Pick Your Poison

Cursing and sword swinging in the wee hours. That doesn’t seem entirely normal.

It’s 3:11 am and there are some people sleeping in this house, but Carter and I are not among them. I was dozing in and out, trying mightily to find my way into unconsciousness when Carter woke and started one of his sing-song chants:

Butt fucker butt fucker ass fart fuck
Butt fart ass fucker fart my ass
Ass fucker fart fucker stupid ass

There is more, but I’m sure you get the idea. It is all accompanied by the swinging of a plastic retractable light saber.

Charming, yes? I swear, my kid could make a seasoned Naval seaman blush. The fact that he doesn’t know what fucking actually IS, is small comfort in these moments, which in all honesty are mostly disturbing because they are interrupting my sleep. The cursing? I won’t say I like it, or that I don’t notice it, but it is what it is and I got tired of dishing out the consequences every time he spilled one of his foul songs, so we’re sticking with making sure he doesn’t call names and we make clear that racist/sexist/etc. hate language never makes itself comfortable in our home. Thankfully he hasn’t heard those words yet so for now, we’re safe. First person to teach my kid a racial epithet gets it right between the eyes.

No, instead of trying to force him to stop (a losing proposition during the day, when I’m rested; a doomed exercise in escalating frustration in the middle of the night), I tell him that if he needs to continue he has to go to the garage.

“But there are cockroaches out there, Mommy! I can’t go out there with the cockroaches!”

“I sprayed the garage weeks ago, maybe even more than a month. The cockroaches are long gone.”

“So you want me to go out there with the poison?”

“That poison can’t hurt you, but it it’s a problem there’s always the option of laying quietly in your bed until you fall asleep.”

“I guess I’ll die of cockroach poison, then.”

And he took his plastic light saber and went to the garage, where from my office nearby I can hear him sing-songing his blue way through his elaborate Ninja sword routine, which is actually quite graceful and balletic.

Soon, he’ll come in and try to go back to sleep. I will go to sleep. The light saber will definitely go to sleep. And to think, we still have 2 1/2 hours until we have to get out of bed!


Ooops…I forgot to title this. Herein you will find out why.

Right here at the beginning, I need to tell all those who read yesterday’s post how grateful I am for you. For those of you who commented, I tried to reply to individual comments and I couldn’t do it. It’s too close to my heart.

From right down in my guts, I thank you for seeing Carter, and for hearing me. It means more than I could have imagined it would.

This weekend, Brian and I put the kids to bed and set up our nest on the couch: coffee, popcorn, sweaters, slippers, a big blanket, and the remote control.

Brian and I are living the wild life, people.

We hit the button for OnDemand (How much do I love that we can watch movies without going to the video store anymore?) and found a movie. Some action and adventure movie, probably, since that’s one of the few places where Brian’s and my movie preferences intersect.

Ten minutes after we started the movie, Brian said, “This seems familiar.”

“Yeah, me, too. Did we see this?”

“I think so. Do you remember how it ends?”

“No idea.”

“Well, we might as well watch it if we can’t remember it,” Brian decided, and huddled back into his corner of the couch.

I’m turning 40 next month. I’m trying to look on the bright side like, for instance, the only alternative to getting older is dying young, so there’s that to be grateful for.

Also, unless it was very momentous, I can watch movies again later if I give myself enough time to forget them.

I used to remember everything. When I was in my twenties, it seemed I couldn’t forget anything, no matter how useless the information.

The delusion, suffered by some in Southeast Asia, wherein a man believes his external genitalia is shrinking and will soon disappear? That’s koro. I picked that up somewhere, probably a waiting room magazine, and it stuck there. Now, though, I devote two hours of my life to a movie and all significant memories of those two hours drip right out my ear and down the drain.

It’s a heck of a note, this getting older business. How do we all manage to believe that it will never happen to us?

Brian (who is much, much older than I am; truly, I am practically a child compared to him) or I stretch or groan or act in any way old, Carter will pipe up and say, “I’m sorry you’re getting old,” so that’s very comforting.

All in all, I wouldn’t change it. I wasn’t good at being young, but I’ve been practicing at middle age for going on fifteen years now.

Hell, we’re all advanced at something, right?

Which brings me to today. I’m so tired I feel like my face is going to slide right off the front of my head.

I slept four hours last night. Up until a few years ago, that was a fine amount of sleep, as long as I didn’t have more than two short nights in a row. Now, I’m rendered nearly non-functional, and no amount of coffee will remedy the situation.

Coffee is no substitute for sleep, but that doesn’t stop me from trying (repeatedly) to make it to do the job, kind of like trying to force a horde of hamsters* to pull a Volkswagen up a hill.

So me? I’m going to bed, because sleep is the only real solution for tiredness (I am all genius-y and profound today with my cause-effect observations). By the time you read this tomorrow (which will be today, but it is (was) tomorrow now, as I write this), I will, I hope, be well rested and thinking in a more sophisticated manner.

*That’s the real name for a group of hamsters. I done Googled it.