There is really only one thing I have to do before bed, and that is take the dog out. My wife takes Anna out in the morning, and I take her out at night. Daytime outings are done by whomever is home, so usually Ruby if we can get her to do it. But at night, it is my job. Dark, dark, night, full of shadows and flickering streetlights, and who-knows-what lurking around every corner. So with that in mind, there are a few things that one ought not to do prior to taking the dog out prior to bed.
1) Binge Watch Daredevil on Netflix
Yes, it is awesome, and it seems like a good idea. And it IS a good idea, if it weren’t for having to take the dog out. That show is so fantastically dark and foreboding, that I just know someone is going to jump out and grab me as I walk across the parking lot to the dumpster. Seriously, it messes with my head. From now on I will only watch that show in daylight hours. You know, when my kids are up. Oh. Ummmmm. Nevermind. I guess we have to get rid of the dog…
2) Eat Food
I used to be able to eat such things as would make the celestial orbs themselves weep with confusion. Burritos made by rolling up an entire pizza. A gallon of Mountain Dew followed by a couple of Cokes. Toasted peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. Chewy Chips Ahoy dipped generously in tubs of Duncan Hines frosting. And I would eat all of these things at 2 or 3 in the morning and immediately go to sleep. And then I would wake up and be young and happy, and I would begin my day of doing things that were clearly stupid with no repercussions from the late night snacks. This is no longer the case. I can’t eat so much as a jellybean without waking up in the middle of the night, gulping down nothing but Tums and regret. You’d think that walking the dog would work off some of that jellybean, but no. Once something has slipped past my defenses and made its way into my stomach, I have to wait at least two hours to go to bed, or else what’s the point?
Oh wait, did I say watching Daredevil messed with my mind? Scratch that. That is nothing compared to what Minecraft will do to you. There I am, desperately trying to get that final wall built as the sun sets, when out of nowhere a zombie shows up and starts moaning and bashing on my door. I don’t even have enough wool to make a bed, because I am out in the middle of nowhere and didn’t make it back to my castle in time. So I have to just sit there and listen to the zombie growl and pound on the door. Or if I am unlucky, the door was never built. Then I have to run around in the dark, trying to find a place to put a torch, knowing that monsters are everywhere, and I can’t see them, and they are coming for me. So I turn the game off, ready for bed. Oh. Except for that damn dog. So now I am standing at my front door, dog on leash, and I want to open the door and take her out for a quick pee, but I suddenly cannot be sure that there is not a zombie on the other side or, worse, a creeper. How much does the dog reeeeeeally need to pee tonight? Maybe I can let her sleep on some towels and hope for the best? Because if I get a block away and see an Enderman, or a lamppost that looks like an Enderman, I am going to soil myself.
4) Fall Asleep
This is not a problem for my wife. She does this all the time. We will be watching television on the couch, and she will fall asleep. And then do you know what she does next? She goes upstairs to bed and falls back asleep! Crazy! See, I have fallen asleep on the couch before, and then I wake up, ready to drag myself upstairs to the bed, when I see it. That dog again. I have to take the dog out. I stumble over to my shoes and put them on clumsily. I grab a jacket. I fumble for the leash, clipping it onto what I hope is her collar. And then I go out into the crisp, refreshing night air and become invigorated. By the time I get back inside, I am no longer sleepy. Boooooooo. The best thing is to take the dog out, and then lie on the couch for a bit, but I never seem to do it in that order.
This one is the worst. Because in many ways bedtime is when I get to do my best thinking. The distractions of the world are silent, and it is just me and my thoughts. This is not good. Have you ever been exposed to any of my thoughts? They are not calm and relaxing things. Once I start thinking, forget about sleep. I just need my brain to turn off for a bit, but instead I will often kick it into high gear. Suddenly I look at the clock and two hours have passed. Why?! How?! All I have been doing is lying in the bed thinking about things! How could that possibly take two hours? What amazing thought was so important that it had to rattle around my skull for a large percentage of my sleeping time?! Thanks a lot, brain.
Anyway, I hope these tips help you to not get a dog, and to get more sleep. Although I should probably stop writing this now. It’s after midnight and Anna is sitting by the door…