For some reason, this title has stuck in my head. To my knowledge, I had never read the book before, though I am very familiar with other Maurice Sendak titles (such as the beloved Where the Wild Things Are). I picked it up to read the other day when I was in a book store, and it is a REALLY dumb book. It is just about a little boy who falls asleep and dreams that he falls through the floor into the kitchen, and falls into the cook's dough batter, and the cooks think he is their milk. Dumb. But nonetheless, the title rolls around through my head every single night, as I stand in MY kitchen, in the night. Thus, In the Night Kitchen, MY night kitchen, I guess.
I go to bed around 9, and fall asleep by between 9:30 and 10, at the latest, every night. By 11:30, Bramble barks to let me know she needs to go out. So, I hop out of bed, stumble downstairs, and let her out the kitchen door. And then, I must wait for her to go do whatever it is she needs to do. I ASSUME she needs to water the grass (or snow, whatever the season's ground covering.) So, my choice is, either stand there, impatiently, and shivering, or... do something. Puritan work ethic pulls through for me, even in my sleepy state. I usually either fill up the coffeemaker, and get it ready for 6:50 am, or sometimes I will switch a load of laundry from washer to drier. Occasionally, I will open th dishwasher and unload the top rack. Or, sometimes, I will put away the pots and pans that have been washed, and are drying on the counter. Normally that one activity is enough time passed so that I can open the door, retrieve the dog with a whistle, and go back upstairs, crawl back into bed, and fall asleep again.
Always, she wakes me again, usually somewhere between 3:30 and 5, to go out again. This time, depending on whether it is closer to 3:30, or closer to 5, I am either TOTALLY out of it, or beginning to feel like I "could" stay up for the day (not that I ever would. 5 am? Are you KIDDING me?) I follow her downstairs, let her out again, and do SOMETHING to pass the time. I either unload the bottom rack, throw a load of clothes IN the washer, switch drier loads, or something else that catches my attention in the kitchen. Seldom is it anything too important, because I don't want to really wake up too much. The house is cold and dark at that time, except for the stove light I leave on because I know I will be up twice, and I don't really want to stumble around in the dark, tripping over the water bowls or stepping in the litter box. But if I just stood there, waiting, I'd freeze to death, and then it would be even harder to go back to sleep. I suppose I could put on a bathrobe and slippers, but that would really take too much cognitive function from me, and would seem too much like really having to get up. I'm not sure why filling and setting the coffee pot, or doing laundry loads in the middle of the night does not really seem like getting up, but I do know I AM grateful, at 7:15 when I come downstairs, dressed and semi-ready for the day, that I have hot coffee waiting for me.
Sure, I COULD set it before I went to bed at 9, but THEN what would I do in my night kitchen while waiting for the dog?