The Princess and the Pea

Do yprincess-and-the-peaou ever wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep? Your mind is going ninety miles a minute? I used to dread when it happened and called it The Princess and the Pea syndrome.

You know the old story. A wife is needed for a prince and his mother piles stacks of mattresses on top of each other. Under the bottom one, she places a pea. If the girl feels the pea during the night, she’s the next princess!

The one, true princess finally comes to town and spends the night on the mattress tower. She, of course, cannot sleep because the pea keeps her awake all night. I wouldn’t have slept for fear of falling off the bed, but that’s another story.

So now you can see why I’ve labeled sleepless nights as The Princess and the Pea syndrome. If I tell my husband that, he immediately knows I tossed and turned all night.

Since I’ve started writing my mind wakes me up more than when I taught. Instead of labeling it a curse, I’ve decided to look at it as a blessing. It’s when I do my best thinking.

My husband informed me I should keep a pad and pencil under my bed to write my thoughts down so I don’t forget. Easy for him to say as he snores away and I’m searching for my glasses in the dark. Ever try to write in the dark? It looks like a five-year-olds, who’s just learning to write. It’s crooked, overlaps and is much larger than your usual printing.

So when I have to really write something, I slip into the bathroom, flip on the light, sit on the edge of the tub or pull down the toilet seat and begin to jot down my thoughts. In the morning I admonish myself for writing like I was still in the dark.

Usually the mind calms down after writing. I also remind myself that I can sleep in now, no more alarm clocks. Sometimes it works. Other times, I think someone snuck in while I was in the bathroom writing and stuck a pea…just one tiny little one…under my mattress.

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