On the Importance of Using Our Words

“OK, boys. We need to have a chat.”

I sat my twin 1st graders down last night before bedtime for a serious heart-to-heart.

“I know you like to sleep with me,” I said, “and that’s fine. You know, when we all get to SLEEP. Because, to be clear, that’s my number one main goal at night. To SLEEP as much as possible…”

And that’s as far as I got before the first interrupter interrupted. Which was RAD because I got out, like, three times more words than I usually do before the interruptions begin.

“Wait, Mom, wait,” Cai said, hand raised in the full stop position. “Wait. I thought your number one main goal is to keep us safe.”

“Well, yes,” I said. “That goes without saying. But my POINT is…”

“But Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. I think you should say it because it’s important to use your words, Mom. Like how would you like it if I say sorry without saying sorry? Because I try that sometimes and that is not OK with you.” Cai looked at me with his I’ve Just Made a Seriously Awesome Point Face. 

“OK. Fine. My number one main goal is to keep you safe AND to get as much sleep as possible, but last night…”

And Cael started to cry.

“Cael, honey, you’re not in trouble.” 

“I KNOW.”

“Then why are you crying?”

“Because I thought your number one main goal was to LOVE US.”

Oh, geez. Knife to the gut, man.

“Yes, of COURSE, baby. My number one main goal is to love you. ALWAYS. AND…”

“Well, you should’ve said that with saying, too, Mom.”

Pfffffttt.

“OK. Sorry.”

“Good thing she said that with saying,” Cai mumbled disgruntledly, and he grabbed his brother’s hand in a show of support while they made Significant Eye Contact. The same kind of Significant Eye Contact I expect them to make when they sit me down someday to tell me I’m going to the home. 

“AS I was saying,” I said, “my number one main goal, in addition to loving you and keeping you safe, which goes with saying…”

“Thank you.”

“…is to get as much sleep at night as possible. But when you’ve crawled in bed with me lately, you’re both sleeping AND kicking which isn’t really working for me.”

“We’re kicking?”

“Yes. Kicking.”

IMG_0939Cai and Cael looked at each other incredulously. “Did you know we were kicking?” “No. Did you?” “No.” 

“Mom, are you sure?”

“Um, yes. I’m sure.”

“Hm,” said Cael skeptically, “It’s just… we sleep together every night, Mom. So if we were kicking, probably we would’ve noticed.”

“Yeah, well, you’re going to have to trust me on this one. You’re kicking. And not just putting your feet on me like you’ve been doing since you were two. I mean you’re picking your legs up in the air and flopping them down on me. HARD. And repeatedly. Giant kicking motions, gentlemen.”

They started giggling which turned quickly to guffawing.

“I’m not saying we do that, Mom,” Cael replied, “but if we did, you have to admit it’s pretty funny.”

“No, Cael. No, it’s not. Also, it’s really happening, so we have to come up with a better solution like you guys staying in YOUR bed or sleeping on my floor. Or me sleeping in your bed after you get in mine. I don’t even care. I. JUST. WANT. SOME. SLEEP.” 

“Don’t panic, Mom.” Still Cael. “We can fix this if we work together. But not with your ideas. No offense, but your ideas aren’t very good because we like to sleep with you.” Cai nodded his agreement, the punk.

“OK. I’m all ears.”

“Mom! I’ve got it!” yelled Cael. “A plastic box with air holes, Mom! We just put you in one of those in your bed and then you get protected from us kicking!”

“So… you’re saying you want to put me away in a human sized box at night.”

“YES!” 

“Like a coffin.”

“YES! Except more like a bug container ’cause AIR HOLES, Mom. AIR HOLES.”

Cai approved. “Cael, you are a GENIUS. And I’m not just saying that. You really are.” 

“See, Mom? This is why things need to go with saying. So we can work out our problems with words. I think we’ve all learned a very important lesson about that today.” 

Yep. I know I feel better.

:/

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
23 comments
  1. This made me laugh so hard, and then I felt letdown. I was hoping that I would be getting a good night’s sleep again when my youngest is 6 years old (15 months right now). Bubble burst.

  2. […] dying of laughter right now from what Beth at Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids wrote about attempting to reason with her 5 year old twins. They taught HER a lesson in words. This […]

  3. oh, oh, oh, this one made my day! I can’t even tell you how much I needed the laugh today, which goes *with* saying 🙂

  4. I want a mommy box for our bed. Our daughter LOVES to sleep in our bed but she’s a kicker, AND we’re hoping to bring home another 2 year old son in August, he rocks and punches all night! Maybe if we put them together they’ll just beat each other up instead of us… hmmm… OOOH or can we put THEM in the air hole box?!?

  5. This is AWESOME! Love it.

  6. Six year olds are so RAD! Your twins sound very much like my six year old, Kiel. He also kicks. It’s gotten so bad that my solution is to just go sleep in his bed. Until he wakes up later in the night and finds me and then starts kicking me in his bed. Sometimes I think he would like to crawl back up inside me. I’ll have to ask him what he thinks about the bug box. Don’t think it will fly with him though as he needs to be actually touching me, preferably with as much of his body as he can.

  7. All I want for Christmas is a giant plastic bug box, complete with air holes for ventilation and a red velvet bedding interior! Bring it, Santa!

  8. Hahaha! Now why didn’t *I* think of that?? I hope you are on your way to the patent office today because your kids are brilliant!

  9. Hysterical! I sleep with a 9 year old for about three hours every night with “jimmy-legs”. Snuggly little man, but the kidney blows are killing me. I need a box too.

  10. I just want you to know I shared this on Facebook and by the responses I got it seems you could really have hit on a niche market here. Something similar to those closet sleeping places they have in Japan. I really think you should consider getting your kids to do the commercials for your new product. 🙂

  11. Except more like a bug container.

  12. I would love to see this acted out with you and two adult actors playing the boys

    1. YES! Collaborate with the “Convos with 2-year-olds” guys.

  13. OMG – Total laugh out loud!!! The funniest thing all day…. I love your blog & the way you write about Real Life…. You are amazing!!!

  14. The sound of my hubs snoring keeps both kiddos out of our bed. Finally a reason to like that amazingly god awful sound. 🙂
    Maybe you should get a big dog that sleeps with them instead. It could also help clean the house or at least lick the floors.

  15. Are you sure we aren’t related? Cuz from the very beginning where you were interrupted, it could have my my boys. My younger son politely waits me out and then states “Can I just say one thing?” (Told him I’m engraving that on his tombstone!) but the rest BWAHAHAHAHA!!
    btw, just got a TAG (talented and gifted) newsletter yesterday. One of the articles stated that parents of gifted children are frequently misunderstood by their friends and families. Can I hear an AMEN?! We love ’em for sure–but they are just. . . different 😉

  16. I would voluntarily sleep in a mommy-sized box with air holes if it were placed somewhere my 5 year old couldn’t get to.

    This post was hilarious

  17. This is every kind of fabulous!!! You’re kids have listened and learned and they’re using their words and creative problem solving which means YOU ARE RAD!! You should totally get a gold star before climbing into your bug box tonight.

  18. Perhaps you should counter with a “fort” for them, complete with air holes. LOL Too funny. Love it when our words come back to bite us in the butt.

  19. Beth, you are indeed a genius; it goes without saying.
    Just saying.

  20. Yeah, kind of like a mommy kennel! What a brilliant idea!! You have to admit, not only are they cute they are SMART! It goes with saying that they are creative problem solvers with a good command of the English language I’d say! LOL! Thanks for the laughter this afternoon!

  21. Oh my gosh, I am laughing so hard right now. This is too much. Well, at least they gave you a box WITH holes.

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