For years I’ve lived by the mantra “Sleep is for the weak.” If there is a sporting event, concert, play or any other entertainment option that looks like it shouldn’t be missed, I try not to miss it. It has always made sense to me that a few hours on the road to and from whatever was going on is well worth it. In addition to that, there is no reason not to show up for work the next day, regardless of how little sleep I might have gotten. After all, the news never stops and I have a job to do.
But this week I may have met my match when it comes to burning both ends of the candle in the form of one 16-month-old girl named Peyton. She is our granddaughter and Aggie and I are babysitting her for a week while her parents are gone. In addition to Peyton, we are also watching their 60-pound English Bulldog, Bruce.
From the time Peyton gets up in the morning until she feels ready for a nap, it’s game on. She goes from toy to toy and has a mercurial nature that makes keeping track of her a full-time gig. And while she takes naps in the morning and afternoon, it’s rarely more than enough time to pick up the toys, turn off any toys that make noise, let Bruce outside on the leash and then go outside to unwrap Bruce from the basketball pole or from underneath the deck.
Peyton likes to build things. Putting blocks together and taking them apart is something we’ve done a lot this week. My main job is to make sure Bruce doesn’t chew on any blocks that have fallen to the floor.
Peyton has been a great host. Aggie and I have enjoyed more tea from a non-stop barrage of tea parties than one can imagine. I conservatively estimate I’ve had over 200 cups of imaginary tea. And don’t get me started on the plastic cupcakes and cookies I’ve been served.
As you might guess from a house of two retired teachers, we have lots of books for Peyton to read. Aggie has done a great job of collecting books that little girls want to read. Peyton wants to read them all and we are more than happy to read them to her.
We’ve gotten smarter this week when it comes to feeding Peyton. We make sure it’s ready when she’s ready for it. Trust me, it’s just easier for everyone.
When Peyton goes to bed at night, Aggie and I look at each other somewhat exhausted. And while the toys are shut off and put away, and Bruce is unwrapped from under the deck one more time, we know it will all start over again in the morning.
It’s a lot of fun. We will miss Peyton when she goes back home to her folks. It may take Aggie and me a few days to recover once we are back to our old routine. It may also make me change my mantra.
After trying to keep up with one very active 16-month old and wondering how long it will take me to recover, I’ve come to an epiphany of sorts.
Sleep is for the week.