Tonawanda News — Laying with your head at the opposite end of the bed at 4 a.m. — one child’s feet in your face, the other child laying in between your legs while doing power sit-ups — you tend to have a lot of time to think.
Staring up into the darkness — because not even the sun would think to be awake this early — you enter a zen-like state. This sleep-deprived cross between absolute understanding and insanity offers a fuzzy escape from the reality that, for the 13th time in the past two weeks, at least one of the kids has declined the option to sleep until a normal hour.
Oh ... man.
I’m not sure why Penny and Rigby enjoy sleeping in our bed many nights. I certainly recall preferring the solitude and space of my own bed at their age to climbing in with my parents. But they certainly do make many nights ... interesting.
7 p.m. — Bedtime. Penny gets snugly tucked into her princess bed. Rigby sets his bedding up on the floor next to his fire truck bed.
7:20 p.m. — Rigby’s tossed and turned more times than the chefs on a crepe-themed episode of “Hell’s Kitchen.” He attempts to climb me while I’m sitting on the chair next to his bed.
7:27 p.m. — I’m denying him, but he has the spirit of a Mount Everest conqueror as he keeps trying to climb.
7:30 p.m. — He asks to go in my bed, saying it’s “super comfy.”
7:34 p.m. — Penny wakes up, asks us to “be quiet so I don’t fall asleep at school tomorrow.” I make a mental note to inquire whether she fell asleep at school yesterday.
7:35 p.m. — I don’t want her to wake up, so I lay down next to Rigby on the floor in his room. He has to be trained out of relying on my bed, after all.
7:38 p.m. — He yanks the cover off of me, saying he is chilly, and wraps himself in it. He certainly is his mother’s son.
7:45 p.m. — He’s finally asleep. I head downstairs to begin cooking dinner and enjoy the next delightful episode of “Homeland” (if you don’t get Showtime, then you should).
8:27 p.m. — Just as Mandy Patinkin is about to lay the smack down on Syrian smugglers, Penny calls for help. Seems she had a bad dream. I tuck her back in and sit next to her a minute while she falls back asleep.
8:34 p.m. — I make my way back downstairs. But wait, Rigby’s not next to his bed. I check my bed. There he is, laying horizontally across all the pillows. Well, he gets credit for determination.
9:40 p.m. — He wakes up and calls for Mommy.
9:52 p.m. — He wakes up and calls for me.
9:58 p.m. — He wakes up and ... well, Mommy is throwing in the towel and staying up there with him for the night. I tend to a few errands before bed.
10:45 p.m. — I see Mommy’s act wasn’t entirely altruistic. She was thinking ahead to how scarce bed space would be with an adult and toddler boy in it.
10:52 p.m. — I finish wedging myself into the half-foot or so of space available along the wall. My back is pressed flat against the wall. Rigby stole my pillows. And the wall is really chilly.
1:12 a.m. — Rigby has to pee. I try to get up, but Penny decided to join us in the bed, and she’s dead asleep on my right ankle — which is also now dead asleep, thanks to her laying across it.
1:18 a.m. — Back to bed. Penny’s usurped the small ration of blanket Mommy didn’t hoard. That’s why I began bringing a second comforter into bed during the colder months years ago.
2:25 a.m. — A crick in my neck awakens me. Rigby stole my comforter. Yes, the entire comforter. I don’t even know where he’s hiding it.
4 a.m. — Rigby wakes me up, says he’s not comfortable and makes me turn around so that both our heads are at the foot of the bed. I bring a pillow. He takes it.
4:10 a.m. — Penny kicks me in the face with a ferocity that’d make David Beckham take notice. Thankfully I was still awake.
4:25 a.m. — Rigby’s still awake. He’s entered the dreaded too tired-to-fall-back-asleep phase. No amount of cajoling can prevent what comes next.
4:35 a.m. — I get up to take him downstairs. Mommy takes a lot of turns with him for this, but today is mine. No worries, though, Rigger Man. Not like I have to work until midnight or anything.
4:55 a.m. — Rigby is eating breakfast, so I write a Crib Notes column in an effort not to waste time. I tried in vain to convince Rigby he’d just feel tired in four hours (which he did) and he’d fall asleep by the early afternoon (which he did), but it didn’t matter. Once again, we woke up even before even most of the teachers and early morning newscasters.
But hey, we did it yesterday, so we can do it again today. There are only, what, 20 hours left until I can go to bed.
Oh ... man.Contact Paul Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org.