At least she's cute.

The reason I’m always tired.

Hello, I have a confession, I haven’t slept in 16 years. I always found it hilarious during a postpartum check up when the doctor would ask, “Are you feeling depressed: tired, irritable, sleepy during the day, crying, that sort of thing?” Are you freaking kidding me? I just pushed out an 8 pound bundle of joy, who never stops pooping, six weeks ago and I haven’t slept since. So yeah, I’m kinda tired and irritable. You got a problem with that? By the way, that’s the wrong answer, in case you were wondering.

That’s always been my answer, though. Of course I’m tired, I haven’t slept since 2001! I’m a parent. After the newborn up all night phase comes the afraid of my crib phase and after that phase comes the night terrors phase and after that phase comes the fighting to go to bed and awake before dawn phase. And after that comes the breaking curfew and early morning band practice phase. It never ends. This is why people retire at 65 – they need to catch up on sleep!

So I thought it would ease up as the kids got older. And in a way, it has. But the kids have been replaced by my dogs. Two are in their golden years – both on borrowed time as large-breed dogs over 10 years old; so there are “potty issues” that require me to wake up pretty early. But the big problem is the defective, fat, orange dog who is maybe five.

She had an accident last year. We came home after being gone for the day and I found her laying on the floor panting and unable to walk. She tore a tendon. She was pretty psycho before that, more so than our other dogs but about average for a lab (of which she is half), but now, and I don’t know how it’s related, she’s a full-fledged loon. Ok. We’re talking having a pet zombie-on-hallucinogens psycho.

So our nightly routine before the crates was this… Put the kids down, watch a movie or something, go to bed at a decent-ish time. 12:00 AM – Orange dog starts barking at plastic bags in the wind and, I don’t know, poltergeists or something. Tell her to shut up and get her back in bed. 1:00 AM – Orange dog barrels down the hall barking at the cat. 3:00 AM – Orange dog starts barking at the window again. I get her hushed. 3:30 AM – It starts over. I resign at around 5 AM and fall asllep cuddling her on the couch.

So about a month ago, in the middle of the routine, I rolled over and said to my husband, “I want her in a crate.” He said, “Get it done.” Which in my head I heard, “Make it so.” So I did. I ordered three gigantic dog crates and checked the tracking on them about every hour until they came. For the first few weeks, they were the solution to all my problems.

Then last week it started again…only a bit later. At 3:00 AM she starts whining and doesn’t stop until I let her out to relieve herself, along with the old dogs who can’t hold it that long anyway. Then they gang up on me and run in different directions so I can’t get them back in their crates, so I just go to bed. They start snoring. I can’t go back to sleep. Today I finally dozed back off just in time to have my kids yell, “Hey, Mom! I can’t find my uniforms!”

I live on coffee, in case you were wondering. Anyone want a used, fat, orange dog?

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