Friday, September 26, 2014

Wild Nights

I really thought my days of waking up in strange places were long gone, but when I found myself blinking and disoriented in the still dark hours this morning, the bed hard and cool and wait, this is the floor--I realized that maybe I was just regressing...

I’ve been hearing a lot about this sleep regression thing, and it appears we’ve hit this little stage right square in the mouth. For the past couple of nights my son wakes up, rattles his cage--uh, crib, like a pint-sized gorilla and then calls out Mommy Mommy Mommy! with a sense of urgency usually reserved for boogymen and snack refills. And not that I'm counting, but I've noticed that there is only the occassional Daddy thrown in the mix. Like a 13:1 ratio.

Maybe because my wife brought him in to the bed the other night, where he settled in happily. And I am genuinely amazed at just how much of a queen size bed can a 30 inch kid can occupy. I was kicked in the ribs by little toddler feet until just about fifteen minutes before I have to get up for work. Of course by then he was sound asleep.

But everyone says not to go down this road, putting the kid in the bed. I really don’t see the harm in doing so occasionally but then again I also don’t see the harm in having Fruit Loops for dinner. So anyway, last night, we put him to bed—his bed, and everything was normal. He only got about two Mommy’s in before he was out cold, (or warm, he had a blanket). Then, without even a tiny morsel of shame, my wife and I climbed into bed just before nine.

I fell into a deep, wonderful sleep—until about11:06 pm, when Mommy Mommy Mommy cranked up like an overplayed Pharrell song that did not at all reflect how I felt at the moment.

We gave it a minute. By Mommy #58 I rolled over. By Mommy #88 I peeled off the covers. By Mommy #128, I cursed the stubbornness gene that this Mommy of his passed on to her child. Then, I grabbed a pillow and blanket and did what needed to be done. I camped out.

Lying on the floor, with only a knotty layer of sea grass between my ribs and the hardwood, I thought, well, this isn’t so bad. And it wasn’t. Until I woke at two am, my neck feeling like a cork screw. Then I slunk off for the memory foam.


He heard me, one measly creak of the planks and he sat up like my dog when he sees a squirrel. And then…. Mommy!

Mommy? Seriously kid? Not to be petty here but do you see who’s lying on the floor, camped out like it’s Black Friday or something?  

I fell back to my bed of sea grass, sticking a hand through the slats of my son's crib, comforting him until he fell into a deep, coma like sleep. In the other room I could hear the dog cutting logs and dreaming of squirrells from the plush confines of his dog bed. Everybody had a place to sleep, and I guess I’d found mine.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Small Wonders...

I have no idea how many times in my adult life that I’ve walked out the door, straight to the car, turned the key and sped up the road….to work or to the grocery store or anywhere else. We all do, and it’s no big deal, right?

Well with a kid just shy of 20 months old that journey to the car is a big deal. Everything in the world is a big deal.

Birds become amazing creatures that have wings and soar through the sky. Planes too, only bigger and make humming noises as they push through the clouds. A cat crossing the street is and event. Flowers, leaves…..Rocks! Everything is so cool!

It’s humbling to see the world through my son’s eyes. Just the other day I watched him watch the crows pecking and cawing in the front yard. He was completely captivated by something that normally I would just walk past without even registering. But for him, such wonder! I held him up to the window, his eyes wide and enrapt with the crows. When they finally moved on he started waving, whispering “Bye Bye” as they flew to the next yard. Made my day.

A simple trip out to the yard is like a jaunt through a theme park. There’s so much to discover. The other day we played with twigs and sticks for nearly twenty minutes. Then it was the ants, quite the show they put on. Caterpillars, worms, even stinkbugs are all characters in this great wide open show called the world. Oh, and he really really like butterflies. Those get the brightest smiles.

He likes walks down the street. Those aren’t quite as fun for me, but that’s because I become a secret service agent--scanning the road ahead for cars, stray dogs, maybe even an errant tumbleweed. Who knows what may be lurking?

He points to cars, he loves the trucks. He squeals and mimics and just takes it all in. He never wants to go back inside. And he never ceases to surprise me with all the new words he knows. But he's not the only one learning, he's teaching me to relearn all of the things that as a "grown up" I take for granted. Like walking in a puddle at the end of a street, or blowing the seeds off of a dandelion. The curl of grass under my bare feet, mud on my toes. Hearing the birds sing their songs.

So maybe that’s why the posts here are less frequent, because we’re just having too much fun...

Friday, September 5, 2014


Recently my son found my wife's childhood Cabbage Patch Kid and took to cuddling it and carrying it around the house. Now, as our neigbors could tell you, he's pretty comfortable with himself, and I'm not the kind of dad who would worry about my son playing with dolls so we thought it was cute. Well, until... 

A few days ago I was changing his diaper and all hell is breaking loose. It was a mess, and I had to do something. He was flailing around like one of those used car lot balloons and I just knew I’m going to end up with poop on my hands or on him or both. Just the other night I lost focus and he pooped on the floor. But back to the trenches, in a blur of urine and tears, I picked up this thing, this naked doll, just to distract him, anthything to help me survive. So I go to pick it up and when I did I accidently bumped its little plastic head against the bed rail.


Simon stops flailing and starts giggling. I giggle too, and then—being the mature adult that I am—I repeat the head bump, only this time putting a little muscle into it.

Thump Thump!

More giggling. Mom is a safe distance away in the kitchen. I fix the diaper up on Simon and then add a few sound effects to the head bumping. The next thing I know we’re beating the stuffing out of that doll and laughing hysterically.

No harm no foul, right?

Wrong. Because the very next day we’re on the floor playing and Simon eyes the doll. This time Mom’s in the room, getting caught up on school work. Simon takes the doll, flashes me a little smile and then starts thumping the baby’s little head against the wall.

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!

Then a picture falls on the floor and I hop up and make sure everyone’s okay. My wife looked at me and said, "I wonder where he got that idea?"

I shrugged, because he’s too little to have friends down the street who I can blame it on and I was a little too stunned for words.

The moral of this lesson is that I really need to watch my mouth and my actions around this little sponge of ours.