Good morning, Mr. Chinery. This is your 2 AM wake-up call.

Kids are funny. Sometimes they’re ha-ha funny, like when they laugh uncontrollably, or when they delightfully skew a request for Corn Pops so that it becomes “Porn Cops.” Sometimes they’re ha-ha funny. Sometimes they’re not ha-ha funny. Sometimes they’re why-are-you-doing-this-to-me funny; they’re what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you-and-why-can’t-I-figure-you-out funny; you know, that kind of funny.

I had already had problems getting my son to bed; well, more like problems getting him to stay in bed. He actually went to bed fine, round 7:00 PM. However, by 11:00 PM he was awake and unhappy, and the game of 20 thousand questions began:

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No.”

“Would you like something to drink?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Do you want some milk?”

“No.”

“Do you want some water?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Okay. Here’s your water. Now it’s time for bed.”

“No!”

“Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in your bed?”

“No!”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“Ye-ah.”

[Sometimes you have to offer something once, have him refuse it, offer something that is less desirable, have him refuse it, and then go back to the previous selection to have him accept it.]

Graeme’s now sleeping in our [Mommy’s] bed while I’m on the couch finishing up the Carrie/Carrie 2 double bill. It’s now 12:00 AM and it should be safe to move Graeme back into his bed without him waking up and putting us through this production again. Time for Daddy to get to bed.

2:00 AM. Graeme’s awake and crying. Shit.

I open his door and find him standing in the middle of his room, crying. I do a quick check of his diaper and find it to be on the verge of bursting, as usual. This presents a further problem as changing out of a wet diaper is high on Graeme’s least favourite things to do.

“Can we change you?”

“No!”

“I think we should change you.”

“No!”

“Do you want to go on the couch?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep in Mommy’s bed?”

“No.”

“Do you want a drink?” I ask with a marked tone of self-defeat as this is exactly how we came about to the 20 pound diaper which I have yet to resolve.

“Ye-ah.”

Of course. We move into the kitchen and I get a small drink of water whilst planning my next move.

“Here, Graeme. Let’s just change you like this,” as I move to perform the diapering-of-a-standing-child maneuver; it never really works.

“No!”

Too late, my boy, I’ve already got your bottoms down; let’s just get this over with. Graeme suddenly seems resigned to his fate, if such a term can be used to describe the exchange of a soppingly soiled diaper for a fresh, clean one. Alright, clean diaper: check. Something to drink: check. Something to drink for Daddy: negative, but tempting.

“Time for bed, Graeme?”

“No.”

“Do you want to sleep on the couch?”

“No. A bowl?”

“You want something to eat?”

“Ye-ah.”

“Fine.”

I get a little bit of Cheerios in a bowl for Graeme with him chanting all the while, “A-molk, a-molk, a-molk.”

“Yes, Graeme. I’ll put some milk in it.”

We move into the living room, “Would you like to sit on the couch?”

“No.”

“Okay, I’ll just put the bowl here,” as I set down on the coffee table, right before I drop onto the couch myself, massaging my temples as a massive headache is forming. Graeme in response just stands there.

“Go ahead; eat.”

“No.”

“Are you done?” (This sometimes works to prompt him to either start or continue eating)

“No,” he responds, and yet makes no move to eat. What the hell?

“Look, Graeme. Just eat your cereal so we can get back to bed.”

“No!”

“Fine! Whatever! I’m going to sleep!” I lie down on the couch as my head continues to throb.

Predictably, this sets him off and he starts to cry. Perfect. All I need is for him to wake his sister and my early morning will be complete. My head is killing me, I’m tired, and I’ve reached a seeming impasse with a two-and-half-year-old who is keeping me hostage in the wee hours of the morning. This isn’t working, obviously. I sit down on the floor and bring Graeme into my lap. Not only does he allow this, he snuggles into me. This is different; my son does not snuggle. I take the moment for all it is and rock back and forth as Graeme settles down. My head is still hurting, but I don’t dare give in, not when I’m so close.

It only takes a couple of minutes for Graeme to settle right down, and so I carry him off to his bed. As soon as I lay him down, he starts rolling his head from side to side; this is his signature move to signal that he’s ready to fall asleep. At 3:00 AM, after and hour of lunacy, I finally take some Tylenol and climb back into bed. At least I can salvage some sleep time before I have to get up to take the kids to their day home.  At 4:15 AM, the dog is scratching at the bedroom door to be let out.

Fuck you, Regal; you’re not funny.

[Note: I was planning to post this yesterday evening, but was, predictably, interrupted by my son waking up]

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Come again?

I had my shower interrupted this morning by my two-and-a-half-year-old son. I was hoping to get my shower in before he got up, but a repeated knocking at his door alerted me to Graeme’s wakened state. I opened his door and asked if he would like to wait in our bed whilst I showered. He responded, “Mommy? Mommy sweeping? Mommy? Mommy bed?” I explained that “Mommy’s not here” as she is currently visiting her uncle and aunt in Arizona. Well, this didn’t sit all that well with Graeme as he ran out of our room whining. I asked if he would, perhaps, like to sit on the couch instead. Graeme countered with, “Dee? Dee? Yabba?” I, of course, knew this to mean, “I will gladly sit on the couch if you would be so kind as to queue up an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, featuring my all-time favourite personality, DJ Lance Rock. Please.” I obliged.

With Graeme seemingly appeased, I went about the business of my shower. I was just about to put shampoo in my hair when I heard Graeme calling out something. I couldn’t make out what it was over the shower so I called out to him, “Graeme! I’m in here!” A few seconds later Graeme came into the bathroom and pulled back the shower curtain, “Hone! Hone!”

“I don’t know where the phone is.”

“Hone!”

“Look, I don’t know where your phone is. Can I finish my shower?”

“No! Hone!”

This carried on for some time with me trying desperately to keep the shower curtain closed while Graeme kept pulling it open. Suddenly, I heard the faint tones of a synthetic guitar strumming the same chords over and over. My mobile! I’ve been using my iPhone as my alarm clock in the mornings and although I thought I had shut it off this morning, I clearly had not. I had figured that Graeme was going on about my wife’s old mobile that the kids use as a toy, or the house phone that Graeme loves to monkey around with. Instead, my son had been trying to tell me that my mobile had been ringing incessantly, making it quite impossible for him to enjoy his programme. So I quickly grabbed a towel and turned off the alarm.

“There. Is that better?”

“Ye-ah.”

It was at this moment that I wondered if, at some point in the past when Graeme had been badgering me about something-or-other, maybe I should have asked if someone had fallen down a well. I also realized that, together, we did some pretty good problem solving for first thing in the morning.

Good boy, Graeme!