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The other day, I was regaling a friend with a story of the previous night, a rather atypical evening riddled with Aura’s 10 and 11 p.m. wake-ups and then her sudden bout of midnight-timed chatter. “Oh, you poor thing,” the other mother said when I finished. “You must be so tired, not having gone to bed until after midnight!”

Since I have never been one to turn down free pity, I simply nodded, trying my best for the expression all those subjects in medieval martyr paintings have, that half-smile/half-grimace that makes you really wish you named your kid Joan of Arc instead of Aura, the goddess of breezes in completely unsaintly and nudity-laden Greek mythology.

Umm…oh yes. My point: I kind of hedged the truth. I was still wide awake when Aura woke up for the umpteenth time at midnight, probably tooling around on my laptop or contemplating the wisdom of buying black matte flatware.

Nice? Pretentious? Capable of showing every scratch? I'm all for advice.

That’s because I’m almost always still awake at midnight. I love the night, and always have. This wasn’t an easy thing to manage growing up, especially with a chirpy morning-person mother who was a firm believer in a Good Night’s Sleep, Especially If You Want to Do Well Enough in High School to Get into a Good College.  But once I arrived at the promised Good College (okay, so thanks, Mom), I indulged. Strolls around campus at eleven at night, forays to the university library at two in the morning, impromptu rides for pancakes hours after midnight…the darker, the better.

And it’s still that way. While I was pregnant, I harbored a gnawing fear that I’d have to change, that becoming a mother would mean that I would finally have to give up late nights, in favor of earlier mornings. Yet that hasn’t quite happened. Sure, Aura goes through phases when she’s rising near dawn, but they’re rare. I realize this is in large part because we have trained her to go to bed a bit later than her peers and therefore also wake up a bit later. And I know it won’t last forever, especially once kindergarten begins. But for now I’m thankful to still have my favorite part of the 24 hours, when the sun finally sinks out of sight and the night stretches before me, complete and thick and somehow full of more possibility than the day ever was.

I just hope Aura is better at surviving fewer than eight hours of sleep than I am. If not, I have a feeling we’ll be having the Good College talk sooner than later. But you better believe we’ll have it at night.

Three months or so after Easter, I have a Good Friday confession to make: I hit a bunny. With my car. On Good Friday.

I’m still not sure how it happened, except that I was driving and then there was a bunny in front of the car, and then…then there was no more bunny. It was as if it just suddenly materialized inches in front of me, in the dark. I’d make a reference to Bunnicula (oh, Bunnicula, how innocent you seem in these days of sparkly vampires and shirtless werewolves), but that seems a little disrespectful.

Anyway, I hit it and it was dead and the entire thing was beyond awful. (And, yes. I turned around on a nearby side street and drove back to check and it looked dead. Then when I went back two minutes later to check once again, this time to make sure it was a bunny and not a house cat that I should report to Animal Control, it was gone, which means it wasn’t dead but close to it, having dragged its little body, fur tacky with blood, into some nearby bushes ohgod ohgod ohgod.)

I’m telling you, you hit a bunny two days before Easter and it is factually impossible not to take it as a bad omen. It’s like plowing into Santa’s sleigh an icy week before Christmas, or accidentally smothering the Tooth Fairy with a pillow.

Plus, hitting a bunny is so much worse than hitting most anything else. For God’s sake, bunnies look like THIS:

The bad news: Unlike with Peter, one dose of chamomile tea at bedtime was not going to cure what ailed this bunny. The good news: Also unlike Peter, this bunny was not wearing a small blue jacket with brass buttons. If there had been one single brass button in sight, I would have driven to the nearest bridge and promptly jumped off it. A dead bunny I could survive. A nattily dressed dead bunny? I’m not so sure.

But back to the omens. While hell has not quite yet raineth down, someone on high has been screwing with me. Since that night, I have had four, FOUR, bunnies run across the road in front of me. Happily, I managed to not hit any of them. Such effort often requires Evel Knievel-type feats of driving,  involving much jostling of Aura in her carseat and much screaming from pedestrians. But for now, those four bunnies run unscathed, free to dart merrily in front of other unsuspecting cars.

Therefore and In Conclusion, given that I am putting such effort into not killing bunnies forevermore, I feel that it is only fair to ask the shortest person living in this house to STOP REMINDING ME.

Because, honestly? That green one with the bow tie is starting to freak me out.

Apparently, the planets have aligned, the stars have crossed, and a ritual sacrifice of a Polly Pocket or two (RELAX, one of them was already missing her left arm and the other one bore an off-putting resemblance to Mickey Rourke) has been made, for we have a babysitter. This is a rare occurrence, so rare that Adam and I are downright stymied by how to fill a full six hours of evening. All day, as we’ve been in the car or at the grocery store or eating lunch at the kitchen counter, we’ve been trying to make a plan, yet it’s as if the sheer abundance of options has somehow stifled our decision-making ability.

I think we’ve settled on where to eat, since we finally identified a place that meets both our Date Restaurant Requirements. For Adam, this means the establishment employs a bartender whom he can merrily pester and badger and try to stump with his requests for arcane gins and boutique bitters. For me, this means there is not a child in sight. I am nothing but easy to please. Maternal, too.

It’s been so long since we’ve been out alone that I had forgotten that there is more to Date Night than the Date. Wearing something besides jeans, for instance. I wandered upstairs a while ago and started pushing hangers around and pulling open drawers, ever hopeful of finding a fantastic outfit that I already owned but had totally forgotten about, kind of like happens on the makeover shows except that those people are models anyway and reality television continues to screw with me.

