Yup - not until 8:00 was I roused from my beauty sleep...unless, of course, you count 6 AM, when my husband's alarm sounded. I had to get up and turn it off, as he was already in the shower. Oh, and then there was half-past midnight, when Susie couldn't find her nighttime water bottle....
All of which leads me to conclude that, after almost 2 decades of being a mother, certain terms in the English language are what I would call "defined down." Whereas sleeping in used to denote a solid 9 or 10 hours of deep sleep, it now specifies a situation where, by the grace of God, none of the kids managed to set the house on fire while their sluggard of a parent attempted to rack up 8 broken hours of snooze.
Let's see, what are some other examples?
- Mother's Night Out - What used to mean an evening out carousing and gossiping with friends now refers to the night that it is my turn to drive the orchestra carpool. I knit while I wait for rehearsal to be over, so that is obviously "me-time." Sometimes I even spring for a pack of M&M's from the school vending machine. Let the good times roll!
- Interval Training - commonly used to refer to an exercise session varying some easy periods with more demanding "hills," it now means running down 2 flights of townhouse stairs with a full laundry basket, pausing to reload washer and dryer, and then running back up. Repeat 3 times a day for optimal cardiovascular benefit.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat - common directions on the back of any shampoo bottle to ensure extra clean hair and maximum usage of product. But with the early-onset senility often experienced by middle-aged moms, it's simply a method to make sure that one actually uses the shampoo.
- Date Night - This event is no longer preceded by an hour of preparation involving clothes and make-up; instead any experienced parent spends this hour threatening her teens with dire consequences if they are not "nice" to their younger siblings while the parents are out. Oh, and make sure to bring some extra cash for when your husband asks to borrow some money. Yeah, the romance is overwhelming, isn't it?
- Beach Vacation - Ah, this phrase brings to mind a week given over to the animal enjoyment of sea, sand, and sun, doesn't it? Not so fast, my dear fellow mothers - for us it means doing the same old thing we do at home: feeding, clothing, and bathing our little charges, only with less efficient equipment. Nothing says relaxation like trudging to a laundromat with 2 Hefty bags full of sandy clothes after cooking dinner in an under-equipped kitchen.
- Holidays - Not.
Anyone else care to play?