Princess and the Pee.

The other morning after another night of tossing and turning (too hot, too sore, too worried, need to pee, thirsty, is the wood-stove O.K. etc), I got to thinking about the story of the Princess and the Pea.

In this classic fairy tale a Prince wants to marry, but wants to be sure he marries a ‘real’ Princess. SO his Mom makes the bed up with a huge stack of mattresses and feather beds and at the bottom of it all she places a single pea. The ‘real’ Princess can’t sleep a wink and by morning is black and blue from the experience.

She must be a “Real Princess’! They marry and live happily ever after.

Really? Is that what you really want Mr. Prince? Are you sure?

Presumably you’ll sleep in separate beds.

One of the intricacies of sharing a marriage bed is that you also share each others aches and pains and insomnia. As we age the Princess (or Prince) and the Pea becomes ‘and the Pee’. Ask any husband of a pregnant or menopausal woman, or any elderly couple. A marriage bed may be a bed of roses but that bed often has thorns.

Between erratic work hours, sick kids, checking on livestock, checking the wood-stove, worrying about a noise (is the pump running too long?would someone please let the dog in/out!) and the normal vagaries of aging, tired and sore bodies, sleep has been an elusive thing. Hot flashes are particularly humorous (not) as your wife flips from freezing to sweating and either hogs all the covers or kicks them all off the bed and you. That’s payback for all the winter nights you stayed up watching the late show and then tried to curl up around her to get warm at 1 A.M.

Now a days I feel blessed if I get through the night with only 1 or 2 trips to the little room, if the cat doesn’t colonize the whole lower half of the bed pinning my legs in one position, and if I only spend a few minutes playing Sudoku on my phone trying to get back to sleep.

But then again – someone has to check the stove at night. It might as well be me -I’m up anyway.