I have never known true exhaustion the way I (intimately) know it now. With two sons ages 3 years and under, I know what it is to wake up with dark circles under your eyes, your hair matted to your head, and to not have the energy or desire to do anything about it. 

To those who have had Mono, Epstein-Barr, Chronic Fatigue Syndrom…you know what I’m talking about.  Those who have small children who refuse to sleep through the night (as mine refuse to do)–you know what I’m talking about.  There is a tiredness that seeps deep into the bones and I think it takes somewhere around 24 hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep to conquer it.

When I was younger, my parents would take my kid brother and I on weekend trips to Vegas.  We’d be tremendously excited on the car ride there–all seven hours of it.  They wouldn’t get a hotel room, though, and so my brother and I would spend the weekend alternating between the car (one parent would stay back with us), a video arcade, or sitting on the floor of a casino lobby. 

I’ve never been one to be able to sleep anywhere except for a bed, so my recollection of those weekends is that I was terribly sleepy and tired, cranky…desperately wanting to lay in a bed.  For years afterward, I’d refer to sleep-deprivation as being “LAS VEGAS TIRED”–as in “I crammed all night for my finals.  I am sooo Las Vegas tired.”  Nobody except perhaps my brother would ever be able to understand this peculiar term.

But now…all these years later…I’ve come up with a new one.  “I’m exhaused—mommy-style.”