Well, I made it through today, even though I feel like I’ve been smashed by an ice road trucker, to become nothing but a hood ornament with a concussion. All the not sleeping at night will do that to a girl.
Hubs’ nose is stuffed up. Again. His sinus issues are so prevalent, I have become something of an ear, nose and throat specialist. I know when to tell him to USE THE NETI POT, ALREADY, and when to tell him YOU’VE GOT A SMOKER’S NOSE SOUND GOING ON, SO LET’S PUMP YOU FULL OF THE ANTIBIOTICS NOW. Who needs med school and a degree in sinus passages, when you have Hubs and all the out-of-pocket charges for his nasal issues? A lifelong sinus patient has trained me well in all the nose doctoring.
When the sinus problems wave their mucus flags at our house, Hubs snores. When Hubs snores, I have to throw him under the bus and go to the sofa. I can sleep with the light on, but I can’t sleep with the noise.
(That’s because I spent years sleeping with lights on, so that I could see the boogie men. And I spent years sleeping with my ears trained to hear even the faintest whispering of a boogie man, so I shoot up like lightning striking when there are noises.)
(This is called Survival of the Fittest. Those of us who can HEAR the boogie man and SEE the boogie man can defeat him before the fight even gets started.)
So I went to the sofa last night at 11:30. Hubs had no idea, because when he’s in Snore Mode, he couldn’t hear a nuclear explosion happen next door. (But I imagine the sound of someone popping the top of a cold can of Coke would wake him.)
I’m surprised that he has survived sneak attacks by boogie men all these years.
I grabbed my pillows, and I dug around for a blanket, and out to the sofa I went.
And then I realized that OF ALL THE BLANKETS WE OWN, I had grabbed the one blanket that my friend Trish bought me in college when she went to Mexico for spring break.
(I did not go to Mexico for spring break, because I had bronchitis for spring break that year, and because I had no dollars for spring break, and because ME? TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES FROM HOME?)
(*insert mad scientist laugh here*)
But I got a cool blanket, because Trish saved her dollars and because she washed her hands more than I did, so she didn’t catch bronchitis. She didn’t spend the entire week coughing up both lungs, a spleen, a kidney, an appendix and her liver on her parents’ sofa. The thing about this blanket is that it’s apparently made out of camel hair, with a few porcupine quills woven into it for good measure. In other words, it itches like the devil, and, unless you’re dressed in sweats and long-sleeves and gloves and socks, you will not survive a night with the blanket.
I honestly don’t know why we even have it any more, because THROW IT OUT ALREADY!
(I’m sure that when Trish, the college tourist, bought it from a street vendor in Mexico, he laughed. I can picture him holding his sides and laughing in hilarity now, as he said to himself, “And she paid me twenty American dollars for something Senora Mama wove out of the hair of two wild boars!”)
I settled myself onto the sofa, with the camel hair throw, and I regretted it instantly. Relieving the itch, however, was going to require that I actually GET BACK UP, and go in search of the nice, soft, MADE-FROM-ALL-THE-SYNTHETIC-FIBERS-THAT-FEEL-LIKE-THE-FEATHERS-FROM-BABY-ANGEL-WINGS blankets. We have those. They were in the boy’s closet, because the boy had hoarded them there.
I tried to lay motionless under the torture robe, because I didn’t want to get up again. I told myself that ALL THE PRICKLY was just my imagination, and to RELAX and GO TO SLEEP.
And then Cat 1 came along and said, “Oh. So we’re OUT HERE tonight.” And she draped herself around my neck and whispered, “I have genetic ties to royal cats in Egypt. Wearing me for a scarf will boost your social status higher than Kate Middleton’s.”
And then Cat 1 bolted upright and shouted with a howl, “Holy mother of the Great Egyptian Sphinx! This blanket is full of hypodermic needles! I’m poked! I’m POKED!!!!” She crawled away from the blanket and got dangerously close to my nose. Although she assures me that she’s just DRAPING HERSELF ON MY NECK LIKE A FASHION-STATEMENT SCARF, I know the crazy cat is trying to get close enough to my nose to snuff out my life. She wants to be the lone queen here, and she can’t have the throne while I’m sitting on it.
And then the baby started crying.
