Memory Week: What’s My Age Again?

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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.

“Daaaad!”

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!”

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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.

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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.