And on the Eighth Day of Christmas…

J was up at 4:30 this morning.  Not sort of awake.  Not dreamily awake.  Not lazily awake.  Not lingering-in-bed awake.  Not we-could-hear-him-over-the-baby-monitor-cooing-to-himself awake.


J was up and in our room, alarming the bejeezus out of us with a militant, hearty, enthusiastic, LOUD “COFFEE!!!!!!!!!”

To no avail we tried to get him to go back to bed.

No matter how many times we tried.

He was up.  UP, UP and AWAY!!!!

We tried a timer.

He came into the room five minutes into the timer.  COFFEE!!!!!

We tried telling him to wait until we came to get him.

He was in the room again not two minutes later.  COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!

We checked his temperature.  It was normal.

We checked his ears.  Waxy, but not more than is acceptable.

We checked his teeth.  Dirty, but no cracks, chips, irritation, swelling, or other reason why he might be up at 4:30 in the morning.

We listened to his tummy.  No more gas in there than there should be.

He was just up.  Up and insistent.

We were up, too.  Up and exhausted.  Up and irritated.  Up and annoyed.  Up and insufficiently caffeinated.

My guess, because he didn’t complain about not getting his PIZZA today (it IS Wednesday, right?), is that J is having not-particularly serious tummy issues.  With this in mind, I amped up the stuff that might help move things along for him in that department.

In the meantime, J is being stubborn.  He won’t tell me if I’m right or wrong.  He won’t explain what is bothering him.  I’m left guessing.  It’s exhausting for both of us.

The sudden outbursts of energy and enthusiasm taking place when I am not in the room confuse me.  Is it me?  Is he sick of me?  Am I annoying him?  Am I the typical roll-your-eyes-at-her mother????

What little energy I have left after being up so early (and sleeping so poorly…have I mentioned I’m a middle-aged woman????) is being expended worrying about whatever is bothering J, and whether I am what’s bothering J.

And it’s the Eighth Day of Christmas…eight maids a-milking and all that other good stuff…if I manage to stay awake for it…


Doomsday…or Dentist Day…depends on where you’re standing.

We are going on fumes here, people.  We are empty-tank tired.  We are ready for this thing to be figured out.

I am sure all of you know the feeling.  Whether you are the person overwhelmed by the overstimulation of something you cannot explain to others, and feel anxious, or you are the parent/primary caregiver of the person who is overwhelmingly anxious…you know what I mean.

We believe in full disclosure so we told J about the dentist (I even used the proper ASL sign for it,) and – Q.E.D. – we had a lulu of a night.

It wasn’t “bad,” but it was bad.  That is: J didn’t sleep AT ALL.  He was up and about all night.  At 1:47 he came into our darkened room and asked for coffee.

I was startled awake, or whatever passes for that moment between “I hardly ever sleep, but I’m awake now and I can’t really remember where the wall closest to my bed is” and “whoa, Nelly…this is NOT acceptable social behavior!” is called.  I marched him to his room (where every fairly light he owns was turned on) and put at timer on for 6 and half hours from that time.

I mumbled, grumbled, and stumbled my way back to bed.  Dada, poor guy, simply said “my turn next.”  Do you get the feeling we’re old hands at this?  Never mind that we ARE old…this is not our first or tenth, or even hundredth rodeo.

At not-yet four another bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, wide-awake, alert request for coffee was generated at our doorway by the person who had completely disregarded his timer.  Dada escorted him back to his bedroom.

At quarter past six Dada walked past J’s door on his way to make the restorative brew that we had been hearing about all night.  His fairy lights were on.  I went in there and, looking like a sunflower at the peak of its beauty as it faces the sun, J smiled at me…COFFEE?????

I controlled the urge to say “ya think?????”  I told him that he had been up ALL NIGHT, and that it wasn’t nice to keep waking people up.  His smiled faded a bit, but it bounced back quite quickly.  I told him that, since he had found it impossible to manage his urge to come to our room in the dark in spite of a timer, we won’t have pizza for dinner tonight.

Quite honestly, I don’t think I’ll be awake at the time…I might, out of the accumulation of a string of sleepless nights, be quite zombie-like by four o’clock.  We all have had those moments when we are so tired we’re not tired anymore…that’s where we’re at right now.

As we sipped (or lapped at…I don’t think we could keep our heads up to drink properly until about two minutes into coffee consumption time) our breakfast, J came downstairs to start (continue) his day.  He looked at the board, saw the PIZZA was gone, and shrugged.  Off to the garage to put together his snack box as if nothing had happened.

Dada and I looked at each other.  We KNOW the this concept of “you didn’t let us sleep” is too abstract for him, and he will -after he has finished at the dentist’s office- give us the beaming smile of one who has accomplished something monumental and ask for PIZZA.

There will be, regardless of our best efforts to quell his anxiety, a degree of resistance and panic when we get there.  J is one of those people who can look very cool on the outside, but if you’re holding his hand (or even standing close to him) you can feel he’s extremely tense.  I seriously doubt that he will be discreet about his feelings this morning…


but once they’re done tinkering with him, J will smile as if he has been the most angelic creature on the face of the planet, and he will want his reward.


Either that or we will get this:


The effects of all this anxiety will not be truly felt until tomorrow morning.  We think we’re tired now, but I’m sure that we will be more tired tomorrow…and J will follow suit.  He will have expended all his energy on staying up last night, fighting The Man and his conspiracies this morning, and then negotiating his PIZZA the rest of the day.  Tomorrow morning, well, we will all be more like this…


Maybe then we will be closer to having resolved this.  Or maybe we will be facing a whole other set of problems.

But, as they say, we’re taking it one day at a time.  Or, rather, we’re taking it whatever way it comes in the short-term.  Until we pass this hurdle (and it’s a good one, mind you,) we cannot make plans for the weekend…or even tonight.  Pizza is up in the air until we know what the dentist has to say…

Off I go…to make myself somewhat presentable before I get my son ready for his reckoning…