My friend Karla’s husband Tim is one of those people that I feel like I know and already love…but alas, we’ve only “met” via Karla’s Facebook page and his hilarious blog Harvey Millican: Raising Your Kids Without Lowering Your IQ – Travel Tips, Restaurant Reviews, Safe Drinking, and So Much More! But we have a lot in common: shared faith, a wonderful partner-in-crime spouse, and especially, a son and daughter about two years apart who are the lights of our lives…and the reason we walk around with bloodshot eyes some mornings. Read on for his roll-on-the-floor (literally!) laughing account about a typical night in his home, trying to grab some shut eye with two little kids.
by Tim of the blog Harvey Millican: Raising Your Kids Without Lowering Your IQ
Ah the joys of having young children! I love my kids. They are the joy of my life and I hope to have many more. They are precious. They say cute things. I love coming home from work at the end of the day. My son Ben runs up to me. ”Daddy!” My daughter Rita stops what she’s doing (usually finding a way to scare my son) and crawls over to me, pulling herself up on my leg. ”Dadadadada!” Life is beautiful for me.
My son happens to be a tall young man. He’s not quite two and a half and is already the size of some four year-olds. Unfortunately for me this places his head right at a height that is perfect for insuring that Daddy will feel a considerable amount of pain every time he runs into me. He has no way of knowing this yet but if he keeps up with these “signs of affection” Daddy might not be able to father any more children. But he’s so darn cute I push through the pain and move on.
We’re also dealing with his erratic sleeping patterns. Some nights we do better as parents than others. Some nights God gives us a little more patience than other nights. For instance, a few days ago sonny decided that 1:30AM was the ideal time to wake up, come into Mommy and Daddy’s room, slap me in the face, and lead me downstairs to play with him. Fortunately, Mommy decided to field this request. When did he finally return to the land of pleasant dreams? Oh, sometime around 6. Insane.
And what of Miss Rita? Well, I’ll tell you. As she is still a nursing baby — although more and more sporadically since she also enjoys trying every food we put in front of her — Rita sleeps in a crib in our room. This is for Karla’s convenience as she doesn’t have to leave the room to feed her in the middle of the night. Yes, it probably would be easier on all of us if her crib was in a different room but we’re working within our parameters. So the other night when Ben wanted to see what a night shift was like Rita, who is a light sleeper, woke up immediately. When Karla left the room with Ben she also placed Rita in the bed with me. Rita went back to sleep next to me and this was adorable in every sense of the word. There’s nothing like a sleeping baby to melt your heart. She was so warm and toasty and cute. She was also extremely squirmy. Needless to say I got no sleep as I watched over her trying to keep her from rolling off the bed.
When all was said and done that morning I was on my way to work with a caffeine IV drip in my arm and Karla and the kids were all back upstairs, so exhausted that they all went back to bed for a few hours. I then had the joy of teaching five classes of exuberant teenage girls. I played it very well like I wasn’t a walking zombie.
If you’re like me you probably have a routine you run through before actually getting into bed for the night. Since you’re not like me it probably doesn’t involve singing Captain and Tenille’s Do That To Me One More Time in the mirror while combing your hair. I have been going out for a run the past few nights and have also decided to start showering and shaving at night to conserve time in the morning. So I go into my room, grab a towel, hit the shower, dry off, shave, brush my teeth, get dressed, and climb into my beautiful bed. Last night I walked into the room trying to be as quiet as a mouse so I wouldn’t wake Rita.
The light was off as I got undressed. I heard a noise. What was it? Crap, I think she’s waking up. Instinctively I dropped to the ground and hid beside my bed. I stayed there for a minute until I was sure it was safe to proceed to the bathroom. Took care of everything and stepped back into the bedroom. Again, I heard a noise. Dropped to the ground. What’s going on here? This time the noise continued like the faint rustling of a pile of leaves. I tuned my ear in a bit more and realized that it wasn’t coming from the crib but from the other side of the bed. Now I was puzzled. After a minute or two I decided to crawl along the floor, in only my boxers by the way, to the dresser to grab a shirt.
Imagine my great surprise, then, when, as I reached the corner of the bed I bumped into my lovely wife also on her hands and knees. She had come into the room to get ready for bed while I was in the shower and upon hearing Rita wake up also dropped to the floor. So there we were, the two of us on the floor whisper-laughing at the situation. ”Is this what it’s come to, honey?” ”Looks like it, babe.” Thank God for moments like this because they offset moments like the previous night. If our kids only knew what we do for them….
This morning I woke up to discover that both of our children and my wife had slept peacefully through the night. In retrospect, however, I’ve had some thoughts to make similar experiences more amenable for me and Karla. I’m thinking of keeping a basket of provisions under the bed in case we get stuck on the floor in the dark for longer. I can imagine some future night. We’re both cowering in fear on the floor of a pitch black room petrified that a nine month-old baby will open her eyes and effectively demolish our chance at sleep. ”Well, darling, it’s not so bad. We’ve got this lovely bottle of wine and some crackers.” ”Did you say wine?” ”Why yes, Karla, I did.” And perhaps on that note (wink wink) the cycle will repeat itself and those “many more” kids I hope to have won’t be too far off in my future.