It’s gone.

And every time I peek through the doorway, I’m surprised that it’s not there.

It had been through a lot.  It had been urped-on, peed-on, and projectile-vomited-on.  It had been the launching pad for countless binkies, stuffed animals and sippy cups that were chucked out, trajectory style, by the little occupant within.  The thing had been plastered with stickers.  Heck, it had been used to cut teeth on.

But I hung onto it.  Because it was one of the last great markers of babyhood.

It reminded me of late night feedings.  Of stumbling into his room, my eyes halfway shut, to snuggle with a warm, hungry little infant.

It reminded me of a time, before he even arrived, that I lovingly decorated his nursery with little stars and cowboys.  When we redid his room, he decided he didn’t want no stinkin’ cowboys anymore.  “Big Boys like dinosaurs,” I was told.

It reminded me of walking into his room in the mornings, and seeing him beam and stand up, arms outstretched to greet me.

It reminded me of a time when I knew he was safe, secure and, most importantly, contained in one place in the house.  Now, he gets out of bed at will, roaming the house and stirring up mischief at ungodly hours.

When we packed it up, it reminded me that it was the last time it would ever be used.  At least by our family.

It reminded me that I could still pretend that he was my little guy.  A baby.  Now he’s a Big Boy, because he sleeps in a Big Boy Bed.

He was ready.  Even though I was not.

iPhone Photo Phun

Goodnight, Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I hereby request that, going forward, you put me to bed every night.

I know momma may have objections with this request.  She loves the fact that I snuggle up in her arms and give her warm, tight hugs before bedtime.  She loves how I lay my fuzzy little head on her shoulder and say, “I love you, momma” as she’s closing the door to my room.

But I have some sound arguments for you putting me to bed each night.  They are as follows:

  1. You rub my back to help me fall asleep.  Mom just plops me in my crib and tells me it’s time to go to sleep.  Really, which would you prefer?
  2. You let me take hard, pointy toys into my crib.  Mom never lets me have this stuff in bed because she says it’s not safe.  “You can’t sleep with your triceratops because you’ll poke your eye out with the horns,” she says.  She’s such a worry wart.  Instead, she lets me sleep with things like my Nerf football.  The same one I bit into tiny little pieces the other day.
  3. You tell better bedtime stories than momma.  Sometimes, I see mom standing at the door to my room as you read me a story.  I think she knows that you read “Where the Wild Things Are” better than she does.
  4. You let me take stickers to bed.  And, obviously, that means that you want me to plaster my entire crib, pajamas and stuffed animals with said stickers.  Why else would you give them to me, right?

I don’t think mom was amused when she saw this this morning.  But, then again, she did start laughing and ran to grab the camera.  So, maybe she did think it was funny after all.

Anyway, clearly, good things happen when you put me to bed instead of momma.  I’m thinking we should make it a regular routine.

So, pretty please, could you talk to momma about my request?

Your Son

Guest Post: My Doorbell

Hi.  I’m the doorbell.
Today I’m guest posting for Booyah’s Momma.
Because she’s feeling tired, feisty, and a little zany.

Because people tend to ignore it when I’m sporting this:

The lady of the house has decided to be more explicit with the notes she leaves taped to my face.  Like these:

To Mr. Door-to-Door Salesman:

To late night trick-or-treaters:

To the political activists:

To Ed McMahon:

Hey, one can always hope.  Right?

Only Parent Chronicles

Something wicked this way comes

In the dark, quiet house, a family of monsters lies sleeping.  Momma and Poppa Monster snuggle in their bed, kept warm by layers of downy quilts.  That, and the natural gas created by Poppa Monster.

Momma Monster stirs.  She thinks she hears something.  She glances at the clock.  4:28.  With any luck, she has a few more hours of sleep until the Little Monsters get up.

Some mornings the Little Monsters are awoken early, by dreams of spooky things, or by the Boogey Monster hiding under the bed.

Other mornings they sneak quietly in, and hover ghoulishly by the bedside.  They stand in the dark silently, willing the big monsters to wake up at an ungodly hour. 

She hopes this will be the morning they decide to sleep in.

But, alas, it isn’t.

