Planes, Trains, and Vehicles for the Elderly

Recently the munchkin and I flew down to see my parents for the holidays. The munchkin does very well on planes, especially now that he is old enough to have his own seat. On our second flight of the day he happened to be seated right next to a lady who was obviously very nervous about the flight. I tried to keep him busy and distracted and not bothering her, since flying was already obviously not something she enjoyed. The munchkin did a great job during the flight, and his seat-mate seemed to calm down and be less distressed about flying.

And then we began the descent. As the plane nose dropped the munchkin threw his little fists in the air and yelled, “WE’RE GOING DOWN!”

At this outburst the passenger next to us became very agitated and began making the sign of the cross on herself; I assume she was praying something along the lines of that if we were in fact to go down that an excited toddler who would not stop kicking the seat in front of him would not be the last thing she saw. I hope she is able to fly again.

Shortly before we left for this eventful trip the asleep hubs was apparently also concerned with transportation. The hubs had a cold so he had gone to bed early while I was still up reading. All of the sudden he jumped in his sleep and started talking.

Hubs: The older people need the vehicle…or should they not?

Me: Hmm? What do you mean?

Hubs: Well, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s a vehicle for older people.

Me: Oh, really? That’s different.

Hubs: Yeah, just not a good idea.

Me: Yeah, can you tell me about it?

Hubs: It isn’t important, I don’t think I need to tell you. It’s about the elderly.

Me: You said that, but I’m curious about it.

Hubs: I don’t want to tell you about it. I already told you that.

Me: You can’t tell me anything?

Hubs: Stop asking about it. Please stop!

Me: Ok, that’s fine.

Then he huffed and rolled over angrily, never waking up. I was sorry to upset him in his sleep, but I also couldn’t help giggling about how silly the conversation was. I guess both of my boys have very serious transportation concerns!

Comedic Timing

The hubs and I love to laugh together, and some of our favorite date-nights have been to see comedic stand up acts. My favorite comedian we have seen together is Tim Hawkins, but the hub’s favorite comedic memory is definitely when I surprised him for Valentine’s Day with tickets to see Brian Regan. I have never seen him laugh so much; he got a stomachache from laughing so hard. I think I laughed more at watching the hubs have such a good time than I did at the act!

The other night nothing particularly funny happened before we went to bed, but the hubs started laughing in his sleep shortly after falling asleep. I was lying in bed still awake, miserably wondering when I got so old that leftover Thai food before bed gives me heartburn, when the asleep hubs started to laugh.

Me: What’s so funny?

The hubs laughed, and gave a snort.

Me: Hey, what’s so funny?

Hubs: Oh, nothing.

Me: You don’t laugh over nothing. Now, tell me what’s so funny!

Hubs: I can’t. It’s too complicated.

Me: Oh, really?

Hubs: Yeah. I’ll tell you in the morning.

Me: No, you won’t – just tell me now.

Hubs: I mean, it’s ok. I’ll tell you later, in the morning.

Me: I don’t think you will.

Hubs: Yeah, I will.

Then he rolled over and didn’t talk or laugh anymore. I am not exactly sure what the asleep hubs was laughing at, but I do know that it is one of my favorite sounds, and I do not get to hear it enough. Maybe it is time for another night out with the hubs and Brian Regan!

Sleepless Nights

The munchkin has started waking up in the middle of the night and coming to get me…Every. Single. Night. I am trying to remember that this is a phase, and someday I will miss his little voice asking me if he can give me a “mama-pat-pat” on my cheek, but this is very difficult to remember at 4 am.

It’s made even more difficult by the fact that the hubs does not wake up when the munchkin comes in the room or calls for me. The other day after the munchkin got up twice in the night, the hubs said, “It’s so great that the munchkin hasn’t gotten up in the night for two nights in a row!”

A few nights ago I was settling back in bed from taking the munchkin back to his bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, yet again, when the hubs sat up and started to talk to me in his sleep.

Hubs: Hey! What’s wrong? Is something wrong?

Me: No, I’m fine.

Hubs: Well, you just keep moving around. You’ve kept me awake for 40 minutes!

Me: Oh, really? Well, I’m sorry about that. If it’s so bothersome, you can go sleep somewhere else.

Hubs: No, I don’t need to go sleep somewhere else.

Me: Well, ok then. Goodnight. Love you.

And then the hubs laid back down and didn’t say anything else. The hubs can sleep not only through the munchkin talking, but also himself talking. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can’t sleep through either of them talking!

Interpreter Wanted

The munchkin knows the words for his colors, but does not always use them for the correct color. For example, this morning the munchkin cried and cried and cried that he wanted a green cup…all while I stood there offering him a green cup. Eventually I had him show me what he was referring to and he pointed to his orange cup in the cabinet. Once I handed it to him he cradled it, and glaring up at me said, “My green cup.”

Oy. Sometimes I wish I had an interpreter to tell me what the munchkin is trying to communicate. The other night I could have used an interpreter for what the hubs was talking about in his sleep. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet when the hubs started talking.

Hubs: Hey, they really need more than that. I mean, they need a lot more for sure.

Me: Oh, really? What do they need?

