It’s four in the morning — actually 4:35 — and I am wide awake. I have to ask myself the same question I ask my granddaughters when they cry out in frustration during our days together.

Hey, girl? What’s that about?

My answer probably isn’t any better than theirs. For the most part, they’re preverbal, though they can say “kitty” with perfect clarity and consistency when the family cat shows up. (I had hoped to double their vocabulary by adding “Gramma” during my visit, but wasn’t successful. Bummer!)

I just find myself waking earlier and earlier every morning. One contributing factor is my internal clock. After seven hours of sleep, I am awake. Period. If I happen to be sleep deprived, I can sleep longer, but if I’ve been on any kind of regular schedule, my body says “rise and shine” after about seven hours.

Another contributing factor is my lack of physical stamina. I’m used to spending my days at a desk, exercising my fingers. I’m not accustomed to being on the move for hours at a time, but caring for twins in a two-story house means the closest life comes to sedentary is sitting down to lunch while they are napping. Not only do I take lots of stairs during the day, but I also take lots of steps, do lots of lifting and crawl around quite a bit. I’ve learned to drink my morning coffee in hurried gulps between various demands for Gramma’s time.

Consequently, by the time Dad and Mom arrive on the scene, Gramma is ready to sit back and read a little. The problem is that I’ll head to my room to give Dad and Mom some private time, stretch out on the bed to read and find myself repeatedly startled awake when the book drops from my hands. Eventually, I’ll concede it’s not likely I’ll finish the chapter and I’ll just toss the book aside and shut off the light — which happens earlier and earlier, it seems.

The next thing I know, I’m awake and the house is still asleep. Around 6, Paige will start stirring, but until then, need to find ways to occupy myself without disturbing anyone else. Maybe I should try taking a nap.


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