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Things that go bump in the night

I felt tiny warm breath on my face at 12:30 this a.m.  I peeked out from beneath my Zorro sleeping mask to see the somber face of my 5 year old staring a hole into me.  Willing me awake.

“Shhh, mom, don’t say anything.”

This is the 5 year old who has the good sense to go to the side of the bed where the marshmallow is sleeping.  The marshmallow generally doesn’t threaten the life of his little Blues Clues Blanket when being unceremoniously awakened from blessed slumber.

He bids me to follow him down the hall with his pointer finger.  When safely out of earshot of the other occupant in my bed, he announces, “Mom, my batteries need to be changed.”

This has nothing to do with his big boy night time sleeping diaper.  But rather his mobile crib music, the one with the soothing jungle sounds, and animatronic wild life.  It’s the same musical mobile that hung on the side of his crib, and now graces the railing of his loft bed.  Because it brings him comfort.

It creeps me out, but no one asks my opinion when choosing sleeping options like macabre musical mobiles or the fact that JENSEN SLEEPS UP HIGH.  5 YEARS OLD IS TOO YOUNG TO SLEEP NEAR THE CEILING FAN.  REMEMBER, THIS IS JENSEN WE’RE TALKING ABOUT.

But I’ve let it go.  Really.

He climbed back into his berth and I demonstrated for him that the musical mobile worked just fine and did not need new batteries at all.  He insisted to the contrary, coming unglued because evidently when the mobile starts to lose battery power, the little animatronic jungle creatures go all slow motion and scary looking, and the music gets slow and weird and JUST CHANGE THE FREAKING BATTERIES.

I know better than to attempt logic at dark thirty.  I climbed up on the loft bed to retrieve the mobile, and landed on a Barbie car when I descended.  It’s a wonder I didn’t end up breaking my good leg.  I fished the “C” batteries out of the top shelf of the laundry room and went to the kitchen to seek out the Phillips screwdriver.

If you have the impression that I did all of this cheerfully, chalking it all up to my motherly duty, you would be wrong.  Because my cuss jar?  It overfloweth in the dark of night.

I finished my task and rehung the Jungle Music and bid my son goodnight while I stumbled back to bed.

It took a sweet forever to fall back to sleep.  And when I was blissfully ensconced in REM sleep, around 2:30 in the a.m., I heard, “Psst, mom, don’t say anything, but I have to go poo-poo.”

I don’t understand why he needs an audience when he poops.  Especially in the middle of the night.  When I don’t make for a very supportive audience.  But it was a false alarm.  There was no pooping.

That’s when I threatened the life of his little Blues Clues Blanket if he didn’t get his little rear end back in bed and stay there.

The marshmallow is developing a spine.

My motherhood manual did not tell me that I would be sleep deprived for the duration of childhood.  And beyond.

I’m switching sides of the bed tonight, just to shake things up a little.  And I’m thinking that if anyone breathes on me I might just sit bolt upright and start screaming.

That oughta teach ’em.

My own personal parenting manual will be out next year.  I’ll be taking pre-orders so that I might be able to pay for my children’s therapy.

13 Responses to Things that go bump in the night

  • Somehow my mom managed to train my sister & me to only wake up Dad at night. I’m not sure how she did it. We always went to his side of the bed & told him what was wrong, needed, etc. Dad (of course) never really woke up enough to handle the situation. Mom was the one to do that. I guess we just didn’t click on that fact as kids.

  • Between the fact that my husband is a night owl ,thus wants to be on the computer or watching TV at some un-godly hr., children who have their days and nights mixed up, and a dog that decides to sit outside my bedroom window and BARK LOUDLY in the middle of the night….I have no peace. No sleep. I’m thinking about a revolt.

  • My 3 year old daughter is a horrible sleeper and still wakes up crying several times a night most nights and my 5 year old son, who is normally a great sleeper, woke up at 3 this morning needing to use the bathroom and didn’t fall back asleep till about 6, so I feel your pain.

  • Oh, hubs and I are both terribly mean in the night. You had better be BURNING WITH A RAGING FEVER or VOMITING or BLEEDING to wake either of us up, otherwise the consequences are merciless. Lose Wii for whole day, don’t go to that b-day party, etc….

    wha ha ha ha ha….

    but we nearly never get woken up! 🙂

  • Oh dear – I’m right there with you! Last night one of my kids came in and did that loud whisper “MOM?” to which my DH kindly muttered “SHH – Don’t Wake Your Mother!” which, of course, woke me up… sigh… my only recourse is that I have a chest cold right now, which makes my voice about 5 octaves lower and I sound more like an underworld dweller than kind supportive mommy/wife – think i scared the whole household this morning!

  • Every time my girls wake up in the night I kick my husband out of bed. He can go in there, tend to the need, wander back and be asleep the moment his head hits the pillow. It will take me anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to fall asleep again if I get out of bed. And I won’t sleep as soundly, because I’ll be listening for whatever may be wrong now.

  • Is the title of your parenting book going to be “All the REALLY important stuff that they left out of What to Expect the First Five Years”? 😉

    I think you get bonus points for climbing in the loft in the dark with only one good knee.

    Having to use a tiny little screw driver to open those torturous battery compartments while asleep earns you the coveted “Mother of the Moment” Award! Your trophy is at the shop being engraved! heeheehee 😀

  • You are making me reconsider where I keep batteries, screwdrivers, night light bulbs, and the like.

    My darlings, like yours, gravitate to my side of the bed. What I don’t get is how I manage to wake up NOT terrified and screaming to find a little person staring at me, willing me to wake.

    There was a little while when our little guy would pop into our room, turn on all the lights and greet us with, “It’s wake up time! A-morning!” If only he could tell time! That happened at all hours, but especially at 3 am.

  • Two of the things that make me most confused as a mom is why Dads get to sleep and poop without being bothered by a child.

  • Have you seen “Parenthood?” It’s a new show on NBC and in this week’s episode there was a 5 year old who was staying with his aunt while his parents went out on a “date” (strange concept, but not the point of this post). Anyway … the folks got a call at the restaurant from the aunt that the little boy HAD to go home … NOW … but wouldn’t say what the problem was.

    Turns out he needed to poop and didn’t think he could do it in a strange house, thus why he wanted to go home. The parents ended up taking him to the aunt’s bathroom and singing “wheels on the bus” to relax him enough to … well, you know.

    My teenage sons were roaring with laughter, commenting on how this show was so far from reality. The room got real quiet when I solemnly said “Um, that really DOES happen.” They don’t remember those “scenes” from their lives, but mom NEVER forgets!

  • I would LOVE to purchase your parenting manual. I bet I’d need a trip to the emergency room after reading it though…to sew that split in my side back up. (Seriously, you need to write one, and I’m not kidding. But did the word “seriously” already tell you that?)

  • i hear ya….my son was 4 before he gave up his “birdies”..the equivelent of your sons jungle.

    “Birdies” ate batteries like they were going out of style. It only lasted about 10 minutes at a time and he could find that button from a dead sleep.

    I was never so happy when it finally bit the dust.

  • I have been blessed with one of those husbands that do the dark thirty sessions. It takes me HOURS to fall back asleep after an incident, unlike my very sweet hubby, who can take care of whatever and flop back in bed and instantly be back asleep.

    My kids know that waking Mama is never a good plan. LOL