A night in the life

[Once again we are joined by our special guest blogger, Buster: age 2.]

I slept in a big-boy bed last night. It was exciting but also scary.

I sometimes wake up in the night. I’m not sure why. I’m still very tired, but I wake up all of a sudden. The parents tell me I should just lay down and go back to sleep. That’s easy for them to say; they don’t remember the confusion about your surroundings when you’re two and you open your eyes to darkness all around. Especially if you just had a weird dream.

You guys think you have weird dreams. It’s a good thing you don’t remember the dreams you had at my age. My dreams are completely off the hook.

The cool thing about a big-boy bed is that I don’t have to wait for somebody to rescue me when I’m upset at night. The first time I woke up last night, I slid right out of bed. My parents always keep their door ajar, so I just bulldozed through it like it was nothing. I was snuggled in between Mama and Daddy, lickety-split. I didn’t even have to cry.

the place where I used to live

Bye, bye, crib!

Later, I woke up again. I was back in my own bed, which was kind of freaky. I got a little wigged out and started to cry. Daddy came and took me back to bed with him and Mama. I couldn’t get calmed down right away and they got frustrated that I wouldn’t use my words instead of crying.

Well, here’s the thing about my words: I have a good vocabulary, but don’t like wasting a lot of time on consonants when I talk. Speech would be lots more efficient if we focused on vowel sounds. K is an exceptionally bad consonant. T isn’t so bad, so I often use it in place of k. No big deal, right? Why try over spilled milt?

The upshot is that when I’m excited or scared, my parents don’t always understand my words. On top of that, my vocabulary is heavy on nouns and verbs. Things like “I want” and “Give me” and “M&Ms”. You know, the important stuff. I haven’t gotten around to the conceptual words yet – the ones that explain why you woke up confused, or all the funky stuff that just went down in your dreams.

new digs

Hello, big boy bed!

So I do the best I can with body language. I try to make them understand that sometimes, in the uncertain world between dreams, I just need to be reassured. I need to be held by one of the people in whom I place all of my faith to make the world right. Maybe I just need to hold one of the hands that keeps me safe.

I know they wish I could just roll over and go back to sleep. Maybe now that I can get up and go to them whenever I need to, it will get easier to do that.

On the other hand, I’m not saying I’m ready to give up the middle spot in their bed just yet.

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Kids are STILL creepy: a horror story sequel

In the early days of this blog, I wrote a post about how my son would stand beside my bed and wake me up with his heavy breathing whenever he needed something in the middle of the night. It was pretty unnerving. Since then, he has changed his methods a couple of times, leading me to the conclusion that there is no good way for him to wake me up in the middle of the night.

kid peeking through door crack

Some people are tormented by the Spawn of Satan. We couldn’t afford that name-brand spawn, so my wife and I concocted a do-it-yourself version of spawn to haunt our midnights.

For a while, the boy gave up coming into the room at all when he wanted to wake me. We leave our door ajar at night. He would stand in the hall and put his mouth up to the crack and urgently whisper, “Daddy!” as many times as necessary to rouse me. This resulted in a higher than normal rate of bad dreams for me.

Even when his call did not penetrate my dream world, it woke me with disturbing thoughts. You’d be surprised how similar a child’s loud whisper of “Daddy!” sounds to the gravelly bellow of a demon-possessed house commanding you to “Get out!” when you are half asleep.

He must have trained me to become a heavier sleeper. You can only lie on pins and needles for so long, waiting for an unearthly voice either to ask for a drink of water or demand that you offer your soul to Satan. Eventually, you learn to sleep through it.

Consequently, the boy doesn’t stop at the door anymore. He’s back to standing beside the bed. Only now, he is more direct about waking me up.

My wife sleeps on a particular side of our bed. That is the only side of me that somebody should be on. When a finger taps me from the other direction at 3 a.m., it can lead to some instant wakefulness.

When this exact event occurred, the other night, I did a remarkably athletic 180 degree flip beneath the covers. Thankfully, I recognized the silhouette of my pint-sized tormentor in the darkness. “What the hell are you doing here?” I bellowed. The curse must be blamed upon my semi-conscious condition. The fact that I was able to refrain from dropping an F-bomb must be credited to my superior parenting instincts.

My wife was bolted awake by my jujitsu move. “You scared the hell out me!” she shouted at one or both of us. She was also semi-conscious, and is a superior parent.

“I want you to make my bad dream go away,” the boy explained.

“Well, you shouldn’t have it anymore, because you just passed it on to me.” I didn’t say this; my wife didn’t say this; we were both thinking it.

We let him lie down with us until he fell asleep. Then we put him in his own bed. He reported no more bad dreams. I guess that means everything worked out okay, except that now I have to sleep always facing toward the outside of the bed.