Thursday, November 23, 2006

I"m Thankful... at 2:15 AM?!?!?!

The B&D Mrs. either pushed me, shoved me, "tapped me", or hit me followed by, "He's up talking." I think I vaguely remember hearing the voice of Badda-Toddler saying something without much of a trace of sleepiness. The general idea was that the wife was going to go off to the bathroom while I would go into the boy's room... apparently, I'm better at getting him back to sleep after he wakes up at night. (News to me... especially considering I haven't gone into his room at a quarter-past two o'clock in the morning for a considerable number of months.)

I grab my oversized comfy robe (a gift from my mother) and start shuffling like Tony Soprano hunting for his newspaper. When I get to the hallway I notice from the crack under the door that his light is on in his room... and B&D notices this (eyes widening, almost ready to laugh) and girds herself for what might be a battle of wills.

On my own, for now, I open his door... he's standing right there. His eyes look almost alert and his face looks almost sad. I asked him why he's awake. "Gran'ma call me, Daddy," and, "My tummy don't work."

That last one seems to be his stock answer for just about anything these days. Why are you sad? My tummy won't work right now. Why won't you brush your teeth? My tummy don't work. What about finishing your dinner? My tummy don't work. Let's go upstairs. No, tummy won't work.

"My can't open the door, will you help me, Daddy?" It was so damn cute I wanted to pick him up, open the door, lead him out, and do whatever he wanted from then on. To stave off that urge I stalled for time asking for him to come over to me, asking for a hug, telling him I'm here, and so on. Eventually, B&D hears this and comes in... almost grinning. Together we convince him that he needs a dry diaper, fresh powder, one last story, and then he can turn the light out again and get back to sleep.

He agrees to it although initially he didn't want a new diaper. (Apparently, it takes all sorts.) Shortly after this treaty, he wants a drink. (Another new ritual.) He smiles more, but starts to move more slowly.

Before I know it the story is done. (Once again I finish the big Awdry book of Thomas the Tank Engine.) Of course, that boy has other ideas. Sure, he wants to turn out the light on his own (that's a job he always volunteers for... in fact, he's a little territorial about it). He also wants Mamma to sing a song.

The "Gebby" Song. You know that folk song On Top of Old Smokey that insane people turned into On Top of Spaghetti? That's the Gebby Song. My wife even sings a final verse that is personalized for her and the boy... plenty of damn words hammered in like a square peg in a round hole.

I am extremely thankful for that boy... especially since he doesn't say "pah-sceddy". Thank God! (He's picked up gnocchi pretty well, too.)


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