my head? Ugh ya I hate the dreams where I’m at work doing work or doing home work or whatever and its so exhausting because can’t I just get some rest when I sleep? But when I’m awake, I tend to worry and think about a billion things the way you do. Its good to know its not just me. I wrote a blog a bit back about how I think too much guess you really do too lol. LUCKILY that doesn’t often happen in the middle of the night anymore, more just every time I’m fully awake. I wake up a billion times a night but I generally manage to go back to sleep. Oh only in the worries and thoughts I always have at least one or more songs droning on in the background too.


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