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Schtick and Tired: Comic Themes Related to Sleeping — or Not


In the morning, on a school day

“Rise and shine boys, it’s already 6:30!”

“Is it a school day?”

“Yes! Time to get up, get going, get your spirit showing!” (I was a cheerleader at one time in my life).

“If it’s a school day, I’m still tired!”

In the morning, on a weekend

“Mommy,” poke, poke, nudge. “It’s time to get up!”

“No, it isn’t honey,” I whisper. “We’re all still sleeping.”

“Mommy! It’s five-four-four,” I hear in an urgent voice.

“That’s OK, honey, it’s Sunday. We don’t have to go anywhere until church.”

Silence, then, “But I want to get up.”


“Mom-mee-ee-ee!” I hear, and get nudged again.

“Get up then. Go ahead, honey.”

“But I want you to come with me!”

In the afternoon, any day

From the second-floor bedroom: “Mah-ahm ”

“Oh, dear God. Why isn’t that kid asleep?” I say, dreading the idea that he won’t nap because that means he’ll be really cranky in the evening. Or else, he’ll have a late nap, be cranky when I wake him up for dinner, be up too late (making me cranky) and thus be cranky the next morning.

“Mommy?” he calls again, tentatively.

I consider ignoring him, praying that he’ll give up, roll over and snooze.

“Mommy! Mama!”

I consider too long.


He’s increasingly impatient that I have not yet arrived.

“What is it, honey? You can’t be yelling like that! What is it!?” I ask, somewhere between a whisper and a hiss, so as not to wake the sleeping brother in the next bed.

“I’m hungry. No, I’m thirsty. No, I’m ”

Right. He’s probably just tired.

At night, on a weekend

“Can we stay up as late as we want?”

“Sure, boys! Why don’t you see if you can stay up until midnight?”

“All right! Thanks, mom!”

Both are asleep before 8:30 p.m.

At night, during the week

“Boys, time for bed.”

“Awwww. Ten more minutes?”

“No, it’ll be 10 minutes by the time you’re ready for bed.”

“But we’re not tired.”

“You still need to go potty and brush, so let’s go.”

“We don’t wanna!”

“Yeah, we’re NOT going.”

“Boys, if you don’t go willingly, there will be a consequence. You know the deal. It’s the same every night. Get up off the couch. Go in the bathroom. One of you go potty while the other brushes. Then switch.”

“We can’t.”

“Why not?”

“We’re too tired!”

Later, on a weeknight

“Mommeeeeeeee!” I hear from upstairs.

“What? What is it?” I run up quickly, thinking there’s something dire going on and not wanting the baby to wake up.

“Can you turn the light on more?”

“Mommeeeeeeee!” I repeat the drill three more times.

(Insert: “I’m thirsty.” “Can you cover me up?” “What are you doing down there?”)

“That’s it. You must go to sleep now, tomorrow is a school day! If I have to come up here again ”

The next morning, my son asks, “Is it a school day?”

“Yes! Time to get up, get going ”

“If it’s a school day, I’m still tired!”