On the Floor

Eleven o'clock last night and I found myself moving down onto the little bed with Kiddo. He'd been coughing again--the third night in a row--and it was once again my night for what Joe and I call Floor Duty. These days we usually we have clearly defined boundaries: Mama and Daddy on the big bed and Kiddo on the little bed, which is a full-sized futon on the floor in our room. Our stairs are too steep for Kiddo to scale unattended, especially tired in the middle of the night, and as our attic master bedroom is warm and cozy, it makes no sense to us to put Kiddo to bed in his own room, which is less so.

But I'd found myself sleeping in Kiddo's room the night before, because the coughing and snoring were getting to me. Last night, Joe was in his room. It's great to have a second bed, but said second bed is very uncomfortable. It's a passed-on futon with a permanent Crease of Hardness down the middle. And after three nights of crap sleep, I suspect some might accuse me of having a temporary crease of hardness. This cold has been going since Monday afternoon, and I'm all but worn out.

So when my older, wiser girlfriend gently suggested giving Kiddo some benadryl so we could all get some rest tonight, all I could think was "That is a damn fine idea."

Being this tired puts Joe and I off our game. This morning we came downstairs to get ready for our respective days: work for Joe and I, preschool for Kiddo and I. I came out of the shower to find Kiddo, still in his pajamas, no breakfast yet,  playing with the bicycle pump. If you do not know my son, let me give you a reference that you might relate to: giving him a bike pump first thing in the morning is a little like handing a teenager a new PlayStation an hour before school starts with all his favorite games on it. Really, really dumb move, Dad. Because guess who gets to be the Mean Mom on that one?

The day just slowly slid downhill from there. My school day with my group was fair-to-middling 'okay', not great. My enthusiastic suggestion to catch one last leaf walk in the narrow window of daily sunshine was met with a petulant "I don't want to". (I should've just made them go, as our outside time later on was rained out.) I have other stories, but recalling them here would border on unprofessional, and they weren't terrible, actually amusing in hindsight but draining in the moment. I braved a rainstorm to go pick up more fresh produce and some salmon for supper, calling Dear Husband on the way and leaving a message on his voice mail that he had 10 minutes to call me back if he wanted anything special. His email later stated that "anything's fine". Soaked like a rat on arriving home, reading the email, all I could think was "It had damn better be."

Later, Kiddo was dropped off and went from cheery and silly (and not exactly listening to directions) to Mr. "I Have No Focus In Life Whatsoever Other Than Doing The Exact Opposite of What You Say". He said he was hungry and after finishing his lunchbox apples, I offered him carrots, as dinner was in the very near future. "I don't like carrots. I want yogurt." he whined, then (I kid you not) went and sat under the child-height school table and began to loudly complain "I want to stand up! Mama, help me stand up!"

This is where I begin to think I might have raised a moron, because this table is less than two feet tall and serious work to get under.

More "I'm hungry, come wipe my nose, I can't do it, I don't want carrots" ensued, followed by a pair of stern warnings and then, after some Last Straw Breaking moment,  Kiddo was loudly escorted to his room, wailing like an ambulance. "Hold me! Want you to make me happy!"  I put on the timer for five minutes, and went back to finish cooking what by now was devolving into a joyless meal, and heard the hallway gate rattling. Good thing I thought to take a look: he was trying to climb over the safety gate.

It is such a good thing we are not a spanking family.

And now I'm sitting on the floor, typing this in front of the wood stove. I've had a lot of little rants running through my head lately. The unattractive xenophobia and paranoia the Christmas season brings out in the zealots is already beginning to emerge, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. I'm sure other cultures have their own version of this. I'm not knocking Christianity here, but apparently I'm risking hell if I keep perpetuating that Santa Claus myth.  I'm interested--and a bit alarmed--at the 30/30 split in the House along the lines of state government (my fellow Oregonians, prepare for more dithering and little progress). I wonder in general at so much of our country, so dumbed-down that we confuse the Blond Bimbo Brigade and Glenn Beck for people to actually pay attention to, and yet the latest post-2010 elections survey findings from the Public Religion Research Institute makes a solid case that we aren't adequately comprehending the things that we do need to be paying attention to.

Yet, in a minute or two, I will go and open a beer, turn on Tina Fey--if I could be one living person in the world, it would be her-- and laugh at the stupidity of typecast sitcom characters. It feels good. I will momentarily forget about this fairly crappy day and laugh out loud. Or maybe if I'm lucky, it'll come full circle  and I'll ROTFL.


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