Hubs: Tubes. They need a lot more tubes.

Me: Yeah? How many more do you think?

Hubs: Probably 3 or 4, at least. There just aren’t enough.

Me: I see. And that will be enough?

Hubs: You, you’re making fun of me. I can tell.

Me: Oh, ok. I just don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hubs: Yeah, me neither.

And then he went back to sleeping quietly. I guess maybe everyone in this house could use an interpreter sometimes!

Oh, the Irony

We live on an idyllic wooded plot in the country, and because the hubs, munchkin, and dog are all here, I happen to think it is the best spot in the whole world. We can hike to a lake, see owls and deer in our backyard, and off of our road is a small family strawberry farm.

Sounds just ideal, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest – it is pretty fantastic. But every year something happens in the summer on the aforementioned small family strawberry farm which makes my skin crawl. And that thing is the open-picking season. Scores of moms in mini-vans descend on our quiet street, bringing their small children to whine in the hot sun while they “make memories” and pick berries for their Pinterest projects. And these moms drive like crazy people, some speeding recklessly down the pot-hole rutted back road and others going so slowly that when I get behind them I contemplate leaning out my window and picking berries while we drive down the road.

A few even get really confused and drive down our long driveway, even though there are a plethora of signs pointing to the strawberry farm, away from our house. And then they have the audacity to look shocked when they happen upon the munchkin and me eating Popsicles in the front yard at 7:30 am. This is our house – we’ll eat frozen treats whenever we want, thank you very much!

Yes, I know: having the road get a little more busy for two months of the year is a first world problem. I will be the first to admit that this is barely even a mild inconvenience. I bring it up only to get a laugh at my own expense. You see, as I drove along on our street the other day, grumbling about the soccer moms in their mini-vans driving like maniacs, I was, in fact, a soccer mom in a mini-van. That’s right, I drive a mini-van, and stay home with my kiddo. And last year I took him berry picking. Oh, the irony: I am one of them! And I didn’t even realize it. Basically, my annoyance is completely misplaced.

There was some additional misplaced anger at our house recently. We had been gone for much of the day, and the poor little dog had missed us, so I let her sleep in our room with us, instead of downstairs where she normally sleeps at night. I was sleeping just fine, until well after midnight the hubs shook me awake.

Me: Hmm, what’s up?

Hubs: You’re snoring so loudly! I can’t even sleep.

I don’t really snore very often, so I kind of wondered if maybe he was sleep talking.

Me: Really? Are you asleep?

Hubs: No! I can’t believe how loud you were, it woke me up! UGH!!!

He was very annoyed. All of the sudden it hit me that I heard the snoring, too.

Me: Wait, do you still hear it?

The hubs sat still.

Hubs: Yes! What is that?!?

Me: It’s the dog! You woke me up and can’t sleep because of the dog’s snoring!

And then I laughed for a really long time. I mean, really, I thought it was so funny. It wasn’t so funny for the dog, though, as she was banished from the room for the rest of the night. My trying to do a nice thing by letting her sleep with us meant that she was rudely kicked out of bed after sleeping peacefully for hours. Oh, the irony!

Sleep Talking Squabbles

The other night I had a very scary dream, and jolted awake – whimpering and heart thumping. I scooted closer to the hubs, and he drowsily turned over.

Hubs: You’re ok.

Now, I’m not sure why I reacted to this statement the way I did. Perhaps I was still scared from the dream, or perhaps I felt like he just wasn’t being empathetic enough, or maybe I’m just argumentative at 2 am. Regardless, I was not happy with this lackadaisical comforting from the hubs.

Me: You don’t know that! What if I’m not?

Hubs: What?

Me: What if I’m not ok? Maybe I’m not. You can’t know for sure. It’s just…rude!

Hubs: Hmm, yeah, maybe. It’s fine, though.

Me: That’s what you think!

Then I rolled back over and went back to sleep. (I’m really not a horrible person, I just felt very strongly at that moment. If I had been fully awake I hope I wouldn’t have reacted quite that way.)

The next morning as the hubs was getting ready for work I mentioned to him that I hated having scary dreams, like I had the night before.

Hubs: Yeah, well, you’re ok.

Me: Are you kidding me?!? That line didn’t work last night, and it isn’t going to work this morning either!

Hubs: What are you talking about?

Me: Last night. You know, you were not very comforting when I had that bad dream, and told me it was ok, so I told you it wasn’t ok, and to stop saying that! And you just did it again!

Hubs: Sweety, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t remember waking up or you having a dream, or anything. Maybe you were sleep talking.

Me: Maybe I was sleep talking?? No, no – maybe YOU were sleep talking!

Hubs: Yeah, probably.

Then he turned back to finish brushing his teeth, unperturbed that asleep-him had gotten me so riled up. And, much as I hate to admit it sometimes, that is one of the great things about the hubs: I know that he really will make it ok. Even though it’s a pain when he says so.

There is Only One Right Answer

Sometimes when the hubs and I are conversing, questions come up. Very serious questions, like, “Do you like buttermilk ranch dressing, or just plain ranch dressing?”

