When I was a child, I fought sleep. Like crazy. I know this is where Miles gets it. I remember being 6 or 7 years old. It was summer, and my mother had sent my sister and I to our rooms to take a nap. Looking back, I'm sure she simply needed a moment to herself, to regroup and remember exactly why she loved us. I'm sure we had been a handful all morning, and she needed time to recover before another round in the afternoon. I remember, very clearly, going into my room and pulling my frilly pink comforter up to my chin. I remember laying there, staring at the ceiling, and the window, and my toys sitting across the room. I got up and went back out to the living room.
Mom: "I told you to take a nap. Go back to bed."
Me: "I did. It was a really short one. I'm up now! Can I go play?"
Mom: "No. Go back to bed. You have to sleep for at least half an hour."
Mom had that look in her eye that warned me not to argue, so I slunk back to bed, dejected. I pulled my frilly pink comforter up to my chin, again, and closed my eyes. No dice. I wasn't the least bit tired. I rolled over and tried again. Still not tired. I stretched all the way out and counted my breaths. I didn't even get to ten before I lost track. So I rolled back to my back and stared at the ceiling.
I started thinking about school, and what we'd learned recently. In math, we had been talking about minutes and seconds and hours. Sixty seconds was one minute. Thirty minutes was a half hour. If I counted to sixty, that would be one minute. If I did that thirty times, I could get up from my nap!*
I started counting. I kept track of the sixties on my fingers. One sixty. One minute. Two minutes. Eventually, I got to ten, and ran out of fingers. I stopped, stumped for the moment. Well, I knew I had ten minutes, so I could start the fingers over at eleven, and then later at twenty-one. Off I went.
Eventually, I got to thirty minutes. I immediately jumped out of bed and ran into the living room.
Mom: "I told you to go back to bed. Half an hour, remember?"
Me: "Yep! I counted! It's been thirty minutes."
Mom: "It's been five minutes. Go back to bed. I will come and get you when it's time to get up. I promise. Go."
I walked back to bed, never able to figure out where I had gone wrong. I had counted. A lot. It should have worked, and it didn't. I turned it over and over in my head as I laid down, and pulled up the frilly pink comforter one more time. I still hadn't figured it out when I finally fell asleep from pure exhaustion of thought.
I know exactly where Miles gets it. :)
* Please note that it didn't occur to me that I had lost count of my breaths at less than ten. I was determined to count to sixty. Thirty times.