Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Doesn't This Kid Sleep?! A Timeline of a Father With a Singing Toddler

To fully understand the events of which I am about to report, it is necessary to know that Monday was a. a holiday in Japan and thus one where I didn't have school and neither did my sons. And b. a park day, given that the random twitching and threats of defenestration towards our sons from Beloved had reached dangerous levels, suggesting that a day off for her was desperately needed. The result was of course two dead kids. Hikaru barely made it out of the park gate before conking out and Makoto went 15 minutes before Lord Morpheus claimed him as well. The both of them slept for no more than 45 minutes (That's the great thing about the park, the drive home is long enough to get in a nice nap), and after waking, they spent a good chunk of the evening chasing each other around like loons.

Beloved and I felt that, yes, they had a busy, eventful day full of play and an evening full of the same. Their napping time was limited, much shorter than the hour and a half that Hikaru normally takes, and thus both children should go to sleep pretty quickly this night.

Yeah, right...

8:40 pm: The chime rings summoning me from my office to fish two wet kids out of the tub. Both kids come racing out the door trailing water to jump on their PJ-clad father, soaking him and demanding hugs, repeatedly. After a quick drying off the nightly books were read (Trick or Treat for Makoto and 10 Fat Turkeys for Hikaru, who would launch into a round of giggling every time he heard "Gobble Gobble Wibble Wobble"), the water gotten, the blanket taken, and both boys deposited into their respective futons. Ni-night, sleep well, love you and a kiss good night...

9:00 pm: Beloved comes in from the end of her bath, kisses the boys good night and the lights are off except for my reading light. While Beloved rolls over, I go back to Middle Earth, the pass of Cirith Ungol, and the choice of Master Samwise. I expect to hear the nightly noises of snoring from both sons shortly.

9:10 pm: Hikaru launches the night by jumping over Beloved onto his brother while yelling "Gobble gobble!" Both boys break out into a bad case of the giggles while I curse those ten fat turkeys and mutter threats of revenge involving stuffing. Beloved grabs Hikaru, shoves him back into the futon, I hook Makoto into his, and try again to get them to sleep.

9:15 pm: Makoto rolls over and starts to 'read' his book. "Trick or treat? Trick or treat! Give me something good to eat!" which prompts more "Gobble! Gobble!" from Hikaru, who wanders around to Makoto, trailing his blanket. Beloved grabs Hikaru, mummy wraps him in the blanket and puts him back on the futon. Makoto finds Daddy growling at him, gives up and starts to bury himself into his blanket, off to the Land of Nod. The battle is over.

9:20 pm: The battle is NOT over as a series of thumps announces Hikaru has worked his way free of his blanket and wanders over to Daddy's futon to try and read over his shoulder about how Pippin, Gandalf, and Shadowfax ride to Minas Tirith. Daddy yells at him to GO TO BED! Hikaru goes back to his futon, managing to hit the wall on his way.

9:30 pm: Hikaru starts singing "Engine Roll Call" from Thomas the Tank Engine (Not that he's actually singing mark you, it's more him going "Na na na na" with engine names). Beloved rolls onto her side, determined to ignore the toddler in the hopes that he will go to sleep out of boredom if nothing else.

9:45 pm: The impact of a small body traveling at high speed jolts me awake from where I was nodding over Pipping swearing his service to the Lord Steward Denethor. Hikaru grins at me from where he has wedged himself in between the wall and my body and giggles as I tell him to go to sleep.

10:00 pm. Thinking that, at last, he is asleep, I raise my head up from my book just to see Hikaru grinning at me. "Gobble gobble!" he says.

10:05 pm: Hikaru has taken to walking back and forth at the feet of the futons while his brother snores and his mother is still busy ignoring him. Daddy tries to do the same, going back to Lord of the Rings. When that doesn't work, he tells him to go to sleep. More giggles.

10:10 pm: Being ignored, Hikaru switches to going back to his futon and kicking the walls. The thumps sound rather like taiko drums. Obviously this kid has talents we had not previously discovered, all well and good except at 10 o'clock at night!

10:15 pm: Back to singing. I look at Makoto, who is sound asleep and snoring, and at Beloved who is also asleep, or at least pretending to be so as to not have to acknowledge the toddler as being her son. I wish I could join her.

10:20: Now Hikaru has gone from singing to singing and drumming his feet on the bedroom wall. I start wondering what possessed me to bring him back from the park. I mean, I could have left him there, I'm sure some kind family would have adopted him (Being so cute after all), or... failing that, a tribe of monkeys! Yes, he'd fit in well with a monkey tribe.

10:25 pm: Five minutes of silence, dare I hope? "Gobble!"

I dared, I hoped, it was dashed.

10:30 pm: Daddy is about ready to just give up and shut off the light in the hopes that the still singing toddler will take the bloody hint. But hark! What was that? A yawn?! Yes! Yes it was! With one final "Gobble!" Hikaru  grabs his blanket, turns over with a thump into the wall, and starts to finally settle down.

10:32 pm: The snores, the very loud snores, signal that Hikaru has finally gone to sleep. Beloved rouses herself up long enough to make sure he's on his futon and is covered with his blanket. "Well," I say to her, "At least we know that a 45 minute nap will fully recharge him."

In his sleep, Hikaru is still saying "Gobble, gobble" and giggling. I'm gonna shoot those damn turkeys.


  1. Sorry Man, but this is hilarious! I'd love to see the video clips! This is reality T.V. gold!

    I only have one little boy, but I certainly know these moments! I posted a while back, "A Little Nightwatchman", well, he would sleep, so we went for a long walk and I let him hold the flashlight.

    In all things fathering I try to enjoy the moment, but wall kicking makes me crazy; can't stand that!

    Drink your coffee,
    Mark L.

    1. I needed a LOT of coffee the next morning... and this morning too given that Hikaru had a repeat performance last night.