Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Night Off

About a year ago we signed up for Netflix and I thought it was the answer to our serious lack of evening entertainment. All through the winter and spring months we watched a movie each week or ten days and I felt like I was finally coming out of the cultural underground. I even entertained the idea of putting episodes from the series Sex in the City, which I have never seen, in my queue just so I would get the cultural references. Although when it comes to TV I'm so far behind -- I haven't watched it since 1991 -- that I doubt I should even think about trying to catch up. But movies! I used to love watching movies. But that was before children. And most especially it was before I seriously considered each night if flossing was really worth the extra minute or two of sleep that I would sacrifice.

We are in the throes of some serious sleep issues at our house at the moment. Oliver goes off to sleep each night only to wake a few hours later and then stays awake for the rest of the night, averaging about 3-4 hours of sleep per night. When this happens I typically go and make a bed on his floor and the two of us lay awake, together, for as long as it takes. I can't bring myself to leave him on his own. The night is so long.

All this means that I've passed by the red netflix envelope on the front hall table week after week after week without the desire to find the time in my day to watch it. Besides strategizing how to get more sleep there are newspapers and books to be read, clothes to fold and put away, bathrooms to clean, and oh, yeah, conversations with my husband are nice, too. So last night I told Nik that I was planning to cancel Netflix. We've already spent $30 on City of God and at this rate it isn't a bargain. But then something took hold of me and I suddenly felt the overwhelming desire for subtitles. If I can't eek out 2 hours of escapism in my week then I'm in worse shape than I thought.

Two hours later I was emotionally exhausted and thankful that I only had some minor sleep issues to deal with. With the sights and sounds of Rio still fresh in my mind I had trouble drifting off to sleep. But as I did a line from one of my favorite movies, "My Life as a Dog ," recurred to me. Ingemar, the main character, sometimes had it rough, but not as bad as Laika - the russian dog sent into space. And he was often heard to say: "It's good to have things to compare to."

So for now anyway, Netflix stays.


  1. I understand how you feel. Roo has had a couple of nights waking recently also. Then it turned out that he was getting sick. Just a fever and no appetite for a few days. Last night he slept and I am hoping that we are getting back on track. I have been way too tired for TV these days.

  2. Not only are we having our own sleep issues, there are THREE red netflix envelopes staring at me daily. I know what you mean, but glad you took time to see your movie. Netflix is the best way to watch all those tv shows that receive such critical (and cultural) acclaim (like Rescue Me) that we don't have time for and/or are on HBO/Showtime which we don't have...Like Weeds. I hope Oliver's sleep improves soon.

  3. OH NO! Not the Netflix!!!! You can't let it go. You just can't. It is the one thing that links us parents to the "sane" world. Theater? What's that? Someone else making ME popcorn? What?@! Netflix is the outgoing friend you have that manages by the end of the night to have created another society of people who revoloved purley around interesting conversation (*gasp*) and social inertias. No, not the Netflix. Save the cleaning and talk of dishes for those parents without a DVD player.


  4. I rent one movie for months and never watch it--I watch one film and it stays with me for weeks. Any idea why Oliver has been having trouble sleeping?

  5. Love Netflix! Every Saturday night we make it a point to watch a movie, sleep be damned. I especially love the freedom of NF - no late fees, we can take our time watching the movie, it comes right to our door. Liberating! :)

    I know there's a supplement that lots of autism mommies give to their kids when they can't sleep but I can't remember what it's called. If I'm not mistaken, MOM-NOS gives it to Bud, but I'm not sure. Maybe you could ask her.

  6. We are enduring our own round of sleep issues here- unfortunately I have changed our Netflix queue to include only titles for Owen- mostly educational.
    I'm going to have to remedy that!
    In addition to being up every night we are in our fifth straight day of torrential rain.
    I'm soggy.

  7. Melatonin!

    You know when I remembered the name? Last night when *I* couldn't sleep! :)

  8. oh my! i will send you SERIOUS sleep dust. that is so very hard. i take my hat off to you. i do. and i think i'd drag a mattress in and lay down with my guy too. the night IS long. you are such a great mom!

    My Life as a Dog is my husband's all time favorite movie. he references that quote all the time. i love it.


  9. Welcome to the 'zombie zone.' Hope you're kicked out soon, and that you 'club membership' is canceled. I think it's called a 'sleeping life.'
    Best wishes and sympathies from a part time member