You read the “headline” of this blog entry right, guys. “In Which I Blog Backwards.” I’m actually going to write my closing statement first, which means you get a quick payoff. Thereafter you can go about your merry, non-sleep deprived business, unlike those of us who are already counting down the hours until we can go back to sleep. For the record? A shade under 12 hours by my best estimation. Analysis? This is going to be a long f*cking day. But in the past, sleep deprivation has equaled creativity for your old buddy the Madchronicler. So this could be really good. Or really bad. I don’t know. “It’s a mystery.”
Anywhos, the payoff. Here you go: Only a parent can comprehend the sheer horror of a child or children, not sleeping the night before said parent has to return to work after a three day weekend. Likewise, only a parent can appreciate the utter contentment of falling asleep, even for a whopping 15 minutes with their formerly wakeful child (or children) passed out on their chest. That is, until fatigue sets in an hour later while they’re driving to work and they almost crash the rental they’re driving in to a ditch.
Winky emoticon. Smiley face. Have a great week.
There you go. If you want, you can stop reading now. Or, you can read on and see how I ended up there. Or here. I guess it all depends on your perspective. I think I went cross-eyed again. Time to crack Monster Ultra Energy Drink numero uno. I have no idea how many of these I will go through between now and… 11 hours and 40 minutes from now. I know you’re not supposed to ingest more than three in a 24 hour period but seriously, guys? I don’t know if three’s going to cut it. I’m pretty foggy, right now. Dear Body: Please give me a caffeine consumption exemption for today. Por favor, no heart palpitations. I just want to remain clear-headed enough to get some work done. I promise I’ll return to my max limit of two MUEDs tomorrow. Do we have an accord?
I have no idea what I just wrote. Something about energy drinks and Spanish. Seriously. I need to go back and reread it before I continue. BRB.
Okay. Done. T-minus 11 hours and 15 minutes now until I can place my weary head down on my pillow. Assuming my minions cooperate, tonight. I honestly believed that they’d cooperated last night. Everything went swimmingly. Both girls were bathed, watered and in bed by nine PM. Nicole and I were watching “Game of Thrones” by 9:15 and “The Killing” by 10:15. Ah, Slit Your Wrists Sunday, otherwise known as the most depressing television night of the week. It didn’t help SYWS’ cause that last night’s eppy of “Game”–“The Rains of Castamere”–will go down as arguably the most gruesome and depressing episode of the show’s three year run, but I’ll spare those of you that haven’t seen it yet any spoilers save for (SPOILER ALERT) this little meme that has been circulating since the credits rolled, last night:
Ladies and gentlemen? George R R Martin. For the record, please note that I did say “SPOILER ALERT” above so spare me the hate mail/hateful comments. It’s also not really a spoiler: Anyone who was watching when they killed Eddard “Ned” Stark in Season One knows, even without reading the books, that GRRM has no qualms about killing off his main characters. It’s all part of the whole “Game of Thrones”/”A Song of Ice and Fire” experience. The BLANK or “RW,” as portrayed in both the television series and the books is just another way that GRRM equal parts embraces us and shuns us as fans of his work. And I f*cking love that about him, which makes me equal parts a fan and a guy that wants to kick him in the nads if I ever meet him. Dear George: I love you. But I also hate you. Please, finish book six really, really soon so I can see what happens to the few remaining, favorite characters I have left. Sincerely, Me, AKA A Die-Hard, Stone Cold Fan of Everything and Anything “A Song of Ice and Fire.”
But I digress. Sh*t, when do I ever not? As the midnight hour rolled around and all remained quiet in the Marsh household, Nicole and I finished our SYWS routine by watching a couple of episodes of “Friends” before bed. We turned off the television and closed our eyes at approximately 12:30 AM. The sound of the rain falling against our windows lulled us to sleep. Thereafter? All h-e-double hockey sticks broke loose.
It started with my oldest (an enigma in and of itself; normally it’s my youngest that kicks off the late night/early morning festivities). At approximately 1:30 AM I heard Cara in the hallway outside of our room. I got up, and stepped out. She was standing outside our doors crying. I asked her what was wrong and she tearfully informed me that she had “changed her underwear” because the one’s she had been wearing “were dirty, Daddy.” That was all.
