I have 3 older siblings. I’m eight years younger than the oldest sister, seven years younger than the next sister, and six years younger than my brother. When I was in second grade, they were all teenagers. I had to go to bed early, while they stayed up late. As I tried to fall asleep, I could hear my sisters talking on the extension phone in the hallway, just outside the door of my bedroom. Sometimes I could hear one of my sisters finishing up her daily flute practice. The drawers in the bathroom opened and closed. Bedroom doors also opened and closed and periodically slammed. At times, the voices and laughter were hushed. Other times, the voices were more high-pitched and whiny when they accused each other of something.
None of the noise really bothered me. It was familiar. And . . . I used to sing myself to sleep. Actually, I rolled my head back-and-forth, side-to-side, on my pillow, singing “A-tisket a-tasket, a green and yellow basket.” Only I changed the words to “I love my Mommy, I love my Daddy.” On more difficult days, my voice got louder and the words changed to “I hate my Mommy. Mommy, Mommy, I hate my Mommy.” All that vigorous singing and head-rolling put me to sleep. On most mornings, I awoke with my hair tangled in a significant rat’s nest in the back of my head. Mom started yanking the brush through my hair as I ate my Cheerios. She knew I didn’t hate her. In fact, if I weren’t singing so loudly, I probably could have heard my family laughing. They always knew how my day had been depending on the name I inserted into my nightly song. Nowadays, a kid rhythmically rolling their head at night singing about hating their mother might be seen as a symptom of ADHD or something else requiring medication. I suppose it is possible. I think mostly I was just trying to drown out the noise and rock myself to sleep.