Saturday, January 11, 2020

Jane: Nighttime Shenanigans

Last night, in the middle of the night, Sky reached over and patted me, then abruptly drew his hand away.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “I thought you were Jane.”

“I am Jane.” 

“Oh, good.” And he went back to sleep.

Nighttimes are always an adventure around here these days. And preparing for bed has become a new experience. Sky no longer remembers how to get ready for bed, so I’ve made him a written checklist:

Brush teeth


Take melatonin

Take off clothes

Get into bed

Take off glasses

Put glasses in glasses case

Put glasses case in bedside stand drawer

I haven’t yet had to supervise teeth brushing and peeing, but once those tasks are done, I do have to escort Sky to his side of the bed. He often can’t remember where and how to get into bed.

Actually, the “get into bed” activity is much more than that. I have to direct Sky something like this:

Sit on the side of the bed

Swing your legs up on to the bed (sometimes that’s in the wrong direction, so I have to be ready)

Scoot your butt down (and I point toward the bottom of the bed)

When he’s far enough to lie down, I no longer tell him to lie “down” because then he continues to scoot his butt “down.” I’ve learned to say, “Now lie ‘back.’”

Once his head hits the pillow, I cover him up, remove his glasses and stow them safely away (he no longer trusts himself to do this step).

And I hope he goes to sleep — and stays asleep. 

I never know.

The melatonin has decreased his nighttime physical agitation and attacking, and some nights he sleeps through the night and wakes up at a reasonable hour.

Then there are the other nights.

Two nights ago, he woke me up at 4 a.m. to tell me we had to go outside and dig up the water line.

“It’s still dark. We can’t do that now.”

“But we have to. The water main is broken. There’s a tree down on it.”

“Whatever. It’s dark. We can’t work in the dark.”

OK, I’m trying to play along.

“But we have to!” he insists. “Check all the faucets!”

I get up, turn on all the faucets. The sound of running water does not seem to soothe him.

“The water is fine.”

“No, we have to fix the water line.”

I try something new.

“We’re in a city. Public Works will take care of it.”

“We’re in a city?”


And on and on we went….. Sky got more and more agitated about the “broken” water line, and despite me holding him, speaking to him soothingly, either playing along, or giving him facts, nothing worked. I gave up.

“How about some coffee?” I asked.

“That sounds great!” saiid Sky, and at 4:30 a.m. we were up for the day. Coffee in hand, lights on, and me reading from the on-line New York Times finally soothed him. Even though the story was about Iran and our almost-war.

He had his first nap at 8:45.  Mine was at 11.

Expect the unexpected.


  1. I am so sorry, you guys. From the outside, it seems that you (Jane) are handling this pretty well -- you are equipped for this better than some of us, though I'm sure it is VERY wearing. Thinking of you a lot, and sending love from afar.

  2. Oh, my, all that stuff about the water line must have come from the long ago days at Frog Run - there were many nights in below zero weather, thawing and splicing the waterline. You could try saying, "We've dug a well now, no more water line, so everything is okay." But I know next time, it will be something else. Your patience is infinite, Jane, and Sky is so fortunate to have you! xxxo Mary

    1. I asked him about that, thinking surely this incident must have happened at FRF. But he said no....