April 7th, 2009
Oh my god, I thought I was going to smack the kids tonight.
(For those of you new to my world, let me assure you, I do not really smack my kids – unless they do something stupid like knock over my wineglass.)
Tonight was a lesson in patience, and I’ve got precious little of that, mainly because I’ve got precious little TIME.
We’ve come to the conclusion that Pudding needs more sleep. When we first had Punksin, I was Model Mommy and her freshly washed and diapered butt was in the bed by 7:30 for lullabies, milk and z’s. Now, we’re reading her chapter books, and she’s going to bed later. And since the Tech Guru reads to her and then takes Pudding on his nightly sojourn around the house, the little man hasn’t been getting to sleep until 9ish. Which, given that he wakes up around 6:30/7ish, is not so good.
I might not have picked up on how good this not is were it not for the fact that recently Pudding has taken to waking up and screaming something awful. We’re not talking crying – we’re talking practical obscenities being shouted at blood-curdling decibels. And he is still in the bed with us, so I’m usually temporarily deaf by morning.
N.B. – If you have any disagreement with any of the above-mentioned parenting practices, please, keep them to yourself. I don’t give a shit and you will not endear yourself to me by sharing them.
Anyhow, where was I? Oh, so what with the night-waking, it occurred to me that perhaps this kid is not getting enough sleep. And I looked up what the recommendations are and at his age he should be getting, oh, roughly 14 hours of sleep including naps. Well, 9 p.m to 7 a.m., minus an hour of busting my eardrums, is what, 9 hours? And here I was, being all smug to other parents because I follow the Tao of Get-Those-Little-Fuckers-to-Bed-Early.
(For those of you about to get all upset because I called my kids little fuckers, I was not talking about my kids, or I would have written, get my little fuckers to bed early. I was actually talking about your kids.)
So last night, we switched it up, decided that I would have to read to Punksin while the Tech Guru started the journey through the house early. It all worked relatively well and last night, while our sleep was not entirely uninterrupted, the drama only lasted for 5 minutes and a good night was had by all.
Well, of course it would be too good to have this go on two nights in a row. Tonight, the Tech Guru came in a little later. Problem one. Then, we all went upstairs to undress for bed, only for me to realize as I watched Punksin shivering her ass off on the bed, that the heat had not kicked in. Problem two. So I call PSEG, and they tell me that they cannot get anyone out here until tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow morning? What the fuck? It’s cold in my bedroom, I’ve got an asthmatic toddler, and you want me to sleep watching the breath come out of my mouth?
(Disclaimer: I should point out here that I have refused to accept the asthma diagnosis for Pudding on the basis of one episode, that the heat was only off in our bedroom and we could well have slept somewhere else in the house including our living room with fireplace, and that the temperature in there was 67 degrees, which is, to me, below freezing, but is acceptable to many weirdos people I know. Also, that we have a portable heater. But I figured PSE&G knew none of this. And not knowing any of this didn’t matter one whit, I still was not going to see anyone before 8 a.m.
Yet another reason to go off the grid – bastards.)
Anyhoo, fine, blah blah. I read to Punksin and then it’s time for her to go to sleep. She lies down i her bed. And plays with the strings on the coverlet. And reads my magazine as I’m reading it. And does any other shit she can think of except closing her fucking eyes to go to sleep.
Then in comes the Tech Guru. He’s got the Pudding, and the Pudding is sleeping.
Until he puts him down on the bed.
We see him fidget, and we’re holding our breath, no one is moving. Then Punksin, who has been doing this dry coughing shit all night in a last-ditch quest for water, gives a particularl loud harumph and next thing you know, the Pudding is rising from the bed like Night of the Living Dead and yes, we are fucked.
Why fucked, you say? Because as the song goes, the night time is the right time. In this house, it is the ONLY time. The only time we get to do shit for ourselves including having a conversation that does not consist of one of us trying to spit out one fucking sentence and taking 30 minutes to do it because of constant interruptions that include “Daddy, do you want to play a game?” or “Excuse me, Mommy, I’m thirsty” or Pudding standing on the absolute top of the Step 2 Kitchen like Greg Louganis preparing for a nosedive.
Night time is when I write. It’s when I look for any way possible to supplement my daughter’s education (and increasingly, my son’s). It’s when we have our little midnight snack ritual of chocolate croissants or Trader Joe panna cotta. It’s when I can shed Mommy skin for a little bit and be Wife. Or even rarer, Me. Whoever that is.
Right now, for instance, Me is some manic lunatic who is actually feeling the different hormonal imbalances taking place as her body prepares for its monthly cycle. Close friends and the neighborhood garbagemen know that my period lasts for about 26 out of 30 days. It’s a wonderful thing. A long foreplay of –
I should point out here that what I am about to say could very well be filed under Too Much Information and if you’d rather not know, then stop right now and go read some other boring ass blog.
– days of dribs and drabs and spots that taunt me. Not enough to warrant medication, but enough to make me out of sorts and try to fend off the Tech Guru because I’m feeling gross.
This goes on for several days and then, just when I’ve gotten to the point of saying to the Tech Guru, I’m okay with it if you’re okay with it, the floodgates open. And I mean floodgates, because what comes out of my body on a monthly basis could sustain a bloodbank. I swear, it’s a wonder I’m not dead.
After the first 2-3 days, during which I walk around white as a sheet and experience cramps similar to childbirth, I then have several days of Werewolf Mode. I look better, I feel marginally better, but my hormones are all over the place. I don’t usually remember it afterwards but I think I grow fangs and it’s all I can do not to eat my own young.
Then, slowly but surely, the hair drops off my back, the fangs drop out and I am once again, Mommy/Wife.
Then 2 days later, I go to the bathroom, look in the toilet and it’s WTF? Because yes, people – it’s starting ALL OVER AGAIN.