Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Twelve Steps

I'm a bit of a night owl.  While my husband is able to execute a shockingly fast zero-to-sixty awake-to-asleep maneuver in less time than it takes me to excise the remote from beneath him, I'm one of those women that has a multi-step bedtime routine that often has me closing my eyes well after midnight.

First there's the bath.  Then there's the makeup removal, which, thanks to Clinique, no longer involves simply washing one's face but engaging in a twelve-step program for dirt removal, complete with a letter to loved ones and the serenity prayer.

Then when I'm done, and busy putting on lotion or painting my nails, and Joel is sleeping soundly, things are happening below.  Unbeknownst to us, Cael and Graham are beginning a twelve-step program of their own for the destruction of our sleep cycles, and quite possible our sanity.

Step One:  Wake Your Brother

This can happen in one of two ways.  Either Cael gets up to pee and wakes up Graham, or Graham gets up to pee and gets distracted.  After playing around in the bathroom sink, stacking some buckets or waging an army man battle, he wakes up Cael in the loudest way possible.

Step Two: Turn the Lights On

No plan for world domination can place in the dark.  And when your nemeses (your parents) are larger than you, one of the best ways to disarm them is to effectively blind them with 300 watts of incandescent light at 1:30am.

Step Three: Change/Swap or Take Your Clothes Off

I have no idea why they do this.  Then again, I have no idea why they do any of this.

Step Four:  Acquire Toys

What fun is being awake in the middle of the night if there's nothing to do?  And what better time is there to break into the storage room, where all of the decommissioned and off-season toys are stored?  The boys will pull out anything and everything they see and drag it across the carpet and into their room, leaving a path of smashed carpet fibers that would alert a crime scene investigator to the potential of a body having been dragged to its final resting place.  Only it's not a body, it's a life-sized toy motorcycle.  Or perhaps my dignity.

Step Five:  Acquire Books

Just like the previous step, the boys have to hoard as many items in their room as possible.  So rather than grabbing one toy or one book, the boys will empty their bookshelf and arrange them in a tiled pattern on the floor of their room.  They have no intention of reading anything, because these late-night escapades are in no way educational.  For them, that is.  I learn a little something about restraint every time it happens.

Step Seven:  Acquire Food

I have a sweet tooth, and as a woman, I know a little something about chocolate cravings.  But these boys, having already pilfered any and every piece of candy or chocolate during a past late-night heist, will resort to eating straight brown sugar or honey directly from the jar. 

Steps Eight & Nine:  Be Stealthy & Steal

Around three in the morning, when the sugar high is wearing off, the toys are old news and the books have been walked on more than they've ever been read, there are only two choices.  Go to bed or find something else to capture their attention until the sun rises and brings with it two unhappy parents with a messy basement and inexplicably sticky drawer knobs.  Wanting to prolong the inevitable, one or both will quietly climb the stairs, army crawl into my room and around the bed to steal my iPhone from its resting place on my nightstand.  Then, upon returning to their den of destruction, they will proceed to delete apps, photos, and text people messages that read, "hhgghhhj^7785w9r68rwy".  Stupid autocorrect.  Where are you when I need you?

Step Ten:  Make A Movie

Because a small child is anything if not vain, my boys love looking at pictures of themselves.  And what's better than a photo of oneself?  A video, taken in the middle of the night with a stolen phone, that commemorates this special event with a lot of very loud screaming and uncomfortable close-ups.  (The video is smashed and distorted because the boys took the videos in portrait orientation and iMovie won't adjust for it, not because I've added an effect to demonstrate just how hallucinogenic this experience truly felt.)

Step Eleven:  Capture

It was the yelling that did it.  You might think I would have heard them earlier, since this event lasted for nearly two hours and spanned the entire house.  But my own sleepy haze clouded my head until a particularly loud shout jolted me out of bed.  I did a quick assessment, probably overreacted to the prohibited use of my phone, and tucked them back in bed with their adamant reassurances that it would never, ever, happen again.

Step Twelve: Repeat.  Again.  Keep Parents Up ALL Night

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...

1 comment:

  1. Amen!!! :)
    My daughter enjoys waking up when I am just dozing off and insisting that I stay up till shez asleep again. And shez only two! I cringe thinkng of the future!!
    Shaz (fellow night owl) :)


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.