Saturday started out at 4:30 a.m. when some guests of our neighbors decided to hang out in the street and holler, laugh, rev their engines, and generally act like they were raised in a barn. A barn where the livestock have no manners.
By the time Boy Detective came into our room at 7:00 a.m. I had not yet gone back to sleep. I was so tired that couldn’t open my eyes, so of course the child started tapping on my face with his palm and asking me LOTS of questions.
“C-Man,” I mumbled, “I have been awake since 4:30 and I really need you to talk to your child.”
“Oh honey,” he said, “Are you okay?”
“I JUST REALLY NEED TO BE LEFT ALONE.”
They disappeared. I didn’t wake up again until 10:00 a.m. I got out of bed, pulled clothes on, and emerged into the hallway to reconnoiter. The report was not pretty. Fits and fussing and fake crying ALL MORNING. I took over and sent C-Man to take a bath and a nap.
The Dog got kicked in the face, and not by me. A shoe was thrown at me, and not by The Dog. The number of times Boy Detective had been sent to his room skyrocketed past his chronological age, until finally, and I count this as a genuine miracle, we got all shoe-missiles securely on the appropriate feet and went out into the yard.
C-Man joined us outside after a while. All was well. Was the day settling down into a groove?
Of course not!
Did I mention the fake crying now includes yelling the words “WAH WAH WAH!”?
“We must get out of this house,” C-Man said.
Thank you, City of Austin, for the Howson public library. Get home too early for dinner, but with hungry people and a kid who kept yawning and laying his head on the table while berating us for offering him the wrong food.
“Dinner, games, bath, stories, bed,” I proposed.
“Let’s do this,” replied the other rational human in my house.
Then the child spit out his tater tot because it was too hot and it ended up squashed down the leg of his pants and into his right firefighter boot. The tater tot and the boot were removed, the dinner struggle continued, threats of losing both games and storytime were employed, the food-demolished clothing was removed, the bath plan was abandoned, jammies were donned, games were played, and storytime was successfully completed.
At 6:30, an hour earlier than normal, the child was put to bed. It had been a very gray day out, so it was fairly dark in his room. To save time, C-Man snatched up the tank of the vaporizer and went to fill it without help from the under-5 set.
Tantrum number 57 for the day, check!
“IF YOU WANT SOMEONE TO STAY WITH YOU WHILE YOU’RE GOING TO SLEEP, YOU NEED TO STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW.”
Tantrum number 57 laughs in the face of your threats!
“IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THIS FORT UP THAT YOU AND DAD BUILT, YOU NEED TO STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW AND GET IN BED! OTHERWISE I AM TAKING IT DOWN.”
Apparently tantrum number 57 loves the fort.
“Mom, can I have another hug?”
“Mom, I need another drink.”
“Mom, I need to get out of bed for another drink.”
“Mom, can I have another normal hug?”
“Mom, let’s have a little conversation.”
“IF YOU DON’T STOP TALKING AND LIE DOWN WITH YOUR WHOLE BODY IN THE BED, I CANNOT STAY IN HERE WITH YOU.”
“I want you to leave, actually.”
“Okay then. I love you, good night, and I will see you in the morning when you wake up.”
After the fourth time he opened the door and snuck out into the hallway, I understood why people drink regularly.
After the seventh time, I said to C-Man “Please go and put a stop to this nonsense.”
Confrontation ensued. The child was in his room. The vaporizer was running. It wouldn’t do much good with the door open, which was the ending state of the confrontation. It had been quiet for at least 15 minutes, so I got up and quietly pulled the door closed.
After I got back in bed (where the comic books and cinnamon rolls were), I heard small footsteps and the door was pushed open again…
and then someone in our neighborhood started setting off firecrackers.
I AM NOT KIDDING.