“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”Gilda Radner

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Rough Wakeup

When I wake up in the morning, I hate EVERYTHING. I hate the sky, I hate the floor, I hate the light, I hate the dark, and I hate humanity. It's all because of the simple fact that I HAD BEEN sleeping and I'm not anymore, and that makes me SUPER ANGRY. You might think this just stems from the last seven years since embarking on motherhood, but no. I've always been this way. It's even in my baby book. "Mary Pat is very crabby in the morning, especially at breakfast." My mom. Putting it all diplomatically. I could take the head off a puppy in the morning.

At four o'clock this morning, Noah decided to start his day. This is better than the three a.m. or the two a.m. he sometimes chooses, so when I heard Justin Bieber songs coming over the monitor, I rolled over, turned it down to an ignorable hum, and stumbled back into bed. I can do this, by the way, without actually waking up. That's a learned talent since the late night feedings back in the newborn days. Pure survival. (Also, if you're wondering, I really can't turn off the monitor completely all night--it has happened that the boys really needed me and I couldn't hear them at all, sooo.)

But then Noah started wailing, "MAAAAAAAAAAAWM!" and that's when I actually do have to go upstairs, because otherwise he wakes Joey, and then Joey calls me, and then Big Joe actually stirs, and then everyone is awake at four o'clock in the morning.

I tumbled up the stairs at a half-crawl, half-walk, and peeked in Noah's room. "Yes?" I don't use a happy, loving voice with Noah in the middle of the night because if I do, he thinks it's a party and wants to hang out. I resort to a dismissive monotone.

"Maaaawm!" he cried. He was standing up in his bed, one hand on the sloped ceiling above his head for balance. He looked gigantic and very awake. "Mac is on the floor!"

I blinked into the darkness, expecting a deranged person or possibly a ghost to be looking back at me.

"Who's Mac?"

"Mawwwm. He's ON THE FLOOR! You HAVE TO SAVE HIM!" He was now pointing dramatically at the far side of the room. I sighed, entered the room, and found a stuffed dog had been thrown--not dropped--into the corner.

"Is this Mac?" I asked.

"Yes. Thank you. Now, could you give me a little snuggle? I'm feeling, you know, sad."

I picked up the dog, placed it in Noah's bed, and gave him a quick hug.

"Good night, Noah," I said. "Go to sleep."

"Of COURSE," he said.

I exited the room, took the stairs down to my room as carefully as possible without falling (always a risk, even when I'm fully awake), and collapsed back into bed. I shoved my shoulder under my pillow and pulled my favorite sweater blanket up around my neck, and closed my eyes luxuriously when I heard:


above my head. Joey was awake and using the bathroom. He weighs five ounces and walks like an elephant.

Then I heard, "Ooooooooooh noooooooooooooo! Mommy, something terrible happened! I somehow missed the toilet, and..."

I didn't listen to the rest. I kicked the covers off, fell out of bed, ran up the stairs this time, because, really, what the heck, and I found Joey at the top of the stairs, pantless, the bathroom light casting a miraculous glow around him like some half-naked angel.

"I'm so sorry," he said sadly, gesturing widely at the yellow ocean on the floor. The grout was all dark with absorption. "My penis just went out of control. I don't even know--it's never happened before!"

"Are you all done?" I asked.

"I--" he paused, having had his lament interrupted. "Well, yes."

"Go back to bed."

"Oh? Okay."

I looked blankly around the bathroom, momentarily confused until I recognized what my brain was buzzing at me. "CLEAN IT UP." I couldn't quite comprehend HOW, so I grabbed a towel and began soaking up the mess. This seemed wrong, but I couldn't quite comprehend why. Then I got some Lysol--it was now four-thirty in the morning, and began to disinfect. Afterward, I wrapped up the pee towel in another towel, which also seemed wrong but better than leaving a pee towel just laying there on the freshly cleaned floor, and went into Joey's room. He was sitting up in bed, looking bewildered and bereft.

I leaned down and hugged him. "It's okay," I said. "It happens. Go back to sleep."

And because I gave him the okay, he did.

Meanwhile, Noah was singing louder than ever.

I returned to bed, where my husband was now awake and upset about it. Awww. Poor thing. Really.

I rolled into my pillow as Joe let out a noisy exhale of morning breath right up my nose. Trying not to growl, I flopped over.

By the time real morning came and we were having breakfast, I was feeling a little like a disrguntled grizzly bear. I set plates and cups down with more force than necessary and responded snappishly to all who tried to make requests of me.

Joey looked up and said timidly, "Um, Mommy? When will you be able to have coffee again?"

"Not for a few more days," I said. I had surgery Tuesday, and the doctor wants me to wait until I finish one more round of medication.

Then, more to the air than to anyone else, Joey announced, "Someone needs to get this girl a mocha."

Just then, Joe entered the kitchen and sat down.

"Dad," Joey said gravely, "whatever you do today, make sure you help out Mom. She can't do it all, you know."

Joe sounded a mite prickly as he responded. "What do you think I should do?"

Joey put up what can only be described as jazz hands, a wide-eyed look of frustration of his face. "It doesn't matter. Do SOMETHING, will you?!"

I love that kid.

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