Thank you for the ideas/commiseration on Dylan’s sleep issues. Sometimes it’s just immensely helpful to hear “oh my god, my kid does that too, and it SUCKS”, you know? JB reads my comments too, and I think we both breathe a giant sigh of relief when we learn that whatever parental challenge we’re struggling with is not unusual and that other people are in the same boat and we’re all frantically bailing water while looking for the goddamned hole.

Dylan slept through the night last night but woke up, as usual, way before any normal human would choose to start their day, so I went and brought him to bed with us. This always seems like a good idea, and at first he’s a dream. He snuggles belly to belly on top of one of us, usually JB, and all is cozy and comfortable and warm and loving, until out of nowhere he jerks his head upright and brightly announces, “HORSE!” Then he’s off and running:

“Horse! Neiggggh. Cow. Cow. Moooo! DUCK. DUCK. DUCK. Donkeys. DONKEYS! Sheep.”

(Despite how I make him sound he doesn’t actually communicate exclusively via farm-speak, but it sure seems to be a conversation starter for him. I can imagine him at a toddler cocktail party, wearing a wee little bowtie and accepting a sippy cup from a passing waiter, then turning to his companion and chirping, “So . . . HORSE?”)

Once he gets started with the Naming of the Animals, all is lost; he’s all over the bed and joyously sticking his grimy little fingers deep into our eyesockets. At that point Riley usually comes padding out of his bedroom and climbs up and we endure maybe 5 more minutes of total physical chaos before the blankets are on the floor, both kids are crying about something, and JB and I are bolting for the coffeemaker.

I’ve never particularly wanted to co-sleep past the newborn stage, but then again I’ve never really had the opportunity to give it a try. Both boys have always acted like they regard our bed as a thinly disguised ball pit, even in the dead of night. I think I remember one time when Riley slept with me when he was little and sickly and JB was out of town, but I woke up at the exact moment he was happily starting to roll off the edge of the mattress, and hoo boy. Never again.

I was thinking how our mornings seem extra crazy lately—starting with the Great Family Bed Fail and moving immediately into the breakfast madness which involves Riley acting sullen and grumpy until the first Honey Nut Cheerio hits his system and Dylan saying “Waffle? Waffle? Waffle? Waffle? Waffle? Cook? Cook? Cook? Cook? Cook? Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot? Hot? WAFFLE? WAFFLE? WAFFLE?” until I think I’m going to go slap out of my damn mind at which point Riley inevitably sighs with great put-upon drama and wonders out loud why no one got him anything to drink—but the truth is, EVERYTHING is crazy. Mornings, afternoons, dinners, naptimes, bedtimes, it’s all shouting galloping couch-jumping shrieking open-mouthed-chewing craziness all the time, and while I obviously wouldn’t trade it for the world I think it’s one of those parenthood truths you really cannot imagine until you’re in it: the peace and quiet in your life is going to go away. Altogether. Except maybe between the hours of their bedtime and yours, which you will come to defend like a starving buzzard hunkered over a flattened, steaming chunk of roadkill.

Such is life with kids, though. It’s loud and there are many bodily substances. It’s basically like belonging to a fraternity, where your roommates spend their time hazing you, barfing, and screwing with your sleep. It’s steeped in ritual and there are songs. Also, you will forever have something in common with your fellow members, which is one of the things that makes it all survivable.

Well, that, and . . . you know. The children.


73 Responses to “Kappa Babble Upchuck”

  1. Anonymous on September 25th, 2009 10:48 am

    until out of nowhere he jerks his head upright and brightly announces, “HORSE!”

    Laughed out loud at that line. Funny stuff.

  2. Sarah on September 25th, 2009 11:16 am

    Your Dylan and my 19 m.o. would make perfect early morning companions. They apparently have both studied the exact same Farm Animals/Breakfast Foods Phrasebook, so they’d understand each other perfectly. Maybe even make each other waffles. Only hitch — we: Minnesota, you: Washington. Alas.

  3. Corinne on September 25th, 2009 12:10 pm

    “thinly disguised ball pint” Hah! So true. I have to pass that one on to my husband. He says it’s like trying to sleep with an angry eggbeater.

  4. Apryl on September 25th, 2009 12:18 pm

    HEY WTF is there a hidden camera in my house???

    So my husband (who’s going to be going “out of country” if you get my drift) poses the question as to why I don’t just go to sleep earlier at my bitching and moaning about being tired.

    I say to him…that 3-4 hours after those little whining screaming turds are in bed is my SANITY TIME.

    Also…I have great anxiety…the real reason I don’t want to go to bed (we can all admit it right) is that we have to fucking to it again the next DAY!!!!!!

