The most commonly heard phrase in our household used to be “I love you.”
Now, it’s “Go to bed.”
Our children are trying to slowly destroy us with interrupted sleep.
In the middle of the night my daughter started horror movie shrieking from her bedroom. I rushed in to find her placidly playing with crayons. She calmly asked, “Can I have a glass of water please?”
Her screaming disturbed Huck, so within a few minutes as I am just about to drift off to sleep, he strolls into our room and says in an outside voice, “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”
For absolutely no reason.
My husband and I shout nearly in unison, “GO TO BED!”
I can only think of two things worse than being awoken by my children: A fire alarm or being waterboarded.
I love sleep. Why don’t my kids? Or maybe the better question is WHY DO OUR CHILDREN HATE US?
Why else would they refuse to sleep through the night when they are so far beyond infancy?
You know how in movies sometimes, it seems so sweet when the parents rushes to their child’s bedroom to calm their fears after a nightmare?
It’s not cute. It IS the nightmare.
And now my husband is harboring not so secret resentment toward me because I am a sound sleeper.
Oh, I am fully aware that the mumbled f-bombs and sh-bombs are for me.
Hey, if I were wearing ear plugs I’d be a bad parent. But, it’s not my fault that after 3 years of not getting enough sleep my subconscious has tuned out MEANINGLESS SHRIEKING.
Even if I do wake up, it takes me infinitely longer to get the kids back to sleep. I guess something about mommy screams “party time!”
But, I can’t just tell my husband at 4 a.m. “Honey, you’re so much BETTER at putting them back to sleep.”
Heaven forbid there is ever an actual emergency involving my kids. I will shoot out of bed like a zombie and shout, “GO TO BED!”
Things that make me irrationally angry on a regular basis:
1) Deodorant stains on the bottom of my shirt.
2) When the bottom of my jeans get wet from puddles, then I sit on my feet at work and then my butt is also wet.
3) When you dye your hairline and actually end up dyeing your forehead and/or ears.
4) Peaches that look absolutely delicious, but are actually tasteless and gritty like they’ve been pumped full of oatmeal.
5) When the Walgreens employees tell me to “be well.”
6) When drivers blast crappy music with the windows down. It’s usually angry rap or Mexican music that makes me crave salsa. (Tampa NOT Tijuana)
7) Forced banter with the hair stylist. We have nothing in common except that for that hour we both care about my hair.
8) People who can’t properly pronounce words ending in “ing.” It’s not cry-EEN or walk-EEN. These people typically also have difficulty spell-EEN.
9) When you get to the bottom of the coffee cup and the grounds have piled up, the last swallow like cold, bitter mud.
10) My kids. Okay, kidding… kind of.
For the first time in my life, we are paying someone to clean our house.
I am terribly conflicted about this stunning development.
Part of me stands by the long list of reasons why I have always cleaned up after myself.
1) My mama raised me that way.
2) Nobody else should have to deal with my filth.
3) Maids are for rich folk.
Then, there is the part of me that thinks I will sleep more soundly knowing mysterious kid goop will disappear, nail clippings will be sucked from the carpet like an alien abduction and we might finally be able to see through the glass doors of the shower.
We were still so uncomfortable with the concept that we totally spent an hour last night “pre-cleaning.” Which begs the question, why are we paying someone else to do it?
My husband swept and vacuumed up all the dog hair. (and then told the kids the resulting tumbleweed was a Guinea pig. I swear my son’s eyes lit up with excitement for a second)
I wiped down all of the counters and tidied up all the random marbles, rubber bands and dirty socks that migrate around the house like gypsies. (no offense to any Gypsies out there)
I’m just hoping the woman who cleans sees that there’s no food goo on the kitchen counters and forgives the strange pink mold on the floor of our shower.
The last time we had someone clean for us we were moving out of our bungalow and letting the renters move in.
When the woman said, “Man, these people probably never cleaned the house before. The dog hair is unbelievable,” my husband straight up lied and pretended it was the previous renters. (who didn’t exist… we were the ones living in a house of filth)
We aren’t disgusting people. We are just full-time professionals with two messy rugrats, two mush-faced old dogs and ZERO TIME.
We are just scraping by.
It’s a choice between laundry or cleaning.
Bath time or cleaning.
Eating or cleaning.
Sleeping or cleaning.
At some point, you’re just like SCREW CLEANING.
Unless there is Vodka. Then, I would consider drinking and cleaning.
At 1 in the morning, I awake to my daughter screaming for “mommy.” I turn to my husband and ask in sleepdrunken stupor, “which kid is that?”
He says, “It doesn’t matter, just go.”
I find her wide-eyed in bed. She says, “something pulled my arm.”
I said, “Like your arm got stuck on something?”
She says, “No, something grabbed my arm and pulled me.”
She says she’s too scared to sleep in her bed because it might grab her and pull her again.
A normal mommy would react in the following possible ways:
1) “Honey, you must’ve just had a bad dream. Nothing grabbed your arm.” (and then probably sing “Hush Little Baby”)
2) “Baby, your pajamas are just too tight.” (She insists on wearing flannel Minnie Mouse pajamas in Florida in March that are a size 24 months… and she’s 3)
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am not a normal mommy. I immediately feel a shiver of chills and start imaging evil spirits grabbing my daughter by her elbow to pull her away.
It would explain why she always seems possessed. In my drowsy state, I am unable to process what she has told me and probably look as creeped out as she is.
So, I take her into our bed with her pillow, bunny and blanket.
Within 2 minutes she is kicking me repeatedly.
She says the blanket is making her itch.
Then she says she needs water.
Then she says she spilled the water.
Then she says there is something in her eye. Specifically something black. I think that is what we call “night” or “darkness.”
My husband shouts that she needs to stop talking and she starts to cry harder about the imaginary thing in her eye.
Alma and I relocate to the couch where she yells at me that my legs are too long.
Finally I take her back to bed where she shrieks like she’s being assaulted.
Eventually, her wails are intermittently interrupted with mumbles of “I have to potty” “I have to potty.”
So, we attend to that business.
I finally get her to go back to sleep in her room with her ghost.
The it takes me another hour to fall back asleep.
At this point, we’re getting about as much sleep as a typical parent of a 3 month old. Everybody expects that mom to be exhausted and cranky.
So, do I get a pass? Can I drool on my desk and tell someone to F-off and blame it on my shitty night of sleep?
Maybe tonight will be better. Unless the grabby banshee goes for my son.
In which case, we’re gonna go to that exorcist I just heard about in Lakeland.