My eyelids pull apart from each other in a wretched, sleep-deprived, there’s-no-way-it’s-time-to-get-up kind of way. I can feel the sugar-riddled breath of an almost four-year-old on my cheek, which tells me it probably isn’t time to get up but I’m not going to be given the opportunity to choose this fine morning.
My voice croaks as I manage to get the words, “Go back to sleep Soph” out in a vain attempt to get the kid to go back to sleep. It obviously doesn’t work because kids plus early mornings always equals sadness and losing. End of story.
“Mama I’m hungry.” I’m pretty sure this is the most used phrase from the girl thus far in her lifetime. Not, “I love you” or “You are the prettiest mama I’ve ever seen.” Nope, “I’m hungry” is what I get to hear about a thousand and one times a day.
On any other morning I would begrudgingly move myself out of the beautifully warm confines of my duvet and tip toe towards the cereal box and Keurig. But this particular morning I was having troubles finding my grounds.
It was as though I could feel the red bloodshot lines running rampantly throughout my eyeballs. My skin felt taut and without a drop of moisture to it. I was about to smack the small child standing before me until I realized it was not her that was repeatedly banging a large drum over the side of my cranium. No, that was just in my own head.
I sat up quickly — which was my first mistake. My head began spinning so fast I had to lie back down to regain composure and not squash the kid who was still standing ridiculously close to me.
There was no doubt in my mind that I was hungover — the question was, how?
The only thing I had drunk last night was the lonely Bailey’s and coffee I sipped upon as we walked the streets with the kids looking for candy. Yes it was Halloween and yes the coffee and Bailey’s was a nice warming tool on a chilly night. No judgment, please.
Needless to say, I was not going to be hungover from that.
I swing my arm over to where Jamie is still blissfully asleep and begin shaking him anxiously — it gives me too much joy to wake him up in such ways.
He too is groggy and wears the same bloodshot eyes as me. What the hell happened to us last night?
I suddenly feel like I am in The Hangover and we are about to embark on a crazy adventure with a small Chinese man.
By the way — where is Lars?
This gets me moving and I practically jump into his bedroom from mine in three easy leaps. There he is sleeping soundly, still comatose from his candy intake the night prior. Sophie is getting more and more agitated with each second I ignore her.
“MOM I’M HUNGRY!” she yells with vengeance as a single tear rolls slowly down her face.
What is happening here? My mind is foggy and I cannot for the life of me add up the weirdness that is going on this morning. Lars still sleeping? He is always the first one up. Jamie and I seemingly hungover despite our lack of drink the night before? And Sophie crying and ornery over food. … Well that one’s about right on the money- but all the other things are almost too spooky — even for the day after Halloween.
Wait … Halloween! It all is beginning to come back to me now.
The kids dumping their loot bags on the living room floor, me making the kids go to bed. Jamie and I greedily gobbling up handfuls of candy corn and Skittles, Starburst and kiddy-sized chocolate bars while we laughed headily from the rush of the sugars that ran through our veins. We ate until our bellies could fit no more — and yet still we gorged on further.
Gluttony was our name and stolen Halloween candy the game.
I came out of my reminiscence that morning with a new outlook. I poured Sophie her cereal — making sure it was the sugar-free kind — and let Lars sleep off whatever it was he was sleeping off. Jamie woke up shortly after complaining of the same things I had felt that morning and I then advised him of my findings.
I never thought I would say it but our whole family had a nice relaxing day — recuperating from our shared Halloween hangover.
Lindsay Brown is a Sylvan Lake mother of two and freelance columnist.