Maybe you’ve noticed that my posts of late look visually all suck-o. That’s because my best inanimate friend Big Computer had a great big Mac Attack and is in critical condition. So I can’t download fabulous pictures and am reduced to recycling photos I’ve already showed you. Sorry!
Whatevs on that. Maybe you don’t care. The real detritus left by the Mac Attack involves the utter despair of the Pterodactyl, who can no longer spend hours staring at things he wants from Amazon. He can do it on the iPad, but those images apparently aren’t large enough to feed his greedy brain.
Combine that with his recent extreme reluctance to go to bed, and the total equals bedtime disasters.
I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t want to go to bed. Dr. Dee pulled it out of him: I just don’t want the day to end, he said. I think my boy is so grateful each night to have made it through the day that he dreads having to do it again. That’s how hard he works to be a good little boy. His report card? Excels in all areas! He is a model student. He loves to be challenged in reading and math. Keep up the great work!
WHAT? Son of a bitch. Me being the bitch. He is a race car, using up all the expensive fuel and kickass tires to perform flawlessly on the track. I’m the pit crew. He sputters home on shredded tires, fueled by the fumes, weaving like a drunk, and I set about refurbishing him for another lap.
Well. I can handle it. UNLESS THERE’S A SUDDEN (metaphorical) EXPLOSION AND HOT FIREFIGHTER HUSBAND ISN’T THERE TO HELP DOUSE THE FLAMES.
For example: the other night, at bedtime, the Pterodactyl refused to settle down until I fixed the Mac. Are there two more overused words in the parental lexicon than settle down? What does that even mean anymore? At that particular moment, it meant STOP TRYING TO POKE YOUR SISTER’S BOOTY WITH A MONSTER HIGH DOLL.
But I could not fix the Mac just like I cannot adjust the sprinkler system. Really, peeeps, I’m not as talented as you think I am.
And so began the tantrum. A huge, loud, threatening tantrum involving throwing, threatening, screaming, and big fat tears. Remember, in the throes of these tantrums, it’s like he has entered a fugue state. His communication is so vituperative and alien that I’m half-expecting his head to spin.
It lasted a solid 25 minutes. My role is to sit against his bedroom door so he can’t get out, and to make sure he doesn’t destroy anything that can’t be replaced — Blue Puppy, the big piggy bank that was a gift from someone special, blankie. Also, I have to stay calm. This effort is brought to you by Cymbalta, and by breathing so deeply that oxygen was surely permeating my toenails.
Finally, he picked up a 5-foot plush sword he caught one year at a Mardi Gras parade and a steel mesh trash can. He pointed the sword at me and said, “THIS WILL NOT END UNTIL YOU PUT THIS TRASH CAN ON YOUR HEAD.”
“No,” I responded. “I’m not going to put a trash can on my head.”
He thrust the sword at me again and re-screeched his demands. This time I squinted at him as though to say, Really, son? This is what you want? but instead it was like the Alien Kidnapper was letting me temporarily peer inside my sweet son’s brain, and I saw the desperation in his eyes and the pleading in the downturned corners of his mouth. I got it. He needed closure as surely as a gate needs to be latched. He had mapped out this exit strategy, and if we didn’t follow the route, he would be lost.
“Okay,” I said. “Can I scrape the gum off the bottom?”
I slipped the metal can on my head while he stood there, an armed inmate holding the prison guard at his mercy. Then he put down the sword, helped me lift the trash can off my head, and slipped into my lap. He buried his head in my shoulder, and silently shook. “It’s over,” he whispered. “I’m sorry.”
And then I carried my little boy to bed.