Monday, June 29, 2009

Voices in the dark in the wee small hours

Long Suffering Spouse and I had actually made it to the end of a late movie on the TV without either of us falling asleep Saturday night. Laugh if you must, but for us, this is an achievement.

At the time we also thought it remarkable that Youngest Son and Younger Daughter had both retired upstairs before us. We weren't waiting up for anyone else. Middle Son was off to a concert and staying with friends; Older Daughter was in Indianapolis tormenting her fiance and his family with her Wedding Frenzy.

Life was good.

I climbed into bed, ready to surrender happily into the arms of Morpheus... and then I heard voices.

I thought at first it might be conversation in the street outside the house. Ours is a quiet residential street, but nocturnals do sometimes gather for various purposes across the street, where there is something of a parking lot, and an old folks home.

Then I realized the air conditioner was on and the windows were closed. If it was neighborhood nocturnals, I should not have been able to hear them.

I got up to investigate, eventually locating the noise behind the closed door of Younger Daughter's bedroom. Perhaps she was talking in her sleep. I knocked. "Are you alright in there?"

"I'm on the phone, Dad."


A little louder for my benefit. "I'm on the phone, Dad."

"Well, it's nearly 2:00am and the phone needs to sleep, even if you don't. Hang up."

Yesterday afternoon, after Mass, I asked her what was so important that had to be discussed at 2:00am.

Where I come from, phones ringing in the middle of the night are always bad news. Someone has been arrested; someone has been injured; someone has died.

But the nocturnals are different, apparently, in this as in so many other things. I got no satisfactory answer from Younger Daughter, but Long Suffering Spouse persisted and told me later that Younger Daughter had received not one but several calls in the wee hours: Several of her friends who were out for the evening 'checked in' with her upon their return.

What the heck was so important it couldn't wait for daylight?

When we finally broke down and let the high school kids get cell phones (Younger Daughter is in college now, but she got hers in high school) Long Suffering Spouse and I said we would collect the phones at night before we retired. They could have them back in the morning.

Just as we didn't want anyone calling the landline after 10:00pm, we didn't want kids getting their sleep disturbed by midnight calls on their cells.

This practice may have lasted a week.

Soon, the kids realized that they had merely to outlast us and thus keep their phones 24/7: Long Suffering Spouse and I would fall asleep watching the History Channel and they'd sneak off to their rooms (or be up there the whole night anyway, allegedly doing homework) and then they'd have beaten us. It wouldn't make sense for us to interrupt the kids' sleep by demanding their cell phones when the purpose of demanding the phones was to keep said phones from interrupting their sleep, would it?

No, we didn't think so either.

And this is where logic has taken us.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

curmy you are never gonna' win this one, just get your beauty rest and give it up. she IS at home after all, safe and sound...

smiles, bee

Steve Skinner said...

I agree with Bee, there are some battles you just have to call it a draw!

Cathy said...

Bee just pretty much covered it. My grandkids seem to think that cell phones are only used for text messaging. They have these fancy things that have a full keyboard and will text me at 2am and ask "Hey what R U doing?" I can't quite figure this all out. My phone only has a number pad and these kids want me to text them back for hours. I really think they are messing with me. I picture them dying laughing knowing I am having to press a thousand buttons to answer them.

Shelby said...

this is the great question of life...

not - what is the meaning of life.. but, what am I to do with my kids and their cell phone issues, namely the nocturnal issues?

I know not, but long for, the answer.