Demerits were given at boarding school for an unmade bed. I've never liked to hit the floor running, so training myself to sleep "quietly," disturbing the bedding as little as possible during the night, gave me more time to ease into the day; the blankets only needed a quick smoothing in the morning. Not tossing and turning became the habit of a lifetime that stands me in good stead in a crowded bed. My current partners are a motley crew. Bessie Anne lies on my side at bedtime and won't move over until she gets a shoulder massage that must last long enough to satisfy. Only then will she grudgingly go over to her side and let me climb in. With cooler nights, she sometimes puts her nose under my hair. Her warm breath isn't unpleasant on my neck, but she snores. Not a big dog, she's no lightweight. Bess moves from place to place at night on the bed, dropping down like a load of rocks, heavy enough to rattle the brass headboard. The cats do not join us at lights out. That seems to be their signal for The Children's Hour. They romp in the bathroom and play tag up and down the hall in the dark. It's only later that I become aware that Celeste has come to bed. It suits her sedate nature to lie against my leg and stay there for the duration. If I do turn over, I'm careful to again put a leg next to her or she follows said leg until I'd be pushed over the side. And then there's Ralph. Oh, Ralph. He's a busy, busy boy. After I'm asleep, he pats my face or slides an arm under the sheet. "Just checking, Mom." He thunders around in the tub or plays a quick and noisy round of hockey in the bathroom. He'll bounce on the pillow on his way to the windowsill. He moves the remote controls on the table beside my head. If he does lie down, and that's not often, it's next to my belly, where he then demands to be petted.
There are well-defined routines in the morning. The cats arise when I do, risking life and limb (mine and theirs) as they stand in my way in the dark. It's best if I shuffle along and not drop kick a cat or fall on my face. Celeste, Ralph and I use the bathroom together (see prior entries). Bessie Anne lies still as if sleeping, but as soon as I come back into the room, she thumps her tail. That's my signal to give her a belly rub, her wake-up call, and without which her day cannot begin. We parade down the hall together. While the coffee maker does its thing, food and water bowls are filled, and then it's treat time. The cats get theirs on the counter. Bessie goes to the box of dog biscuits, receives one, and takes it into the dining room (ladies eat in the dining room). She then stands in front of the treat drawer, eager for her one soft treat of the day. By then I can pour my coffee and we all head back to the bedroom and my computer time.