Memory Week: What’s My Age Again?


I can fall asleep anywhere. In college, I would fall asleep in class, at club meetings, and even when hanging out with friends. It didn’t bother me, but it annoyed some of said friends. “If you’re tired, just go to bed,” they’d say.

I’ve never seen why falling asleep is offensive to some people. When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. And I frequently do both in front of other people—even strangers. When somebody’s tired, they should be able to fall asleep. No guilt.

My wife does not really appreciate me sleeping anywhere else than in bed. We’ll be watching a TV show together on the couch downstairs, and I’ll start to nod off. I don’t mind, but she often does. I’ve had to work to convince her that I like curling up next to her or putting my head on her shoulder or lap, that it’s comforting to fall asleep leaning on her, knowing she’s there. If she’s not ready for bed, but I’m ready for sleep, I’ll put off going to bed. But not sleeping.

Tonight, after I was nodding off during Call the Midwife—a show I really enjoy—I suggested that she watch something I don’t typically watch with her, and that I sleep next to her. I still don’t think she gets it, but she agreed and put on an episode of Sister Wives.

I very quickly nodded off, but bolted upright when I heard my secondborn shouting “Daaaad!” from upstairs.

My wife just laughed. “That was on the show,” she said. “It came from the TV.”

Puzzled, I insisted that I’d heard our daughter calling for me. No, she said, it was on the show. Go back to sleep. So I did.


I snapped up again.

“That’s her this time!” I said, jolted out of sleep again.

Nope. It was the same scene in Sister Wives, being played as a recap after a commercial break made nonexistent by Netflix.

My memory of the rest of my pre-bedtime nap gets hazier from that point, but I’m fairly positive I heard the child shouting a third time. The resemblance to my 4-year-old’s voice was uncanny. I could feel my heart thumping heavily in my chest after each startling “Daaaad!”

* * *

I started this week by noting that I don’t really think my memory is fading, and I’d say that repeatedly forgetting that the yelling I’m hearing is coming from the TV—not my daughter—doesn’t really count, due to the sleep-induced fuzziness.

As the title of today’s post indicates, however, I have noticed some particular trouble in remembering how old I am. In my most recent Freaky Friday post, for instance, I jumped the birthday gun by three weeks—something my wife quickly pointed out. I did something similar earlier in this blog’s life, too, in my most popular post to date, when I said I went to Disneyland for my 34th birthday. Actually, it was for my 32nd birthday.

* * *

So now, since I took a late-evening nap and my wife didn’t, she’s sleeping next to me—in bedwhile I write this post. This is nice, too, and I’ve sort of gotten used to interrupted sleep cycles due to kids climbing in bed with us over the years. In fact, as I started typing this paragraph, the baby woke up and is now tucked on the other side of my wife. If history is any indicator, he’ll eventually end up between us, and he’ll be kicking me in the face by 4 a.m., meaning I’ll probably start nodding off in church tomorrow morning—another place people don’t like to see me falling asleep.


9 thoughts on “Memory Week: What’s My Age Again?

  1. Ditto. I have the same problem. When I get in the car, no matter where we’re going I can’t help but fall asleep. Even if its a 2 minute trip to the shops I’ll be out cold before we hit the car park (unless I’m driving). I call it ‘Carcolepsy’.

  2. In my experience, church is one of the best places to nod off.

    I actually don’t nap and bedtime is pretty concrete around here. But when I was dating my wife, she was dealing with a lot of chronic illness and sleep loss, and we’d have to watch a movie three times in a row so that she could be awake through enough of it to be able to discuss it with me, the film snob. And, yeah, it was a little obnoxious to me. And endearing. But I’m pretty glad she sleeps better now, so we can get through a movie in one shot.

    1. My wife has slept through “Master and Commander” twice. She also recently slept through “Pacific Rim”—and “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” the latter of which was in the theater.

  3. Don’t feel ashamed for falling asleep on your couch – a lot of people do that – even I managed it once or twice – and I am like your wife opposed to “sleeping around” – in this innocent meaning sleeping at places that are not meant for sleeping.

    Your wife might even have the kids in mind – your daughters should go to bed when their little heads go fuzzy – not curl up wherever they are – and when taken to bed getting all awake again!

    Sleeping in church is insulting – not to the Lord – he will understand, isn’t he supposed to be a loving father? – but to the person performing the service for you and the others. If you are too tired to go, do not go. You will not benefit from just sitting around there sleeping. How would you feel if you showed a powerpoint-presentation to clients, doing your very best – and suddenly you saw one of them with the head slowly tilting towards the chest?

    1. Ha! Good point. My problem is that I start to get hot when I sit still for so long—it’s like a generate heat from inactivity—and the heat makes me sleepy in the moment. So a quick exit and a walk around the block or a glass of water does wonders.

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