I wrote this post in reply to today’s prompt on BlogHer, for December’s NaBloPoMo: How good are you at putting others before yourself? I think that on reading this, everyone will agree that I am practically a saint.
For almost 10 days, I have been sleeping alone in a king-size bed. Right in the middle, positioned like a starfish, on the diagonal. With a whole duvet to myself, and a selection of pillows to choose from. As I may have mentioned, my husband has been away, however last night he (whom I shall now name Thorn) was back
in by my side. He was exhausted by 10pm, and had to go to bed. Soon enough I heard the sound of wind whooshing in and out of his lungs with what seemed like considerable force. This noise, which we tend to call ‘snoring’, usually soothes my daughter to sleep, although unfortunately it does not have the same effect upon me.
I crept up to bed at around 11.30, opening drawers as quietly as possible in the dark so as not to wake him up, although there was a fair bit of noise going on in the bedroom already. As I slid under the covers, I congratulated myself on my ninja-like skills in getting into bed without waking him up.
As soon as my head hit the pillow, I realised that something was very wrong.
I like to have two pillows, a flat one which provides height, and a squishy one which moulds to the shape of my head. My pillows are just the right combination of softness and hardness. As I put my head down, it sank into the squishy pillow – and carried on sinking right down into the mattress. There was nothing to prop up the squishy pillow! My flat pillow was under HIS head. He had STOLEN MY PILLOW. I swore out loud.
‘Whashashah,’ he mumbled, and at that I remembered that he needed to sleep. OK, I thought, he can keep my pillow. I crept around the bed, slightly less ninja-like than before. This was more of a silent stomp. I searched fruitlessly for another flat pillow, finding only a bouncy pillow which sprang up underneath my head no matter how much I tried to squash it down. I sighed. Quite loudly. I looked at my husband who continued to snore blissfully. I looked at the ceiling and concentrated on breathing a sense of yogic calm into my body.
‘In through the nose, out through the mouth..’ As I breathed, I let my head sink down into the…I threw the bouncy pillow on the floor. Head flat now, as my head squished the squishy pillow, I Breathed again. The bed began to feel softer. I could almost imagine that the pillow was comfortable. Sleep would come, soon enough, I just had to breathe and wait.
I jerked reflexively as I felt his legs stirring. Oh no. The Duvet War was about to begin. This is a nightly occurrence where he decides to liberate our feet from the duvet. He is not happy to just throw the duvet off his side. No, he will not stop until there is NO DUVET AT ALL at the bottom of the bed, and there is absolutely no reasoning with him as he does it without waking up. The only time I won this war was when, in MY sleep, I wrapped my side of the duvet around my legs so that he could not kick it off. I awoke to find him repeatedly trying to move the duvet
‘Un. Believable.’ he muttered in his sleep, as he encountered this obstacle. He then continued to kick at the duvet at intervals throughout the night.
After this, I got my own emergency duvet which I keep by the side of the bed for these occasions. Remembering this, I didn’t attempt to fight him for the duvet, I simply shuffled it over to ‘his’ side of the bed and leaned down to grab my duvet. As I did so, I spied a flat pillow underneath the bed. I came back up triumphant in possession of both a comfy pillow and a duvet. Sleep shall be mine this night! I thought. The bunched up duvets formed a barrier between us. I repelled the momentary advance of his elbow into MY side, and he rolled over. I Breathed again.
Haaaa….I was floating in space, my limbs light and airy, my mind starting to drift through the winter night like a snowflake…
‘You can’t go in there now,’ said my husband, loudly and distinctly.
‘What?’ I mumbled, as my mind was dragged back into heavy wakefulness.
‘You can’t go in there. There’s still a dead body in there.’
There will be a dead body in here pretty soon, I thought as I realised that he was now talking in his sleep.
Have you ever selflessly suffered next to a snoring spouse? What are your secrets for dealing with sleep-crimes such as these?