Or, “Do you think if we pretended to be narcoleptic around the munchkin for the next few years we could convince him that we just fall asleep randomly? And how could we use this to our advantage?”

Most of the time when I ask the hubs a question there is not just one right answer and I really care about the hubs’ opinion. Like, “Do you think the dog would like it if I got her a sunhat?” Or, “Do you see anything wrong with having cookies for breakfast if they have a fruit or vegetable like pumpkin in them?”

But some questions that I pose to the hubs have only one right answer. Like, “Is that really what you’re wearing to the party?” Or, “Do you want to pick up pizza for dinner?”

In fact, just last night I posed a question to the sleep-talking hubs that definitely only had one right answer. I don’t think I had been asleep for very long, when I woke up to the hubs talking.

Hubs: You can say “hi,” if you want to.

Me: Hmm? What’s up, buddy?

Hubs: You can.

Me: Oh? Well, hi!

Hubs: Hi, sweetie!

Me (wondering who he’s calling “sweetie” in his sleep): Now, who are you talking to?

Hubs: My beautiful wife, of course.

Me: That’s right.

Then we both went back to sleeping quietly, and the asleep hubs did not talk again for the rest of the night. He definitely had the right answer that time!

Worry Wort

I heard a saying once, that we don’t go to bed we just worry with our eyes closed. Most of the time I don’t feel that way and I can fall asleep pretty easily with minimal worrying. But sometimes it just feels like my brain won’t calm down, it just runs at full speed and takes forever to fall asleep. I get so frustrated when this happens, and it’s made worse by having the hubs fall asleep so quickly right next to me.

The other night I had fallen asleep fairly quickly, but the sleep-talking hubs apparently thought that I had fallen asleep too easily. It was shortly after midnight, I was sleeping happily, snoozing away, when the hubs started shaking my shoulder.

Me: Wha…? What’s wrong buddy?

Hubs: Goodnight, sweetie.

Me: Really? Are you being serious?

The hubs didn’t say anything else, and rolled over and went right on sleeping.

I’m going to be honest: I was kind of mad at the hubs. Thankfully, though, I fell back asleep quickly, with minimal worrying. What do I have to worry about anyway with the hubs there?

The Long Goodnight

Sometimes only a few words is all it takes to completely change a situation. Whether you are trying to diffuse a disagreement, tell someone how much you care, or get another driver’s attention, it just takes a few well chosen words.

One of the first words the munchkin could say clearly was, “help.” This word can definitely pack a punch in the right circumstances. For example, the munchkin whipped out this great word one time in the grocery store parking lot. I was trying to get the munchkin into his car seat, but he was disinclined to acquiesce. To show his displeasure he was holding himself as stiff as a board, and I was trying to get him to bend at the waist enough to get strapped in to his seat.

So, there we were in the grocery store parking lot, me karate-chopping the munchkin’s middle, and all of the sudden he throws his head out the window and lets out in his little voice, “Help! Help!” Those two words made a big difference. Where previously the scene had appeared innocuous enough, now I was frantically stuffing a fighting child into a van while he yelled, “Help!” in a little squeaky toddler voice. Thankfully I was able to get him safely strapped in before anyone thought I was abducting him.

Last week we had a situation where the hubs spoke just a few words in his sleep, but it changed my night completely. I woke up to the hubs sitting up and tapping me gently.

Me: Huh? What’s wrong?

Hubs: Goodnight, love.

Me: What do you mean? What’s going on?

Then the hubs rolled back over and went right on sleeping, never waking up. As he slept peacefully, I laid there staring at the ceiling, noticing how much I really need to dust the ceiling fan. The hubs can normally brighten my day with just a few words, but this time his two words made me miss out on a good night’s sleep!

Seat Lock

When I married the hubs, there was the normal blending of family traditions and idiosyncrasies. One thing his family does that I was not familiar with is “seat lock.” Seat lock is when a person leaves a place where they are sitting, if they yell, “seat lock,” then they get to sit there when they come back. If, say, they don’t know about seat lock because they’ve only been on three dates with a member of the family, they lose their comfortable spot on the couch and have to sit on the floor. Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to figure out the rules, so I can now defend my comfy chair at family events.

Our little dog is the queen of “seat lock.” Mainly because she only has a few places she likes to sit, and she has made those places so covered with dog hair that no one would want to sit there unless armed with a jumbo lint roller.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

I think it’s normal to be attached to a particular place, and claim it as your own. This last week I even talked to the hubs about this in my sleep. That’s right, I am the one sleep talking this time.

Apparently, the hubs woke up in the middle of the night to me yelling. He said that our conversation went like this:

Me: It’s my spot…. MY SPOTTTTT!!!!

Hubs: You’re ok, honey, just go back to sleep.

Me: You’re not listening to me. This is my spot!

Hubs: Yes, honey, you’re sleep talking. 

Me: It’s my spot, my spot, my spot!!!

I asked him what he did after all of this commotion, and he said, “I rolled over and went back to sleep as you continued to repeat ‘my spot,’ over and over…. There was no winning.”

Well, ok then. I guess he knew that I would definitely call “seat lock” on this spot that I apparently cared about so much!