Sweet dreams

I arrive just as spouse is tucking them in to bed. “Right, so no pull-up then!” he announces in a booming tone. I stop dead and pout. No pull-up? Who is he to determine withdrawal of pull-up privileges? Is he responsible for the laundry? The inevitable carpet cleaning? Now there's a man who is totally out of line. I think about pulling rank. I decide to keep my own counsel instead, and content myself with thoughts of the following morning's 'I told you so scene.'

The nerve of the man!

I kiss my children good night, hide my pout and return downstairs to smolder. What could he have been thinking, to change the rules in such are arbitrary fashion? No preamble, no warning, no carefully implemented campaign. The man must be completely barmy? I can think of no rational reason why he should have chosen tonight to turn the bed time routine upside down. I froth, stew and steam. [translation = voodoo dolls] I won't have time to do an additional load of laundry tomorrow. The knock on effects could be earth shattering! No spare bed linen. Bare bed. More upset to bed time routine. No sleep for anyone. Curse the man!

In between fumes, I consider my own plan. It's not as if we haven't attempted this 'dry at night' campaign before, it's just that it has yet to be successful. There's no reason that we shouldn't implement a new campaign, we just need careful thought beforehand. How can I have 'beforehand' if we're already after? [translation = failure at the first fence is not a good reinforcer] All campaigns must be orchestrated with the finesse of a conductor. I suppress a growl. Spouse looks across at me. He is unable to detect the steam coming out of my ears, “are you alright love?”
“Fine!”
“Anything wrong?”
“No, nothing. I'm fine, just fine!” I do my best flounce and depart. [translation = high dudgeon] I swear he the most annoying person on the planet. Who does he think he is? Why is the other adult in the household such a complete nit wit. The venom and bile accumulate, but are well leashed.

I debate whether I should lift him later before we go to bed ourselves. Should I haul 56 pounds of sleeping boy onto the toilet? I decide to delete. I stomp back into the family room, because flouncing more than once in any one day, decreased it’s impact. “You’ll be o.k. lifting him later?” I announce rhetorically. He blinks in my direction, “er, sure, if that’s what you want?”
“Me? What I want? And how exactly do my ‘wants’ suddenly come into the equation now?”
“Hmm what?”
“You asked if that is what ‘I want,’ but you weren’t concerned with my wants when you pulled the pull-ups!” I snap with the perfect enunciation of the truly incensed.
“Pulled? Pull-ups? What are you on about?”
“You told him he didn’t have to wear a pull up, without us talking about it first!” I squeak. [translation = and inadvertently spit at the same time]
“Ah! I see.”
“Well?”
“Well what?”
“What do you have to say for yourself!” [translation = Lummy! I’ve turned into my husband’s mummy]
“Well, I er, didn’t have much choice really.” I wait. I wait a bit longer. I suppress a sigh. “Why did you have no choice?”
“Well, it was him wasn’t it.”
“What was him?”
“Him,… I mean…, he said it, he asked, er, he said he didn’t want to wear a pull up any more…… now that he was a big boy, although……those weren’t the words he used………but that’s what he meant,…….I think, yes, that’s what he meant, I’m quite sure.”
“Well why didn’t you tell me that in the first place! That changes everything!”

Moral – before you flounce, feel free to ferret around for the facts first.


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Sleep

All too often one hears adults bemoaning their experiences as children, how they were scarred and psychologically traumatized by their parents' behaviour or words. Now that I am both a parent and an adult, I find that my ears prick up in the hope of acquiring handy hints, things to avoid. The list of my own parental errors grows as each day passes. If you were of a kindly disposition you might categorize these incidents as mere “eccentricities” but it's hard to dismiss the weight of evidence to the ”contrary.”
It was a simple enough question afterall, but at 4:20 in the morning, in the dark, I am not in full command of my faculties.
“It is a reptile?”
“What is a reptile dear?”
“A turtle?”
“Do you mean a 'turtle' as in American, or a 'tortoise' as in English? Oh, actually never mind that, they're both reptiles anyway, let's start again. What do you want to know?”
He says nothing just looks at me, with his eyes. I'm not sure if it's exasperation, bewilderment or despair? Possibly all three?

It's been one of those nights when we had visitors, unexpected ones. The first one didn't creep in on us, more of an electric explosion of wild nerve endings. Since no words were forthcoming we concentrated on calming. Now he is calm and asleep but his older brother has also joined us. We are rapidly running short of available “lying down” space. Like all siblings they appear to be connected by invisible lines that conduct energy, one to another.

He has been crouching at the end of the bed, in silence, in the gloom, hovering. [translation = must be genetic] I'm not sure if he's pretending he's not here or whether we're pretending he's not there. Neither side seems willing to clarify. No-one has the cognitive abilities to communicate effectively.

Spouse and I try to determine why the little one is asleep in his current particular position, the one where your knees are drawn up beneath you, face in the pillow. Mine too, would often be found in this “position.” It seems protective, enclosed to repel all boarders. It also looks like THE most uncomfortable position, from the viewpoint of a side sleeper. [translation = someone with a strong aversion to secret suffocation during the night] Sleeping “face down.”

“It's only to be expected when you're like him I suppose,” spouse sighs in a non-committal burbling kind of fashion of the truly sleep deprived. I agree, “yes, hyper-vigilance does mean that you need to be on your guard at all times.”
“Not very Fung shui though.”
“I thought that was for furniture alignment, not bodies?”
“Er, everything I think.”
“He should be on his back, watching the door, claws at the ready.”
“You think?”
“Not really.” [translation = don't care, too sleepy]

It is at this point, that he asked his question, the original one, the “it is a reptile,” just following the parental exchange, and doesn't seem to fit at all, which is a sign that he hasn't been listening, maybe? Which means that something else has provoked this question, but what?
“What is a reptile? Is that what you want to know? Cold blooded, lays eggs that kind of a thing?” I yawn dredging up brain fluff.
“No. Is he a reptile?”
“Who? Who is a reptile? The lizards for starters, all three of them. Gecky, Stumpy and DJ are all lizards and all reptiles.”
“No. I mean is HE a reptile coz I was thinking he was a mammal.” He shoots a finger at his brother in the gloom.

“Why do you think he's reptile? You know he's human, a mammal, just like you, and me too for that matter, now I come to think of it.”
“But, but, but…….you said, you said, you said that he was lying like a turtle.”

This would be a prime example of why, after more than a decade’s hard work of trying to learn the lingo, acquire appropriate American language and use words like 'turtle' instead of tortoise, I wish I hadn't bothered!

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