Their little biological clocks can’t be fooled by the hands of time.  Their internal alarms have always run  frightfully ahead of schedule.  They wake most mornings at the butt crack of dawn, far earlier than should be humanly allowable.

This morning, butt crack seems to have arrived sooner than normal.

At 4:35, they burst into the room, howling like wild banshees.  “Wake up, wake up!” they yell excitedly.

“It’s too early!!  Go back to bed!” groans the Momma Monster.  Her hair is wild and disheveled, and resembles that of Medusa.  Her morning breath smells positively frightful.  She hopes one of those factors might scare the little monsters back into their rooms.

No dice.

“It’s five o’clock somewhere,” they reason with her.

“Can we come up there and watch Dora?” one of them asks.

“No!” snaps the Momma Monster irritably.  She recalls the last time they tried that, the Little Monsters cackling “Swiper, no swiping” maniacally in her ear as she tried to go back to sleep.

“I hate daylight savings time,” Momma Monster grumbles to Poppa Monster.

“I’ll take them downstairs,” he says between yawns.  He gets up and stumbles zombie-like towards the bedroom door.  Momma Monster looks at him gratefully as he gallantly shuffles the little monsters down the hall.

As she burrows back into the covers, she can hear them fixing breakfast downstairs.  Poppa Monster is preparing a cauldron of Cocoa Puffs for the Little Monsters.  No doubt pouring on the chocolate milk and heaping on spoonfuls of additional sugar for good measure.  She knows that when she does wake up, the Little Monsters will have a wicked sugar high.  But right now, she is too tired to care.

Momma Monster drifts off to sleep, recalling a time when they used retire for the night just a few hours before that.  When sleeping in meant sleeping past noon.  And when daylight savings time meant you’d actually get an extra hour of sleep.

Does the thought of daylight savings time send chills up anyone else’s spine?

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Tag. You’re it.

I am on round five of a rousing game of sleep tag this evening, and I am seriously tuckered out.  I only wish my kids felt the same way.

Never tried sleep tag?  You don’t know what you’re missing out on!  It’s barrels of fun.  Really.

Here’s how it’s played itself out in our house tonight.

6:30.  I put Thing 2 down for bed.  He should sleep peacefully for the rest of the night.  Or so I think.

6:45. Thing 1, resisting jammie time, runs screaming and naked down the hall past Thing 2’s room.  Thing 2 awakens, and is not happy at all.

7:05.  Thing 1, jammies now on, is camped out on our bed watching Yo Gabba Gabba.  Thing 2 is still howling in his crib.  I go in to try to calm him down.  As I stroke his forehead, he starts drifting off to sleep.  Classically, at that very moment, Thing 1 roars down the hall and declares she has to go potty.  Thing 2 wakes up again, and baby screaming resumes.

7:20.  Thing 1 goes down for bed.  Thing 2 still hasn’t calmed down again, so I go back into his room and repeat the whole process again.  He’s so overtired by this point, and he take about 30 minutes to calm down.

7:50.  Thing 2 finally drifts off to sleep again.  Just as I’m closing the door to his room, Thing 1 flings open her bedroom door, sobbing hysterically, because she just had a “nightmare.”  Baby screaming resumes, again.  I’m not making this stuff up… it was literally like clockwork.  Her timing could not have been more perfect.

At this point,  I just lose my marbles.  I rant, I read her the riot act, and ashamedly so, I even curse at her.  Sometimes, I wonder who the real four year-old is in our house.  Needless to say, losing my cool did not help the situation any.  Thing 1’s crying has escalated, and now both kids are screaming.

I decide another temper tantrum on my part will do no one any good, and I close the door to Thing 1’s room and go downstairs to try to pull my act together.  While I’m down there, I grab a much-needed beer.

8:12.  The screaming has faded to sporadic whimpering.  I’m thinking (there I go again), that I might be in the clear now.  When their rooms are finally silent, I keep my fingers crossed I don’t hear from either of the Things until morning.

Over my second beer, I stumble upon this random fact:  Dr. Seuss (who this post is obviously inspired by), wrote over 60 children’s books, but never had kids of his own.  Tonight, I’m kind of mulling over the genius of Dr. Seuss, and wondering… did he know something I didn’t?