I escorted her back to her room, got her a drink, removed her “dirty” underwear from her bed (they actually weren’t dirty; not sure what happened there) and got her back under her covers. Within a minute of when I did so she had fallen back to sleep. I include this herein not because of it’s impact: Had she simply gone back to bed and had nothing else happened I would have been fine, albeit a bit groggy this AM. Nothing new for a guy accustomed to writing until one or two in the morning some nights, and certainly nothing a Monster Ultra Energy Drink couldn’t cure. Nor do I include it for comic relief i.e. my four year old, recently bathed daughter changing her clean undies in the middle of the night for no foreseeable reason. I include it as a proverbial Prologue to the story. Her part = Over. Kinda’ like CENSORED’s role in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” but without pissed off daddy’s/granddaddy’s that vaguely resemble Filch from the Harry Potter movies.
I crawled back under my covers and closed my eyes. I listened to the rain–the Rains of Broomall–falling against our windows. All was quiet. Peaceful. I started to nod off. Then, as quick as a crossbow bolt fired from a balcony, I heard a preemptive whine from my younger minion. It was followed by another. And another. And did she just say “Mom,” too? The realization hit me like… well, like a crossbow bolt fired from a balcony (sorry, guys, but fogginess = The reuse of the same metaphor, potentially on multiple occasions). She wasn’t just stirring. She was waking up.
I laid in bed for a moment and prayed for it to subside but I knew better. Natalie’s been gracing us with her presence for over a year now (one year old as of last Thursday; Happy Birthday, Natal-ya!) and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about her it’s this: When the whines in the middle of the night are unintelligible she’s just having a dream, or experiencing a Night Terror per the pediatrician. But when words like “Mom,” “Da,” “Ba-Ba” and occasionally “Ca-Wa” can be discerned between the whines? Yeppers, boys and girls: We’re f*cked. And be “we’re” I mean me and Nicole. Cara could sleep through the apocalypse if given the opportunity which, hopefully, she won’t be but Natalie? I swear that kid hears a pin drop and wakes up.
After a few, anxious moments I stood and made my way into her room. She was standing in her crib waiting for me. I picked her up and held her. She wanted “down.” So I put her down. She proceeded to head over to her “NATALIE” bench–i.e. the ones you buy at Pottery Barn Kids that have the letters of the child’s name embedded in them like puzzle pieces. She removed all the pieces and begin playing with them by the light of her nightlight, “coo’ing” like the most contented toddler in the whole. Wide. World. After a few moments of letting her play she started rubbing her eyes. I relocated her to her crib along with the puzzle pieces. Survey says: Bad move. As soon as her rear hit the mattress more crying and gnashing of teeth ensued. She likely would have rend’ed her garments too had she been wearing a shirt and pants. Thank God for PJ onesies.
I left her for a few moments but after about 10 (or 120; I honestly don’t know what time it was when I left her/went back to mine and Nicole’s room), I simply realized the inevitable: Sleep wasn’t going to happen. Not for me, not for Nicole and not for Natalie. So I gave up, went back into her room, and relocated her downstairs to the combination living room/playroom around five or so in the AM.
A quick parenthetical aside (as I crack MUED numero dos and look at the clock–t-minus six hours and 15 minutes until I can, hypothetically, rest): Had I known how grating the Fisher Price Disney Princess Little People Castle sounded at five in the BLEEPING AM, I never would have gotten it for her for her birthday. No lie, it’s like finger nails on a chalkboard just… without a slate. Or chalk. Or even a classroom. End parenthetical aside.
Anywhos, once downstairs, Natalie was as happy as a clam. Around 5:30, she started rubbing her eyes, again. I got her her morning “ba-ba” which she drank on my lap until she passed out 5:55 in the AM. Mind you, most days this kid sleeps until at least seven so this = Highly unusual. I carefully shifted my position until she was lying belly-down on top of me and closed my own eyes. Cue 20 minutes of restful bliss until Nicole got out of bed, Natalie heard her, woke up, started “mom, mom, mom’ing” like it was going out of style and that, friends and countrymen/countrywomen? That was my night.
