What goes around…

I remember for a good two years being awakened two, three, four times a night by little Isaac. He would come stand by my bed, or lay down on the floor in my bathroom, and when I would sleepily ask him why he was up, he would say, “I don’t know.” So I would carry him back to bed and kiss him and beg him not to wake daddy up again, and he would solemnly promise not to, and then just as I would drift back into desperate sleep there he would be again. I got a short story out of it, but this never seemed just compensation.

Now Isaac, who is five, shares a room with baby Isaiah, who is two. Isaiah has taken to crawling out of his bed as soon as we shut the door at night, and climbing into Isaac’s bed. Sometimes Isaac pushes him off, and Isaiah complains and whines and eventually goes to sleep on his pillow underneath his brother’s bed. Other times Isaac relents, and they are fine until later in the night, when Isaiah turns himself sideways. Then Isaac sleepily seeks out a parent for redress, or just gets in Isaiah’s abandoned bed.

It’s hard not to take some satisfaction in this. Which I suspect is how my mother must feel when she hears me talk about what it’s like to steer the pirate’s ship that is our grocery cart through the aisles at Wal-Mart, alternately slapping hands as they reach for candy, barking at the little ones for crawling beneath the cart so that I think they’ve gone missing, and wondering why, if Jesus is planning to come back in this lifetime, he doesn’t just do it right now, before we hit the cereal aisle and I lose the last shreds of my Christian patience.

Comments

  1. Amy

    the cereal isle is kryptonite to the best-behaved children, I believe. I once told them they could each pick out one special cereal as a treat. I never fully appreciated how little choice children exercise over their own lives before I had to coach them through that overwhelming decision. 40 wonderful options we’ve never been permitted to try!

  2. Marc V

    I’ve not had too many problems at the cereal aisle, since they will usually accept “no” at that particular area. Early Sat. morning is the best time to hit Walmart, as it reduces the chances of your kids hitting other people: “I can steer the cart, DAD” – uh huh. The checkout lines are easier to get through then, and it’s there where the kidlets can cause the most trouble (as you try to wrap up the sale and they know there’s less of a chance of stopping everything to take them back to the car for “discipline”.)

    You’ve got a few more years until they start to plead for the freedom to go by themselves to the video game section, hanging out with the other hooligans.

  3. CL

    My second son used to come into bed, complaining of spiders or snakes in his bed. He was often terrified on such occasions. One time he came down and his attitude was a little more excited, he said: “THere’s a giraffe in my bed.” It is hard for one to argue with an acute imagination:)

  4. Lenise

    Marc, that’s why I love having a couple of weekdays off! I can’t get all three up and dressed early enough to beat the WM crowd. They actually did OK the last time we went on a Saturday, because we had a Very Short List that did not take us into the grocery section!

  5. karen

    I have a friend who gave his mother fits when he was a boy. When he became a dad, he gave a nickname to his first child that proved an apt moniker: “My mother’s revenge”

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