Time Enough For Counting /When The Dealing’s Done

Fresco is sleeping on the couch beside me. He is on a nap strike right now. He marches around his crib with a little sign in his hand that says “FAIR SLEEPING CONDISHONS (sic) FOR ALL” and he chants, “Hey hey! Ho ho! Solo napping has to go!”

Ironically? Or something? Trombone has napped three times this week, including today. Yeah, he hasn’t done that in months. Whatever, kids, I am done figuring you out.

(I wish I could stop trying to figure them out. Seriously, if I could just shut that part of my brain down and sit around with them gorging ourselves on Twinkies and playing “Stick Hits You Inna Head” for a day I think I would be much happier.)

Ever the flexible employer, I started out this nap strike / sleep regression (like, up at 4:30 am? Are you possessed by devils, Fresco?) by being a hardass. You sleep in your crib. It is what you do. (You know I’m mad when I stop using contractions) I will help you do the thing I want you to do. WHY ARE YOU NOT YOU DOING THE THING? I AM HELPING. This, predictably, has resulted in me getting pissed off every day at around 2:30 PM because guess what, he’s not really rational. At all. 2 year olds are actually fairly irrational by adult standards.

(Local Mother ‘Gets It’ for Five Seconds, Then ‘Forgets It’ Again.)

Today, five minutes into his daily protest (now with extra spitting!) I took a moment to have a talk with myself. I used my alter ego, Tequila Popotch* because it’s easier to have someone else ask the questions sometimes. Here’s what she said:

“Dude. With a week to go before you leave for a camping/driving/moteling/hopefully-not-tornadoing vacation, what the hell do you care if he sleeps in the crib? He isn’t going to see that crib for 3 weeks. By the time you come back he will probably only want to sleep in a tent with bears sniffing at his neck and marshmallow coating his fingers. He will be unable to relax unless your sweaty face is inches from his and Trombone’s stinky feet are in his ears.”

I nodded. She made a good, though over-colourful point. She went on.

“Why expend the energy required to ignore the shrieking and throwing of blunt objects out of the crib – for that matter, why keep putting blunt objects in the crib when you know he will throw them out, but I digress – while hoping it will end when you know full well it will not end? And then expending more energy being disappointed when you can’t do the things you wanted to do even though you knew full well you wouldn’t get a chance to do them? Are you stupid or just stubborn?”

Stubborn? I said hopefully.

“Well, stop it,” she said. “Life is too short to be stubborn. Consider The Gambler.”

I did.

“Know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. In a month, will this matter? No it will not.”

No. It will not.

“Right now, what do you need?”

Silence. Time.

“Can you get that when he’s screaming his head off?”


“Can you get that when he’s sleeping on the couch?”



Really. She is the wisest popotch of them all.

* A popotch is kind of a witch. It lives in your basement, or attic, or anywhere you don’t want your kid going. I have a whole army of them in my bedroom, for example, and six or seven live in our storage room, watching over the beer.

(My alter ego is Tequila Popotch not because I like tequila but because Gin Popotch doesn’t sound as good.)

(Although Vodka Popotch works OK.)

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