No Sleep After Night Shifts


If you have ever worked a night shift, you know that the best part is right after you get home. Everyone in the house is still sleeping. The gentle snores of your husband are the only sound in the house. Your pajamas magically take the place of your work clothes.  You give a graceful sigh of contentment as you cuddle into your pillow and sink into blissful sleep.

Yeah…right. It never happens like that.

I came home one morning, after suffering all night with a head cold, to chaos. My dog had escaped from the backyard. He was running all over the front yard barking and growling with the neighbor’s dog that was also running all over the front yard.

I waded into the mass of fur to grab my dog’s collar while trying my best to keep my uniform from getting dirty. That’s not the easiest task when your dog is covered in dirt, rotten fruit, and slobber. 

The worst part was trying to prevent my tan boots from getting paw prints painted on them.

Any who, I finally secured my dog in the backyard where he belonged. Once the neighbor dog left, he was happy to be back.

All I could think about was how badly I wanted my pillow and a bottle of Nyquil.

But…my morning wasn’t over yet. It was still dark so I could easily see that the bathroom light was on. I could just make out the top of my four year old's head through the window. The bathroom door was closed. He never closes the door when he is going potty.

So I crept up to the window to see what was going on in the bathroom at 6 am with a four year old who should be in bed. There was a mountain of bubbles rising out of the sink. That little (deep breath) boy was squirting an entire bottle of isopropyl alcohol into the sink.

I mentally started banging my head against a wall.

We knew he was getting into stuff in the bathroom. Mysteriously empty tubes of toothpaste and an empty bottle of hair gel told us something was happening in the bathroom. This was the first time I had caught him red handed.

I went inside and opened the door to the bathroom. The faucet was running full blast. The sink stopper-upper was in the “up” position. The colossal amount of bubbles was on the verge of spilling out of the sink.  

My mischievous little guy looked very guilty. He held the bottle of alcohol upside down with both hands. His shirt was wet. Bubbles were all over his hands. He knew he was in trouble.

I –how to put this nicely – removed the now empty bottle of alcohol from his hands, turned off the water, and unstopped the sink. I then used a towel to tactfully wipe his hands dry.

I swatted his little hinny and carried him to bed. He cried. Great big tears rolled down his little face. But I wasn’t giving in. I tucked him into bed and told him to go to sleep.

By this time I was extremely grumpy, tired, exhausted, ill, etc., etc. I woke my hubby up to tell him all about it. He snored several times through my story. Obviously I didn’t wake him up good enough, but I vowed to do better next time.

I went back to check on Dennis the Menace. He was still in bed, but not asleep. For some reason he was laying with his feet on his pillow.

I sat next to him and tried to explain to him that what he did was wrong and that he shouldn’t do it again. He sucked his thumb and nodded his head to everything I said. I decided I had been the mean mommy long enough and asked for a hug.

Now, I don’t mean to brag, but that little boy can give the best hugs of all the little boys out there. He stood up on his bed and threw his arms around my neck and laid his head on my shoulder. I wrapped my arms around him and held him for a moment.

No matter what he does, I love him.

I tucked him back into bed and went to try to get some sleep.

Have you ever been so tired and exhausted that you just can’t sleep? Well, I was at that stage. Add that to the dang head cold I had and all I could do was stare at the ceiling.

I looked at the clock. 7:36 a.m.! I had been home for an hour and a half and I could not go to sleep!

Remember what it should be like when you come home from a night shift? A quiet house, pajamas, a pillow, and blissful sleep… if only…


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