Sleep Reading

We’ve all heard of sleep walking and what kind of problems it can create. I have the interesting phenomenon of sleep reading. Reading makes me sleepy no matter what the subject may be. Text books are snooze fests, of course, but even when I was reading my recent favorites my eyelids would get so heavy I’d have to take a little break to “rest my eyes” during the read.

I have to read a lot to Reagan for history. They’re not usually text books so they’re never dry, but I just can’t help getting sleepy. Reagan can tell when I’m getting sleepy too. My speech will slow down and I’ll start to slur words. I swear I don’t drink during homeschool, y’all. She’ll nudge me and say, “Mom, are you getting tired?” This is usually my cue to cut it right there and end history for the day.

Today we were reading about Winston Churchill. I could tell I was getting tired so I started opening my eyes wide, forcing myself to pay attention to the words. Nothing would help. Now, Churchill led an interesting life, but for the life of me I couldn’t stay awake. This day I didn’t start slurring my words or slowing my speech. I just started sleep reading.

What I was supposed to read:

I suggested that we should immediately, pending further news, rush a dozen great ships crammed with provisions into Hamburg.*

Instead, what I sleep read was:

I suggested that we should immediately, pending further news, rush a dozen shrimps covered in bread crumbs…

and then I “woke up”. I could tell something I just “read” wasn’t quite right.

I asked Reagan, “what did I just say?” And she repeated the shrimps quote. We both busted out laughing. Ah yes, never a dull moment during history class at our house. Who knows what Reagan learned today about Winston Churchill. She’ll forever think he’s got some kind of shrimp fetish.

*Winston Churchill: British Soldier, Writer, Statesman by Brenda Haugen

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