Liquids and Things That Go Loud in the Night

At least he's not scary.

At least he’s not scary.

Miles run today: 8

Inches of snow we’ve gotten from major storm system headed our way: 0

Gallons of milk bought for major storm: 1 (I am not sure why running out of milk is such a big fear.)

Setting: our kitchen, before breakfast.

My husband: post-coffee.

Me: pre-coffee.

Me: You turned the water on very loudly last night.

Him: I turned the water on. A little bit.

Me: It was loud, like a tsunami.

Him: I got that impression, from your obnoxious “shushing.” I just needed more water. Hmph.

Me: Where’s the coffee?

Back when I was a single girl and waiting tables, we had a name for the things that woke us up in the middle of the night, sweat pouring from our foreheads, imminent danger close at hand: Waitmares.

“I didn’t get that Diet Coke refill out to table 16!”

I would sit up in bed and feel relieved that table 16 would live to drink another day.

Always, it was the drinks.

After we had first one baby, then two, I would often awake to phantom baby cries.

Again with the drinks. I know now that “Crib number 16, more drinks!” is probably what my daughter was screaming all those nights at 2 and 4 a.m.

Of course, there were the very real baby wake-up calls, and then there was the much worse scenario:

The bound-out-of-bed-to-feed-a-crying-baby when the baby was sleeping, well… like a… nevermind. Phantom baby cries were the worst, because you knew that the real cries would be coming just about the time you fell back asleep.


Back when the kids were little, we had carpet in our bedroom. Illness or a horrible troll nightmare would bring a ghosty little child tiptoeing up to my bedside, the body inches from mine without me waking from the dream world.

Then the tiny fingers would brush my shoulder… “Mo-ommy?” a little voice would whisper. “My throat hurts.”


Now, my son’s large, thudding man-feet hit the room’s hardwood floors so I get an early-warning signal.

More liquids needed: Children’s Motrin.

The other day, my husband, who finds it exhilarating to wake up at 4:45 a.m., regarded me with wide-awake eyes across the breakfast table.

Him: Am I really going to have to refill my water glass downstairs in the middle of the night?

Me: Your water sounds were aggressive and way out of line.

Him: Seriously?

Then I kissed him on the top of the head and poured some more coffee.

More liquids needed: this was going to be a multi-liquid day.

25 thoughts on “Liquids and Things That Go Loud in the Night

  1. 4:45 am.

    *shaking my head in disbelief*

    I am so very very sorry.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    Hmm, WP tells me I and two other bloggers like this, but it’s not showing their gravatars….

    Sometimes I wonder how husbands and wives can sleep together for so many years and still stay together. 😉 Getting up for water, going to the bathroom, snuffling with sinus congestion, stealing the blankets, pushing the blankets on the other…. Somehow we manage, right?

    If you’d like some snow, we’re getting a bit right now that I’d love to ship off someplace where it’s more desired!

    • annewoodman says:

      Send the snow down here! All we have is a thin layer of ice… not fun. Sleet is the ugly cousin of snow.

      Yes, we probably have fewer sleep issues than many couples… we’re both fairly early risers and go to bed at the same time. But I do hear horror stories from others who are not so lucky. And we ourselves have our moments. ; )

  3. robincoyle says:

    Isn’t it funny how water can sound aggressive?

    Your husband is a patient man.

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    I am so glad to learn I’m not the only one who had “Waitmares,” though I never called them that. After waitressing for so many years, the job would frequently pop up in my dreams. But for me it was always that I couldn’t keep up. I’d keep getting tables, and everyone needed me. And yet people kept coming in. Ooh. Still makes me shudder.

