I’ve been waking up every morning at 3:30 a.m. for months now. After I wake up it takes and hour or several for me to fall back to sleep. But just recently a new sleep disturbance has started taking place. This seems to be happening somewhere around 5 or 6 a.m., right after I finally fall back to sleep.

Violet has a very particular sleep pattern. I know this because I have plenty of time in the middle of the night to observe. She starts off sleeping on one side, curled up like a sweet little hedgehog.

    By the time I wake up, around 3:30, she has shifted into the sleeping-snow-angle position where she is flat on her back and taking up as much room as possible. This is the first of three phases.

Next, she’ll move her arms up so that they curve and curl around the top of her head. This pose looks quite delicate and artful really, but as I’ve come to learn, this is just a pretty looking launch position.

At some point, and you can never know when exactly, she’ll start to shift back into her original hedgehog pose. This is the final phase… the strike:

As her body begins to curl and turn towards me her arms attempt to shift with her. But as they have been above her head for quite some time they are even more asleep than she. So as they begin to unconsciously move with the rest of her body those two lifeless limbs begin to wobble with a sloppy, drunken stagger towards me. And then, all of a sudden: BOOM! Elbow in the eye.

An hour later the alarm goes off and I say, “You know, I’m really starting to hate waking up to your elbow clubbing me in the head,” and she replies, “Oh ya? You hate it?”