February 11, 2007

JB has returned to our happy household and once again Riley’s starry-eyed gaze is fixated in his direction, a fact that I’ve officially learned to appreciate because, let’s be honest, I guess all things considered I would prefer to be the Chosen One, but as long as I’m not, the truth is when a child is clamoring to be on one parent’s lap, the other parent is free to kick back and flip through Us magazine. I’m just saying. Make lemonade, that’s MY motto.

I was particularly looking forward to the first morning when it was JB’s turn to get up with Riley so that I could burrow beneath the covers and wait for the Pavlovian beep of the coffee machine—after a week of waking up going, dammit, is it my turn AGAIN?—but the first thing JB did was bring Riley into our bed. I should be clear that Riley has never been the sort of child to snuggle into his parents’ sides and sleep between them, a gloriously warm snoring puppy; rather, he goes beserko the instant he’s on the mattress. To Riley, our bed is a big expanse of bouncing Disneyland fun, and the entire concept of Let’s Bring the Boy In Bed So We Can All Sleep In A Bit More has never panned out, ever.

Not only that, but as I peered up from my previously comfortable pillow, which was now being partially stepped on by a clumsy toddler foot, I saw that Riley had a big plastic lid clutched in his hands—the cover from his giant bin of Lego blocks. “Why,” I managed to say, before I had to throw an arm over my face to block the incoming lid, which Riley was swinging around in a great giggling arc.

“Let me get this straight,” I said, muffled by the pillow and covers I had taken refuge beneath. “You not only brought the boy to bed on your morning, but he’s got a massive LID that he’s whacking me with.” I heard the sounds of a kerfuffle, then a deluge of screaming—JB had wrestled away the lid, and Riley was protesting at top volume, careening around the bed and trampling my hair.

“What should I do?” JB asked innocently, as though the flight back from Taipei had sucked every last brain cell from his head.

“You should get out of bed and take the boy with you because it’s YOUR MORNING,” I whimpered. Meanwhile, the dog scritched around on the floor excitedly, begging to go out, the cat started yowling from down the hall, and there was nary a coffee-beep to be heard.

So that could have been more relaxing. In general, though, it’s so much nicer to have another adult in the house, for companionship as well as toddler-wrangling. I did enjoy spending some alone time with Riley, but most of our conversations were fairly limited, you know?

Riley: (pointing to his ball) “BA!”
Me: “Yes, that’s your ball!”
Riley: (walking over and picking up his ball) “BA!”
Me: “Good job, can you throw me your ball?”
Riley: (hurling the ball in my direction) “BA! BA!”
Me: “Awesome throw!”
Riley: (pointing to his ball) “BA?”
Me: “Yes . . . that’s your ball. Again.”

*repeat 398657015 times*

Of course, lots of my conversations with JB go like this:

Me: “What do you want to do for dinner?”
JB: “I don’t know.”
Me: (sighing) “Chicken? Stir-fry?”
JB: ” . . . eh.”
Me: “Spaghetti?”
JB: “Meh.”
Me: “Well??”
JB: “Honestly most of the time nothing sounds good until you make it and then it’s always good.”
Me: “That’s . . . really helpful.”
JB: “Pizza?”
Me: “Meh.”

*repeat 9375713 times*

:::

Riley has started doing this thing where he pulls his hand down inside his sleeve, glances up at us with a crinkly-eyed, sly expression, and waits for one of us to ask in a boisterously loud voice where his hand is, then bursts his hand through and says “Ehhhh!”.

There it is,” we crow, and he holds his hand out, a little pink grubby star, and marvels at his own amazing self.

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hello insomnia
14 years ago

Did JB bring home a case of Pocari Sweat?

Jennifer
14 years ago

Okay seriously, do you have a camera set up in my house!? I have those exact same conversations with my husband and son.

Not fair that you get a morning to sleep in, we don’t have that arrangement around here. Maybe I need to get that started.

Glad you are no longer playing the part of a single parent!

Aunt Linda
14 years ago

If he DID bring back Pocari Sweat, make sure I get at least two cans of it. AL

warcrygirl
14 years ago

OUr kids always liked to sleep in our bed and sleep they did. Jr likes to flop everywhere and kick me in the kidneys, Captain Destructo hogs my pillow and now they’re too big to put in our KING SIZE bed. The last time we let them sleep with us (as a treat) I ended up on the couch. Welcome home, JB!

Serror
Serror
14 years ago

Hey, if ya’ll are in the Seattle area, Pocari Sweat can be had at Uwajimaya. I just bought a bottle of it on Thurday! I screeched in delight when I saw it.

Shannon
14 years ago

And, if you don’t feel like battling the traffic to south Seattle, you can also find it at the Ranch 99 Market, the “Uwijimaya” of the northend, on Hwy 99 in Edmonds! Ranch 99 is about a half mile from my house and is a godsend for all things Asian, not to mention their jawdropping low prices on fresh seafood.

Joanne
14 years ago

We have both those conversations a lot around here. And I also have a husband that tries to bring the boy into our bed when it’s his turn. At least we’re not alone!