    One time I accused my husband of reading the newspaper too loudly in the kitchen while I was trying to sleep. That’s right up there with turning the water on too loudly. Hey, we have good hearing. Is that OUR problem? 😉

    • annewoodman says:

      No, I think it may be our husbands’ problem, Carrie. ; )

      Turning pages loudly can be a very big problem, for sure. He didn’t quite understand that; I don’t know why. A couple of Christmases ago, I bought him an e-reader. Problem solved! ; )

  5. I noticed the same thing is JM, it says there are more likes than there are gravatar pics.

    I have ‘Actmares’ sometimes. Not so much these days (but still occasionally), but when I used to act in plays, I would have dreams where either I could never get to the stage because it was taking me forever to get to the theater and get in my costume, or just as I got onto the stage I would realise that either I had never learnt the lines, or it was so long since I had last rehearsed it that I had completely forgotten them all. I think it’s probably very common for actors to have dreams like that!

    • annewoodman says:

      Vanessa, I only took a couple of drama/speech/acting classes in college, and I remember having those dreams! I still have the kind where I’m supposed to be somewhere, and I’m very late, and I can’t get to the place where I’m supposed to be. All too common!

      P.S. I have no idea about the “Likes” vs. gravatars. Very strange.

  6. David Gentry says:

    Wonderful, as usual.

    Yes, the shock of having a new baby is one of the chief wake up calls (pun intended) of life. Something has to wake us up doesn’t it?

  7. 4amWriter says:

    4:45. It is a good time of day. Truly. 🙂

    I had waitressing nightmares and daymares — that job stressed me to no end.

    Ever since I had children, I’m a fairly light sleeper. But it was really, really hard to get used to waking up every couple of hours and then having to actually get out of bed and do something.

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, when I get awoken nowadays and have to traipse downstairs for medicine, I realize that I have it pretty easy. I don’t think I could do the whole newborn thing again at age 40. ; )

  8. 4:45 AM, normal. Waitmares, okay I’ll buy that. Aggressive water not connected to a raging river or a storm ravaged ocean…not so much!

    Now, having a spouse repeatedly wake you up in the middle of the night by coughing in your face. That I understand. 😉

  9. J-Bo says:

    I used to have waitmares all the time as a waitress! (I’m totally going to steal this word). I would dream I had 20 tables and was the only server at work. Is there anything more horrifying?

    • annewoodman says:

      It’s ridiculous how stressful it is! And why it would carry over into your sub-conscious life… I mean, were we leading the United States of America and deciding whether to invade a suspected terrorist cell? Um, no.

      • J-Bo says:

        I went on a professional job interview a while ago and was asked a questions about my most stressful job. The first thing that came to mind was waitressing. My interviewer told me that that’s their most common answer.

  10. Melissa says:

    Your husband and my husband have this sick love of early mornings. What is their problem? And yes, water can sound very aggressive at that time of night.

    The oldest had night terrors at 3 months. Random, blood curdling screams at ungodly hours only to find him fast asleep and us wide awake with racing hearts. I think it prepared me for the teenage years.

    • annewoodman says:

      Ha! Did it really, Melissa? Maybe those phantom cries I heard were real, then. I’ll never know.

      I think you are the only one willing to back me up on aggressive water sounds. You can still be my friend. ; )

  11. Talking about aggressive sounding water, since Dan put a new shower in there’s a weird sound that comes from the wall every time we use it. Very very aggressive. And a little bit scary.
    I read in the Times this weekend that it’s okay to sleep a night apart every so often because it means that you get a really good quality 8 hours sleep, which is good if you want to stay married!!!

    • annewoodman says:

      Oh! The place where we stay at the beach has a scary shower sound like that–it’s like a banshee when you turn on the water… and for the length of the shower! The strange thing is that it doesn’t do it for every shower… just the lucky ones. ; )

  12. Believe it or not, I still have school-anxiety dreams. I dream that I suddenly remember that I’m enrolled in classes and I haven’t been doing the reading or attending lectures. I haven’t been in school for over thirty years!

    • annewoodman says:

      Me, too! They don’t occur too often anymore, but I still have that exact dream… or a related one, where I can’t find the class that I’m supposed to have been attending for days or even weeks. Argh! So stressful.

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