Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Hissy Fit as a Form of Contraception

A student at MIT named Gauri Nanda has recently created a novel new form of alarm clock. Known as "Clocky," it's designed to act as a robotic pet, a kind of techno Fido that barks for you to wake up and play. The clock, padded and covered in brown shag carpet, has wheels and a navigation system. Once the alarm goes off in the morning, Clocky rolls off the nightstand and then into some unknown corner. The idea is that you'll have to get out of bed and find it in order to turn it off. My husband really needs something like this.

Every single morning, my husband's alarm goes of before dawn. He's got the kind of job where you have to get up to make the donuts. But he's a heavy sleeper, ergo, he needs an alarm. And every single morning after it goes off, he hits snooze over and over. Eventually, *I* become fully awake and team up with the clock to rouse him. Sometimes I have to physically push him out of bed. By that point, I usually can't fall back to sleep. Ironically, I'm a light sleeper that needs a LOT of sleep. So, even though I have a better schedule and a much shorter commute and could potentially sleep for more than another hour after he gets up, his routine leaves me chronically sleep deprived. This causes us a fair amount of conflict. In fact, it's one of our biggest points of tension. He claims that there's no way he can get up without an alarm. I say, yes I know, but you have to get up when it goes off, not hit snooze and go back to sleep till I force you up. He says he never even consciously hears the alarm and there's nothing he can do. I say constantly disrupting my sleep is a human rights violation!!!! Weekends are the only thing that save us. Otherwise, I'm cranky and sour in the mornings, Mrs. Jack Sprat on the grapefruit diet.

So, a couple of weeks ago, a day or two after I ovulated, I had a big performance review at work and I was nervous. Really really nervous. I wanted the day to go well. I worried it wouldn't. I keep losing babies, why not lose my job while I'm at it? I was an emotional mess. So, the night before my big review, we have a little talk about how I need a good night's sleep before the big day. I, of course, toss and turn and sleep even more lightly than usual until I finally drop off for real around 3 in the morning--only to be rudely awakened again by his alarm at 5:15 AM and at 5: 24 AM and at 5:33 AM. At which point I started screaming like a banshee. I am not kidding, it was ugly. I screamed and shrieked and sobbed and screamed. I pounded the mattress with my fists. I said all sorts of angry things. For an hour. My husband could not have been more contrite, more apologetic, more placating. Eventually, he got out the door, very very late for work. I got up, went to work, sailed through my review, regained my sanity, and apologized abjectly for my behavior when we got home that night. He has gotten up BEFORE his alarm every week-day morning since, and I had almost managed to forget the incident had ever happened.

Until I peed on a stick this morning... Clearly an animal in full-on, adrenaline-pumping, fight-or-flight mode is not going to be optimally primed for reproduction. I think maybe I wasn't quite ready to try this month...