#)&*@! BIRDS!

Nope. It’s not what you think. You are probably thinking, yeah, that damn angry birds game is making me loco too. Although, I must admit I am stuck on the level with the four birds underneath the concrete, and can’t for the life of me get past that level…

No, I’m talking about birds in the morning when I am trying to sleep. I like birds. Birds are graceful. I’d kill to be able to soar in the skies like they do. They are beautiful to look at. I even like the peaceful music that they make–that is, until I’m in my comfy, cozy bed looking forward to sleeping in, when I get up to pee…then get back in the wonderfully warm and welcoming blankies only to realize that it’s too late, the birds are up!

ARRGHH! Nothing makes me crazier when I wake up somewhere in the realm of dawn and think to myself, “Crap, the damn birds are awake. I”ll never get back to sleep again”. I’ve tried getting super comfy and cozy and pulling the blankets over my head. Turning on my good ear so I don’t hear as well. Shoving the pillows on top of my head. But, it’s to no avail. It’s just too late. I could lay there for two hours and there’d be no chance in hell that I’d actually fall back asleep again. I think I get so over sensitive to it, that it may as well be an amp with the birds chirping next to my pillow, I will find no rest.

I didn’t always used to be such a delicate sleeper. In fact, I used to be able to sleep through just about anything. I am one of four kids, and I somehow managed to share a room with my wonderful brother during our teenage years. I was given the choice when I was about 7 when rooms were being repainted to either reside with my two older sisters, or share a room with my brother who was 3 years my senior. I had decided to share a room with my brother, because I thought to myself, my sisters are slobs, I’d much rather share with my brother…little did I know what fun and torment was awaiting.

I loved my brother. Still do to this day, but I have to say it wasn’t easy sharing a room with him. We lived in a modest Philly row home with three smallish bedrooms (and one, yes one bathroom!). I got along fairly well with my bro, but as we co-habitated in a room, I’d have to imagine he was craving privacy from his pesky little sister. I used to follow him around when he was hanging with his friends, and that started the years long back and forth between the two of us.

It was your average love hate sibling rivalry. Lots of pushing and shoving. I think he actually witnessed my first stream of curse words as I threw him down the steps one day–I don’t even remember why anymore, but hey, I still remember him coming after me after I did that with his own wondrous stream of curse words coming right back at me!

I know I complained loudly to my parents that it wasn’t fair that he left the lights, TV and radio going while he was playing this obsessive Strat-O-Matic sports game which involve recording sports statistics with every roll of the dice–all the while when it was time to for me to go to sleep. My parents said–it was his room too, deal with it. Thankfully, I had the bottom bunk so I was able to hunker down and figure out how to zone out and fall asleep. I guess I’m thankful for that, as I was able to fall asleep through pretty much a nuclear fallout and creep into la la land.

I could also stay asleep as well. Two memorable moments come to mind. One time we were on a family vacation at the Jersey shore at a efficiency suite that happened to be smack dab across the street from a fine bar and liquor store. I can very vaguely remember being carried from one room to the next in the middle of the night by someone, but quickly fell back to sleep when deposited onto a bed nearby, figuring I had to be dreaming. I awoke the next morning in a different room, in a different bed with a bunch of glass stuck to my hair. I walked into the next room where I was sleeping on the sofa bed, only to find someone else sleeping where I was, and a bunch of sofa cushions propped up against the outside door with a chair. Turns out someone had tossed a beer bottle through our louvered glass door, and I slept through the whole thing, cops (apparently who carried my into the other room) and all.

Living in a row home in the city accustoms you to hearing lots of noises. Our family home was also situated on a bus route that ran through the night so, every time the bus passed by our house, the whole house seemed to rattle and shake. Another morning I woke to the very heavy smell of smoke in our house. I was rather alarmed as it was so strong, I thought that our house may be on fire. Turns out that during the course of the night, an old, abandoned school had caught on fire next to our house, and had resulted in a three alarm fire while I was happily in dream land. Seriously? I’m talking right next to my room, and I didn’t hear a thing. There was still one truck there when I woke up with fireman and hoses scattered through the street next to our house. I had to get the recap from my mom the next morning–she could scarcely believe that I had slept through the whole thing as it had obviously kept her awake the whole night long.

Once I grew up, and moved onto my college digs, I was actually having a hard time sleeping because it was too quiet! It was much easier for me to fall asleep with a radio or a TV in the background than to the sounds of silence. Apparently all those years of growing up in the city had made the sounds of silence just a tad too loud for me. Over time, I was able to overcome this quirk I had acquired, and have come to very much appreciate falling into my bed at the end of the day in total silence. Oh, I can still fall asleep on the sofa with the TV blaring like nobody’s business, but I can certainly look forward and appreciate falling into the cocoon of my blissful, quiet refuge at the end of a busy day.

So please dear angels in the night, please let me make it through the night, and not need a bathroom break before the birds have seen the morning light–lest you find one cranky momma bleary eyed and out of it for the rest of the day.

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