Woody and Me: To Infinity and Beyond

Nov 21 2011

I’ve been doing this parenting gig long enough to know that this is a phase. A chapter, a stage, a season of life; call it what you will, someday I’ll sleep again.

Sadly, that “someday” of sleep is not today because I have a five-year-old going through an ambitious night terror phase. This kid is driven, I tell you. He put on his three-piece suit, grabbed his briefcase, and accepted an executive position at a top Night Terrors Firm. His corner office view is amazing.

If you’re unfamiliar with, but anxious to experience (’cause, GEE!, who wouldn’t be?), Parenting during Night Terrors, I highly recommend you head to whatever watering hole is popular with your local poltergeists and invite one over for a visit. From the intermittent shrieks and unpredictable moans to the creeeeaaaaakkk of the floor boards as the affected child flies into my room after hours, helping my kid manage night terrors is, as far as I can tell, identical to being haunted. Well, other than the fact that it’s hard to bundle a specter onto my lap and say, “Hush, baby. Sh. Sh. Sh. Ssssshhhhhh. Mama’s here.” It’s close, though. Almost exactly the same.

Last week, after several fun sleepovers with my preschooler, from his bed to mine, from my floor to his, I gave up. I threw some foam pads and my cushiest blankets down on his floor, crawled into my new floorbed, and called it a night. And then I called it a night there the next night. And then I called it a night there the next night. And then I called it a night there the next night. And then I… you can see where this is headed. I have a new bedroom, and it’s not very comfy.

I know, I know – we’re supposed to teach our kids to sleep. But that’s just the trouble with night terrors; the kids are asleep the whole, entire, banshee-screeching time, but the mama’s not asleep, and that will never do. (And also, this mama’s insides are shredded into teeny, tiny bits listening to my baby make those scared sounds. And also-also, I’m a sucker. But whatever.)

In short, I’m sleeping now, but I miss my husband. And, when I say “miss my husband,” I mean that I miss my husband. In specific ways. I miss-him miss him. Missity miss. Missity miss miss miss.

Sorry.

I miss him.

The other night, as I crawled into my makeshift floorbed, miss missing my husband, I slammed my knee right into a hard, plastic, pokey… something. For obvious reasons (you know, like the fact that it was dark, and there was a kid right next to me with night terrors, and I was using all of my energy to keep the choice words inside my head), I didn’t take pictures at that exact moment. I recreated these for your viewing pleasure.

This is the something…

…on which I impaled myself.

You guys, you know that soft bendy spot right under your kneecap? The part that people who actually remember the stuff they learned in human anatomy class (and don’t have to Google “knee anatomy images”) might call the area above the lateral meniscus?

Yeah. That part. That’s exactly where Woody buried his steal-toed boots, knocking me flat into my floorbed with an oomph, a barely-muffled “OW!” and a desire to drop-kick my noctural plastic visitor to infinity and beyond.

I pulled that farfignoogin’ toy out of my knee, and, by the light of my phone,…

…I saw that I’d hopped in bed with Woody. Coming face to face with this little floorbed-sharer cracked me up, y’all, ’til the tears of exhaustion laughter ran down my face.

Well, Woody was as devastated by my laughter as he was offended, so now I have to apologize. Here goes nothin’:

I’m sorry, Woody. It’s not you. It’s me.

See, you have the right idea.

You’re just the Wrong Dude.

Well, I’m off, guys. Off to another evening at the Night Terror Races.

Wish me luck. This whole parenting thing? It really is to infinity and beyond!