Sometimes I think that kids should come with warning labels, like the tipping toddler on five-gallon buckets, tattooed on their ass. Something like "WARNING: The Surgeon General has determined that use of this product may cause sleeplessness, fatigue and nocturnal frustration."
We had a lovely evening yesterday, the last evening of July, we had ice cream, played soccer in Astor schoolyard, rode our bikes all around the neighborhood. The Peeper had tub with mommy and took a LONG time to fall asleep. That's never good...
So this morning at 1:40 a.m. - I looked at the oven clock - we were awakened by bitter weeping. I stumbled into the Peeperroom and felt numbly around trying to detect wetness in his bikini region, a fairly common cause for these night wakings. Dry. Crying redoubles.
"What is it, buddy?" I fumble for his head to try and stroke him comfortingly.
"I CAN'T FIND THE YELLOW BLANKET!" he sobs. Oh, fuck. Mojo sometimes gives him this fleece blanket to snuggle at bedtime. But she likes it, too, and will take it back after he falls asleep. I go back in our bedroom.
"Where's the yellow blanket?" "I don't know. In the laundry."
It's not in the laundry. Back into His Majesty's room (where the crying has, temporarily, abated), search around the bed. Nothing. Back to the laundry. No joy. Back to our room. Not in our bed. Linen closet. No luck. I realize I'm shuffling around the dark house like a bleary unshaved penguin dad in a predawn "March of the Penguins". This isn't pretty.
Living room: a basket of newly folded laundry. There it is, buried under the face towels.
A reassured Peeper cuddles under his yellow blanket, falls quickly back to sleep. I shuffle back into our bedroom and am swarmed over by wife, cat and sleep in that progression.
And then the alarm rasps. It's morning. Oh, God, my head. It is morning.
The light through the blinds has the flat finality of the descending blade of an axe.