Last week Dylan caught one of those daycare colds that makes the rounds like a scene from Outbreak, where one child coughs and their nearest playmate instantly starts rubbing their eyes and after .07 seconds have elapsed the kid across the room has green slime jetting from both nostrils.


He was mostly okay during the day, but for two nights his lying-down cough seemed to worsen into croupy territory and as a result no one got any sleep. Most of you are probably all too familiar with the wee-hour croup routine, which involves steamy baths and lots of hours logged sitting bolt upright in the rocking chair, hoping against hope that the next gap between chest-racking coughs will be long enough for both of you to pass out for an entire restful minute or so.

He’s fine now, but all that nighttime intervention seems to have set us into one butt-fucker of a sleep regression, for I have no other explanation as to why he is continuing to wake throughout the night. I mentioned a while ago that Dylan predictably wakes up once, and as it turns out once is exactly my limit. Anything more than that and I’m plunged into a spiraling well of frustration and self-pity, and as JB can attest, when my bedmate snores peacefully through Cryfest #4, 3:27 AM Edition, I don’t just get kicky, I start aiming for the balls.

(“ZzzzzOw. What the hell?”


I hope to hell Dylan gets back to his usual routine on his own, because I have completely given up on the idea of sleep training. It didn’t really work when he was younger, and I highly doubt it will work now that he’s in possession of a steel will that cannot be broken no matter what lengths his desperate parents go to. In addition to being funny, smart, and downright adorable, my youngest son is—and I’m not saying this lightly—the most obstinate child on the face of the planet. I’ve never known stubbornness like his, and I’m including my own inability to concede when it comes to certain matters about which I am correct and you are not.

I’m sure it’s a trait that will eventually serve him well in life, unless he chooses a career in the military, but what I’m saying is if he refuses to sleep we are pretty much all fucked until 1) he chooses otherwise, or 2) the Benadryl kicks in, and don’t even think I won’t go there.

Anyway, in the midst of the sleep deprivation and resentment and all, I sort of suddenly realized that his 2-year birthday is coming right up. Two years! (OF NOT SLEEPING OH MY GOD.) It’s both hard to believe he’ll be two already—wasn’t he just a tiny redheaded baby?—and impossible to remember a time when he wasn’t part of our lives.

We aren’t having some big party or anything, but I would like to think of something creative to do with his cake. Specifically, I would like it to be horse-themed, and really, that’s the sort of thing they should mention in that otherwise horrifically comprehensive What to Expect series: enjoy your adult interests while you can, sucker, because someday you will spend your spare time surfing photos of horse-shaped cakes and buying novelty cookie cutters. And staring at this photo with both terror and admiration.

Of course, knowing Dylan I will probably drive myself batty to come up with a perfect equine-pastry and he will refuse to eat it or possibly hurl it across the room in disgust. Then he’ll wake up at 12, 2:30, and 4:05 AM chirping “CAKE? CAKE? CAKE? CAKE?”

Yesterday was my first day of class, and even if I hadn’t been anticipating the date for several weeks in a row I would have KNOWN it was the first day of class by the enormous zit that appeared on my face less than 24 hours beforehand. It’s like my body sensed the proximity of being in a classroom environment and served up a comforting physical attribute that would help me fit right in! Ha ha ha THANKS HORMONES FOR ALL THAT YOU DO.

I was all fretful ahead of time about various stupid things, because that’s just how I roll (in a useless little circle, that is, while bristling with paranoia over unlikely events), and I was particularly worried about not being able to find the classroom. It’s true I am cursed with a comically terrible sense of direction and have been known to get lost in a restaurant while returning from the restroom, but this fear transcended normal levels of concern and took up giant acres of my brain-space yesterday until I was basically just sitting at my office desk, my foot hammering off nervous energy on the floor Riverdance-style, eyes unfocused, while I entertained a rich and terrifying fantasy of wandering the halls for hours in search of the elusive C-164 room, before eventually arriving halfway through the class, creaking open the door and attracting the hostile stare of every student within while the teacher barked at me to find a seat, which I wouldn’t be able to do because they were all taken, and also for some reason I am naked, OH MY GOD.

So ANYWAY, naturally I found the class in about two seconds and took my seat (in the front row! Nerrrrrrrrd) and surreptitiously peeked at my fellow students and tried to determine if I was in fact the oldest person in the room. (Answer: maybe the second oldest, but I had cute shoes on so I win over the slovenly sweatpants-wearing 19-year-olds, right? Why isn’t there a Twibbon for these poor young people, outfitted in what amounts to a droopy Snuggie with random words emblazoned across their poop-holes and their personal body parts threatening to emerge? #PRAYERS4URASSCRACK).

The first hour or so was a little tedious as the teacher felt compelled to go over the syllabus line by line, while I twitched with irritation over people raising their hands to ask things like how do you log into the distance learning portal (apparently I have become the sort of person who cannot understand being unprepared for class, and between that and the front-row seat choice I DON’T EVEN KNOW ME ANYMORE) and what was the bare minimum for participating in the online discussions (it’s like these people don’t even know the joy of arguing on the internet!), but once the actual lecture got underway, I—well, I really enjoyed it.

I mean, it’s sociology, not really a subject I’m personally super excited about, but it was a good lecture and I got a weird kick out of madly taking notes, and I just . . . I don’t know, it just felt good to be there. Doing something so different from what I usually do, taking that first little step. It was awesome, really. And I still got home in plenty of time to play with the kids and put them to bed, how about that?

Here’s to new experiences, new challenges, and new knowledge! Let us not speak of the new tuition bills.

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