Cat 1 said, “Don’t get up. In the wild, we let the young ones cry it out…”
“You have NEVER BEEN IN THE WILD!” I said.
“Shut up! Quit interrupting me! I was saying that in the wild, we let the young ones cry it out, which calls the dingos in. Tomorrow night, he won’t be crying. Our young learn very quickly this way.”
I made a move to get up. Cat 1 whispered, “Let the dingos come! He’ll sleep all night tomorrow, if he makes it. I’m comfortable. Be still and quit moving your neck around.”
I pitched Cat 1 to the floor. Thing 2 was standing up in his crib, SOUND ASLEEP, and crying to beat the band. I picked him up and rocked him. He never woke up; he quit sobbing. I put him back in his crib. Cat 1 walked out of the baby’s bedroom with me and said, “This is why the pride is considered to be untouchable in parenting. You humans give in way too early.”
I went back to the sofa…
…and realized that I hadn’t used my I AM UPRIGHT AND WALKING IN THE DARK time to get a softer blanket. I didn’t feel like getting back up, so I used the camel hair blanket again.
Cat 1 settled herself around my neck again and said, “I can’t believe you’ve still got this blanket. It reminds me of the time I was swimming in the sea, and that Great White tried to take my leg off. This blanket is as sharp as…”
“You’ve never been to the sea,” I said.
“Shut up! Don’t interrupt me, or I will slap you with the claws! This blanket is as sharp as shark teeth. I hate it.”
The baby cried again.
Cat 1 whispered, “The pride would let him cry it out.”
I said, “I thought you LIKED the baby?”
“I do. For a baby, he’s okay. But your parenting skills are not as powerful as mine are.”
“You’re not a mother!”
“Shut up! Don’t interrupt me! I carry socks and dishtowels all over this house, like they were my very own kittens. I KNOW about mothering.”
I got back up. Cat 1 said, “The dingos have heard the man child crying. They are circling the house. Let nature take care of itself.”
I reminded Cat 1 that Hubs now has TWO air soft guns to shoot pterodactyls with, and that it wouldn’t be anything difficult to hit a domestic short-haired kitty with one shot. I told her that I was pretty sure that even I could hit a cat at close distance with one, and I’m not overly famous for being able to hit a barn door at four paces. And then I told that cat that she needed to ask Jesus into her heart.
She shut up, and never slapped me with the claws.
I went back into Thing 2’s room. He was twisting around in his crib, crying. I picked him back up. I rocked him. He was out cold. I put him back in his crib, and I covered him up.
AND THEN I TOTALLY STOPPED IN THE BOY’S ROOM TO YANK SOFT BLANKETS OUT OF HIS CLOSET.
Cat 1 came back to the sofa and said, “It’s about time you made yourself useful and brought out the blankets made from the wing feathers of baby angels.”
Thing 2 started crying again. Cat 1 sighed and said, “I signaled to the dingos out the window that they should just go on home. Tend to our baby.”
I was getting parenting advice from our nasty cat. I didn’t WANT parenting advice from the cat. I let the baby whimper it out. Five minutes later, he was back asleep and quiet.
Cat 1 whispered, “Your parenting skills are improving.”
Thing 2 cried again. I let him whimper it out again. Cat 1 congratulated me again.
And THAT, people, is why I fell asleep sometime around 2:45 this morning.
And then, when I got Thing 2 dressed for the day and changed his diaper this morning, I discovered A GIANT RAW SPOT on his belly, where the tape from his diaper had rubbed the skin plum off.
Cat 1 is right. I am lacking in my parenting skills. It never occurred to me in the dark of the night to UNDRESS the baby and CHECK TO SEE IF HIS DIAPER WAS RUBBING SKIN OFF OF HIS LITTLE BODY.
I’m NEVER going to get the Mother of the Year award.
Poor Thing 2. He was suffering from all the skin removal last night, and his mama just let him whimper it out. I’m never listening to the cat again.
And? I am too tired to resize photos tonight, too. Hopefully, I’ll have L’s birthday pictures up and visible before she turns eleven.
Good night. I’m off to bed. With ear plugs for all the snoring. And a shock collar for the cat. And a soft blanket.
Wish me luck.