I was rifling through one of the drawers when my fingers suddenly tangled in the straps of something. It was only after cocking my head to the side and squinting really hard that I recognized it for what it was: a push-up bra. After gently removing the layers of dust, I tried it on and found it does indeed improve the shirt I was hoping to wear. There is also a slight chance that it makes me look like an overage teenage hooker, but I choose to ignore that part. If anyone at the restaurant says anything, I plan on knocking them flat on their back with my cleavage. Especially if it’s a kid.

So! I came down with a slight cold this week! And guess what I suddenly remembered!

!!!

SUDAFED IS THE GREATEST CREATION EVER!

Seriously, you guys. Have you had a Sudafed lately? The real stuff, with the actual pseudoephedrine? The thing is like a miracle drug. My appetite, normally a raging monster that can sense refined sugar within two miles, has virtually disappeared. And while I still may be unable to smell anything, or even, you know, breathe that well, MAN DO I HAVE ENERGY.

I was down to only one dose when the cold set in, so a trip to the drugstore was in order. As I was showing my driver’s license to the pharmacist (you know, so they could record my name and track my Sudafed purchases and OH GEORGE ORWELL WERE YOU ON THE MONEY), I leaned toward her conspiratorially. “I don’t blame you for being careful,” I murmured, drumming my fingers on the counter while bouncing up and down on the balls of my feet. “This stuff is SO GOOD  it’s no wonder people buy it to make crystal meth.”

Luckily, she had just handed me the box when I delivered that last line, so I didn’t get to see the worried look on her face, or witness how she ran out to the parking lot to copy down my license plate number. I just drove on home, one hand on the wheel while the other popped those beautiful scarlet tablets from their cozy foil-wrap enclosure. “NO MORE FOIL FOR YOU, SUDAFED!” I howled at top volume. “IT’S ALL ME NOW!”

Sadly, the cold appears to be on its way out, so I’ve only had a couple of doses today. But I knew there was still a little bit of the magic coursing through my veins this afternoon, while attending Aura’s class pool party. Another mother casually asked if Adam and I were planning to have any more kids, a query that usually produces a frenzied mishmashed reply of GOD NO NEVER AGAIN WHY WOULD YOU EVEN ASK. But today, hyped on the good stuff and harboring enough energy to power a reactor and potentially take care of two children, I answered, “Maybe. It might be nice.”

On second thought, perhaps Sudafed should be illegal.

THE TOP TWO WAYS I KNOW I’M NOT A GIRLY ENOUGH GIRL

 #1: Facial Hatred

Sometime last month, I scheduled a long overdue facial, determined to finally use the spa gift card I had received two Christmases earlier. As I was leaving for the appointment, Adam innocently said, “Have fun!”

“LIKE THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!” I hissed, giving the door an extra firm slam on my way to the garage.

It occurs to me that I may have a genetic mutation in my girl code, some tangled bit of DNA that makes it impossible for me to enjoy any kind of spa service. I still go, because I’m vain and shallow and self-absorbed, yet it feels off somehow to pay someone else to clean my skin, to have another woman frown sternly at the same pores I frown sternly at every night in the bathroom mirror.

And then there’s the conversation compulsion. Sit me in a reclining chair and slap a eucalyptus mask on me and I am suddenly the World’s Chattiest Person. I suspect this is connected to the weird guilt thing—someone else is sloughing off my dead skin cells and I should therefore reciprocate any demonstration of personal interest.

In that chair, I put Pulitzer-winning investigative journalists to shame, following up on every conversational lead, ekeing out gritty details I never really needed to know. At this last appointment, I determined where the aesthetician’s daughter went to school, the location of her son’s girlfriend’s cousin’s bakery, her preferred choice of seafood markets, and also her biggest pet peeve about her husband (damn snoring). If I had tacked on a bikini wax I would have had time to get her Social Security number, but that would have used up the gift card entirely and I’m too cheap for that.

By the time I was done, I was exhausted. Honestly, I’m not sure a well-maintained T-zone is worth all that.

#2: Choice in Sleepwear

Once every so often, perhaps while walking by a Victoria’s Secret or watching a lingerie-centric scene in True Blood, I’ll ponder why it is that I own so little delicate nightwear. How is it that my drawers are so light on the lace, yet so heavy on the fleece and practical cotton? At what point in my 32 years did I abandon all pretense of femininity after 10:00 p.m.? I fear this is further proof of the girly-girl gene gone wrong.

Don’t believe me? Fine,  photographic evidence it is. I present to you tonight’s sleepwear, in all its t-shirty glory:

Sigh. I TOLD you. Now I’m off to paint my toenails or pick wildflowers or something else…girlish. Obviously, I need the practice.

Because, you know, buying a deep-fat fryer and using Twitter are both things I swore up and down and upon several different peoples’ lives I would never do. But here I am, with a real Twitter username and background and everything.

I am so bitterly disappointed in myself that I would be tempted to do something rash, like exercise or buy a pair of shoes not on clearance, were not the disappointment so addicting. A million BILLION people to follow! A LEGION of useless information to read! A veritable CAPTIVE AUDIENCE whom I can bore batty!

I implore you: Either follow me (andthenkate) or shoot me. And I think we all know which one I think I would prefer.