In summation? Total time spent consoling the minions between 1:30 and 6:30 in the AM roughly two or three hours (I can’t really be sure because I was kinda’ a zombie for part of it); total time spent nodding in and out of sleep one and a half or two and a half hours depending on your perspective and total time spent actually sleeping? Ayuh. Twenty glorious minutes. Amount of rain dumped upon my area of DELCO between 1:30 and 6:30? I’m not entirely sure, but judging from the sound of it I’m guessing at least an inch, maybe more. Finally, number of times I checked my Twitter and Facebook feeds to see people’s reactions to “The Rains of Castamere?” Countless. Seriously. I probably checked it 50 times post-the eppy ending and the moment when I almost crashed my rental in a ditch this AM.
Perhaps I should elaborate further on that last. Perhaps not. It’s really not important. I didn’t. But it was close. Damn Rains of Easttown-Tredyffrin threw me off. Lesson to all of you reading this, right now: Never rub your eyes vigorously when driving through a construction zone in the pouring rain on 20 minutes of sleep. You… miss things. Like cones. I’ll just leave it at that and let your imaginations do the speculating.
And there you have it. That was my night last night. And my day today? A relatively normal one save for the haze that has surrounded me since I “woke up” and the last remnants of MUED numero dos coursing through my veins, presently. T-minus four hours and 55 minutes until I can crash. In between, I need to drive 36 miles, pick up my minions, drive home, make dinner, clean and water them, get them ready for bed and probably watch either “Sofia the First” or “Dora the Explorer” for the umpteenth time. Not because I don’t want to play Rapunzel, but because I honestly don’t think I can. Something tells me that once my a** hits my couch at home I’m done for the evening. Put a fork in me. Sorry, Cara Bear, but you’re going to have to put your little sister to bed tonight. Daddy’s going to either A.) Curl up into a ball in the corner and rock back and forth while singing “The Rains of Castamere” or B.) Start playing “Candy Crush Saga.” Yes, “Candy Crush.” For all you Candy Crushers like my wife that have been waiting for me to start playing I’m close. Damn close. I don’t know that my brain will be able to handle anything else after I finish this blog entry. Which, in all honesty? I probably should so. Okay, then. Commence ending.
Don’t get me wrong, guys. I love my aforementioned minions. With every ounce of my heart, soul and mind. They, along Nicole are my life. There are other “things,” both animate and inanimate that “are my life” to some extent. But those things? Things like blogging, MUEDs, SYWS, GRRM and the “RW?” They are secondary to Nicole, Cara and Natal-ya. But some nights, guys? Some nights when the Rains of Broomall pound the windows of my humble abode in DELCO… some nights when minion one changes her clean underwear for no reason in the middle of the night and then gets upset about it… some nights when instead of a quick whine, I hear “Mom,” “Da,” “Ba-Ba” and occasionally “Ca-Wa” mixed in from minion two… some late nights/early mornings when I regret purchasing the Fisher Price Little People Disney Princess Castle with every ounce of my being because that which, by the light of day seems awesome oft times, in the dead of the night, is the most annoying thing ever… those times?
Wait for it.
Those times I both embrace and shun my life on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence. And I love the f*ck out of it for that very reason. Because only a parent can comprehend the sheer horror of a child or children, not sleeping the night before said parent has to return to work after a three day weekend. Likewise, only a parent can appreciate the utter contentment of falling asleep, even for a whopping 15 minutes with their formerly wakeful child (or children) passed out on their chest. That is, until fatigue sets in an hour later while they’re driving to work and they almost crash the rental they’re driving in to a ditch.
Winky emoticon. Smiley face. Have a great week, everyone. And remember:
And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low? Only a cat of a different coat, that’s all the truth I know. In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws. And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours. And so he spoke, and so he spoke, the Lord of Castamere. But know the rains weep o’er his hall, with no one there to hear. Yes now the rains weep o’er his hall, and not a soul to hear.
T-minus four hours and 25 minutes to go. Oh! And the Lannisters send their regards.