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

Hey, Shannon and Serror, can you get CC Lemon (another favorite from Asia) at Uwajimaya or Ranch99?

Sundry, that convo with JB is identical, verily I say unto thee, IDENTICAL to my daily husband convos.

angela
14 years ago

Jesus, I hate the “What’s for dinner” conversation.

Swistle
14 years ago

When our first child was 2 years old and our second child was 3 months old, my husband had to go away for a week. I thought I might not survive it–but in fact what happened was that a great burden of resentment was lifted from my shoulders: I was doing all the work, yes, but I wasn’t doing it while thinking that he should be helping more. When he got back, I was really glad to have his help again, such as it was, but on the other hand it took me awhile to get used to the My God, He Is Not Seriously Bringing That Child Into Our Bed When It Is My Turn To Finally Sleep In After A Week Of Five O’Clock Risings resentments again.

Danell
Danell
14 years ago

I’ll be damned if our kid hasn’t slept in by at least an HOUR every time it’s Dad’s turn to get up with him in the mornings. Not that I mind it ALL that much since it means, in turn, that I get to sleep in as well, but DAMN…can he please just ever sleep in ONCE when it’s MY TURN??? And Cameron never ever ever sleeps if we bring him to our bed either. Ever. No matter how desperately I whine and cry and plead with him.

helen
14 years ago

Ha! It’s obviously universal. I keep toddler out of the way as much as I can for as long as I can on my mornings, and yet on husband’s mornings, the toddler mysteriously comes straight in to see mummy. And jump on mummy’s head. I really appreciate it, it’s awsome, no really.
The “what’s for dinner” conversation took up so much of our life and adult conversations that this year we are going to drastic measures. We are systemmatically cooking our way through “365 dinners, no repeats” by Rachael Ray. It’s some undertaking but fanastically we never have the “I dunno, what do you want?” conversation anymore, which is fabulous. It’s saved literally minutes out of each day. But now I blog our progress on oneyearproject.com which adds that time back in, and more, hmmm. Maybe not so smart. Especially the day of meatball pizza and zippy Italian popcorn, I kid you not.

aoife
14 years ago

The magical hand game will probably amuse your kiddo for years to come. We are still playing at age three point five. It has evolved into the pirate hand game which involves a papertowel tube and his arm. ARRRRRGH! Ahoy, mateys, I’ve lost me arm!

Katie
14 years ago

I’m glad to hear my kid isn’t the only freak who thinks the bed is the antithesis of sleepy anything. Where did we go wrong?

This post was hilarious on so many levels. Most of them of the “Did you steal this from my life/head and make it better written and funny” level. So true. So funny.

Kurt
14 years ago

So I take it you don’t like getting whacked in the head with a Lego box lid. Interesting. I’ll have to remember that next time I come home from Taipei and bring the dog up on the bed with the missus in the morning and said dog is clutching her favorite toy and whipping it around in playful ferocity.

Graciemay
Graciemay
14 years ago

The “kid in the bed” thing happens daily at our house only with a 100 lb 8 mth old Weimaraner.

Claire
14 years ago

Wow, I have that same conversation with my husband every night. When I finally decide what I am making, he still doesn’t really say one way or the other but once it’s on the table, he’s all excited. Weird.

Melanie
14 years ago

My son’s the same way – Can’t! Hold! Still! Must! Jump!!! Too much energy. Especially before coffee.

omu
omu
14 years ago

Been there, done that, have the bruises from the flinging toys and toddler body slams to prove it.

Why is it that daddies think that having the toddler say hi to mommy on mommy’s morning to sleep in is a good thing? Is it something that gets ingrained during “how to piss off your wife” pre-marriage classes? Are they trying to make us hate them?

Of course, making the toddler say hi to daddy on his morning is its own sweet revenge…

Ang
Ang
14 years ago

I HATE it when my husband does that with the whole blah attitude towards supper. Shit he loves he’ll snub. Makes.me.want.to.scream.

MRW
MRW
14 years ago

UGH I hate the what’s for dinner “conversation.” It is one of my most hated exchanges. I also hated the bring-the-little-boy-to-our-bed-on-my-day-to-sleep-in thing, but after I grew a second head and told my husband how unfair and crappy I thought that was he didn’t do it again. It’s not wrong to want to sleep relatively uninterrupted past 6:00 am one day a week. Sigh.

Jenny
Jenny
14 years ago

Oh, please tell me where you got the stroller attachment that lets Riley stand and ride – I love it!!!

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Edgeryengendy
12 years ago

I think you made some good points in your post.

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10 years ago

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Anmol
6 years ago

I am where you are right now too! It has been easier as time goes on, but being a motehr is the hardest thing I have ever had the good fortune to undertake. I haven’t always handled it as well as I think others do. I felt like I sort of disappeared for a while (about 5 years) and only now am I getting some “me” back:) Hang in there sweetie! Journaling is an awesome outlet! I wish I had done it earlier. Waiting for a positive update on sweet boy’s clavicle! Love, Jamie