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Karin pulled a melodrama queen evening, flinging herself about with over-the-top declarations of the impossibility of slumber. She CAN'T close her eyes. She CAN'T go to sleep. She CAN'T stay in her bed. I'm so tempted to find a pacifier and stick it in her face, it's not even funny. Anders thinks she'll get over this pretty quick once she's back on a regular schedule with daycare and too tired to do this kind of thing every night, but I have my doubts. It's like she has to test every boundary and go in the opposite direction of everything we say, just BECAUSE.

He sat with her, I sat with her, he sat with her again, and we were both at our wit's end when she finally dropped off, well after 11 p.m.. Later, lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I said, "I don't want to be the parent of Karin the teenager." Anders said, "Why do you have to think about that now?!" and I thought: for the same reason I had to think about my father dying before he actually did, so that it wouldn't kill me when it finally happened.

I couldn't get my brain to shut off and it took forever to fall asleep. At 5:41 a.m. I awoke to Karin crying, getting progressively louder with every passing second of no response. Anders got up to see what was the matter and she had just woken up and couldn't get back to sleep. He was with her for an amazingly short time before returning to bed, but I haven't been able to get back to sleep and after an hour of tossing and turning, decided to get up and write about it, in the hopes of exorcising the demon hamster in my brain that won't stop running, running, running on its pretty little treadmill.


I've been doing crossword puzzles on and off since my mom left. My family has always been a fairly heavy crossword-solving family, and my sister and mom are addicts. I've gotten totally out of the habit, since Swedish crosswords are a pale shadow of a REAL crossword and my access to really good ones is minimal. When I was pregnant, my mom brought me some of those big crossword complilations (SUPER CROSSWORD BOOK!) but since then they've been languishing on the shelf, and only come off again in conjunction with her visits. I think it drove both Anders and my brother crazy during Christmas because my mom would sit and do a crossword and constantly read the clues out loud so that I (or whoever was in the room) could call out answers. We were like a tandem crossword team. She'd get stuck and then I'd work on it, or I'd start one and get stuck and she'd take over. I've been doing them ever since, although I suspect the craze is dying out slowly again, because it really is much more fun to do them with my sister and/or mother in the room.

One of the crosswords I was working on while sitting in Karin's room telling her to shut her eyes, be quiet, put her head down, go to SLEEP had a neat gimmick which I'm putting here so I'll remember it and possibly amuse you at the same time. It took me only a few minutes to figure out the solution and then I was quite taken with the cleverness of it. The headline was DECIPHER DECIPHER and here are the clues:
  • Make the media melancholy
  • Create a billboard
  • Want an audience with the king
  • Abhor the audition
  • Specify the penalty
  • Make fun of an F
  • Ridicule the roller coaster
  • Write a musical symbol
  • Overrun an Olympic event
  • Crumple an application
  • Make the media melancholy: DEPRESS DEPRESS
  • Create a billboard: DESIGN DESIGN
  • Want an audience with the king: DESIRE DESIRE
  • Abhor the audition: DETEST DETEST
  • Specify the penalty: DEFINE DEFINE
  • Make fun of an F: DEGRADE DEGRADE
  • Ridicule the roller coaster: DERIDE DERIDE
  • Write a musical symbol: DENOTE DENOTE
  • Overrun an Olympic event: DELUGE DELUGE
  • Crumple an application: DEFORM DEFORM

And now I am going to go back to bed and try and sleep another hour or so.
mood: sleepy
music: none. just me.


Usch, I'm so sorry that Karin is having such trouble sleeping and so causing you so much trouble as well! I hope it turns around soon so that you get some good rest again.

I've never been very good at those puzzles and I'll admit (red-faced) it took me a few reads before I found the cleverness in the answers. haha But once I found it I was amused. :)

Ever since reading your puzzle this keeps going through my head:

  • Transportation to Fantasy Island: DEPLANE DEPLANE

Thanks so much Liz... hahahaha

bahaha! good one! :) I didn't even think of making up some of my own, but it WAS 6:30 a.m. so I'll use that as an excuse!

Karin's been driving us mad with sleep problems pretty much since she was born. It's just that nowadays we have FAR less patience (and I have NONE) to deal with it, so it feels worse. :( I hope it turns around sometime too. Thanks!

Very cute puzzle. I feel good that I got it, even if I didn't work out all the answers before looking. :)

Maybe I'll use it on the Fun Stuff page of the AWC website sometime. :)

God, I'm so glad we're too old to be reproducing! I was the same sort of child as Karin and must have driven my parents stark raving mad. The good news is, as a teenager, I was one of those that would sleep until noon and spent LOTS of time locked in my room.

I fervently hope that Karin is like you, in that case. Visions of piercings and late-night-where-is-she-panics and drunkenness and teen pregnancies and runaways were running through my head last night. I'd rather have sugarplums, that's for sure.

The run-aways were only to Greenwich Village, no piercings, and the tattoos didn't come until I was in my late 30s. Drunkness and teen pregnancy, well, that came late in my teen-age years, but that's an entirely different story.

I'll be happy if she waits until she's 18, then her actions and their consquences are entirely upon HER own head!!