    Love those little snots to death. LOL

  5. Mandy on September 25th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Where do I send my check for the t-shirt? I work on a college campus and it’s Rush time for the Greeks, I’d love to wear those letters during Rush!

    My 3 1/2 year old just started to sleep through the night (shhhhh…I didn’t actually just put that in writing, right?!?! Hopefully the Sleep Gods are not watching).

  6. ElizabethZ on September 25th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Loving the image of that toddler cocktail party.

    I also am guilty of staying up way too late, sacrificing sleep for more hours in a day for so alone time, even if I spend it doing housework, I get to do it UNINTERRUPTED and that, is awesome.

    Oh, and I want that shirt too, I would so buy one and wear it. Just make sure it comes in a babydoll/girly style and not just the boxy type. Thanks! :)

  7. ElizabethZ on September 25th, 2009 1:17 pm

    SOME alone time, that would be. Oops.

  8. ladybughugs on September 25th, 2009 1:21 pm

    I’ve often thought my kids equate my bed with a tumble-track. Ball pit works, though. I too will defend to the death the time between their bedtime and mine. I’m extra lucky because the husband has to wake up early so he is usually in bed at the same time (last night I came home from a meeting, he was asleep, Lil’bug heard me come in and came running out to greet me, this does not instill a lot of confidence).

  9. B on September 25th, 2009 3:02 pm

    No, no, no, no co-sleep. No. Sack up. Tough it out. You are both prolonging the problem and making it more complex.

  10. Baking Mad Mama on September 25th, 2009 3:40 pm

    Ah, how I feel for you with the early waking. I could never co-sleep with mine – too much paranoia about squishing him – with the downside of spending more time upright at 5am than I would otherwise like. And when he’s 15 I know I’ll be completely outraged that he needs to be poked with a stick in order to get him out of bed.

  11. Pam on September 25th, 2009 4:56 pm

    Yep, those hours between their bedtime and my bedtime when I am teased with the familiar feeling of my former life? AWESOME.

  12. Swistle on September 25th, 2009 5:04 pm

    This is one of my favorite posts ever. Accepting a sippy cup from a passing waiter. “So…horse?” Thinly disguised ball pit. Why no one got him anything to DRINK. The buzzard and roadkill thing. There are songs.

  13. The New Girl on September 25th, 2009 5:47 pm

    I’m still laughing at the post and also @Mary’s father comparing walking into her house to WALKING INTO A BUZZ SAW.



  14. Linda on September 25th, 2009 7:49 pm

    Seriously, what’s with all the damn noise?! My kids are blow horns.

  15. Niki P on September 26th, 2009 3:45 am

    It gets better. You have a slim window from the time they are about 8 until they are 13 when they think you are cool and awesome and all that shit. They then turn into teenagers. Basically Pricks. Cheers!

  16. nonsoccermom on September 27th, 2009 6:21 pm

    Hee hee, my 21-month-old daughter sounds like that in the mornings. “Waffle? Waffle? Hot? Hot? EAT? EAT? Waffle?” YES WAFFLE OH MY GOD I GET IT.

    Hilarious post. And as always, it’s funny because it is TRUE.

  17. Violet on September 28th, 2009 6:18 am

    Totally and completely my life! I wish wish WISH I could get my husband to read your blog – then maybe he’d realize that kids are are just LIKE THAT, and you just have to tough it out. He seems to think there is some magic way to make them calm down and be quiet and peaceful, he just needs to figure it out. Hahahahahaha!!! It’s ok, he’ll break eventually. He is missing out by not reading you. :)

  18. Jenny on September 28th, 2009 8:18 am

    Commiseration, galore! Our daughter is almost three, and she’s quite the active little snowflake. We went to her preschool parents’ night, and the teachers said that every day at 3:00, she barks like a dog for a few minutes. We said, yeah, she does that at home too. Sigh.

  19. ayala on October 1st, 2009 4:16 am

    I might have just made the last paragraph my facebook status update. :-) THanks!

  20. Suryadi on March 8th, 2015 12:51 am

    we hebben niet met 1-6 maar met 1-8 veeonrrlen dat pakken we hun dan terug, als wuij dan weer tegen hun moeten spellenwij uit tegen hun thuis. Daar kunnen wij er op gaan vertrouwen op dat momment,dat zou gert en lia ook zeggen gr van stefan

  21. on July 14th, 2015 5:00 pm

    Wow! That’s a really neat answer!

  22. on August 3rd, 2015 2:07 am

    Your article was excellent and erudite.

  23. on November 5th, 2015 11:34 pm

    This forum needed shaking up and you’ve just done that. Great post!

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