I'm a cruel woman...

My first reaction to Karin not sleeping was:

But then I realised that was just my sheer relief that it was now someone else's turn to have my son's spirit. You remember him, the one teachers described as "the class character", the one the other kids watched open-mouthed with admiration for his "great ideas" (like building a HUGE damp sand pile next to the dagis fence and organsiing a "mass breakout", leading 5 friends home for lunch!!). The one who slept for about 4 broken hours in 24 for the first 4 years of his life, who still took his dummy (pacifier) to school and kept it in his locker to suck on when needed. I have this classic photo of him when he was five, standing astride his new tough looking BMX bike wearing a superman costume, with his pacifier in his mouth!

But he DID grow out of it. As a teen I couldn't even crowbar him out of bed at lunch-time. And he became quite conservative really (apart from his passion for his 5-litre V-8 Torana).

On the other hand, my quiet and sunny, obedient daughter who slept from 10pm to 10am from the day I brought her home from hospital turned into the Gothic, snarling, multi pierced, teen.

So while you can take heart from what Carolyn wrote, maybe it's Martin you should worry about as a teen :)

Re: I'm a cruel woman...

Your ability to find the perfect image for every occasion is scary, Marie. :P

Don't start giving me nightmares about my Martin, that's the last thing I need (although you're not the only one that has told me similar horror stories). eek!

Is your daughter still a Gothic, snarling, multi-pierced woman?

Re: I'm a cruel woman...

Well the transformation was dramatic. One day she was dressed in hot pink, playing with Care Bears and My Little Pony and literally the next she came out with dyed black hair, black nailpolish, long flowing black robes and Doc Martens! She even went with us to Queensland on holidays like that. Everyone was wearing white shorts and tropical shirts and she was trudging around ten paces behind us in her "uniform" with a scowl on her face. The photos were a riot!

She went through several other transformations - hippy, punk etc but finally she settled on just weird but arty and stylish. She wears what I'd consider after-five wear as normal everyday clothes and it looks great on her. She will go to the shops wearing a black satin long skirt with a fish-tail back. But she is tall, dark and dramatic looking, so it suits her. She also has a fixed stare stare and raised eyebrow that could freeze hell over and a razor tongue that can strip paint off walls. You've got to love that (from a distance!).

Hmmm...not easy at the time. I really liked the challenge of teens. I'm not much of a baby person and really loved it when they responded to me and became more interactive. Hey I even liked the toddler stage! But really the best weapons you can have with teenagers is a sense of humour and flexibility. Also a willingness to embarass them is also helpful - after all, why should THEY have all the fun!

Re: I'm a cruel woman...

Holy bondage-and-leather batman! what a dress. Actually, I was never much for the baby stage either, and enjoy the 5-6 year old thing much more. I'm a little leery of the pre-teen/teen thing though, depending on what happens. My mom loved your comment about your son, by the way :)

Re: I'm a cruel woman...

If she comes to Sweden I'll be sure to visit you and you can "experience" it yourself :)

The pre-teen thing is okay as long as you keep your sense of humour and really know your kids. I remember overhearing my son on the phone to his friends. They were obviously trying to arrange some outing the "wrinklies" wouldn't approve of. He told them "But you don't understand. My mum's not gullible!" Now ain't that the truth! A lot of the time I knew what they were up to and was realistic about them and their behaviour. I didn't accept being a doormat, but I also let them know that I loved them and supported them.

Yay for lizardmom!! She sounds like a legend. :)

Re: I'm a cruel woman...

You don't need your daughter as an excuse to come visit me :) And my mom is the BEST. :)

Possibly a naive question, but don't they have baby aerobics on video you could get her to do around 5pm so she's knackered enough to want her bed? :)

hmmm...that's an idea. The problem with Karin is that she, unlike Greta Garbo, does NOT vant to be alone. So, one of us has to be with her when she's pulling these nighttime antics. She won't just quietly read in bed (like her brother). Usually she comes and gets in bed with us in the middle of the night, because it's "boring" in her room. sigh

"I thought: for the same reason I had to think about my father dying before he actually did, so that it wouldn't kill me when it finally happened."

Yes, my brain often makes those kinds of quantum leaps to the Worst Possible Scenario. I can extrapolate the smallest detail of a situation into a five-act play, complete with Greek chorus! Stephen King said his mother did it, too, but her reasoning was that if she thought of the worst, it wouldn't happen at all...


It's not a good habit, actually, but I can't seem to shake it. :( I like that about if you think of the worst, it won't happen...I've had some of that with "late at night, where's my husband, he was supposed to be back hours ago, he's lying dead in a ditch, should I start calling the hospitals" thing and then he walks in the door. :P


Your LJ friends have great things to share- I especially loved the story about the troublesome kid! A breakout from Dagis- what a genius!! well..that's just the view from someone not personally responsible for him! Just try holding KArin in your arms until she falls asleep- after she's had some time in her bed. I know that's not something to continue for long- but maybe just to get her over the hump of not having her boppa now.
Talking to your Dad now is a great way to heal and comfort- beleive me when I say he hears you! ANd listen to the inner silence- and you'll recognize what he says in return! :) M.

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