It’s 3:31AM and I awake with a start. Adrenaline is pumping, heart is racing. There. I hear it, “MOMMY!” I sit straight up in bed. Whose voice was that? Upstairs? One door over?” “MOMMY!” Next door over.
I am up and out the bedroom door in a flash…please no puke, please no puke, please no puke…
I open the bedroom door belonging to the owner of the distress call. The Interrogator is sitting straight up on the top bunk.
Me: (whispering), “What’s wrong, sweetheart? Tell me in a whisper, your brother needs to grow, so let’s let him sleep.” (The Verb sleeps on the bottom bunk. If he wakes up too, there will be demands for a quick game of Zingo and a square dance in the family room before I get back to bed.)
Interrogator: “It’s my feet.” He’s not whispering.
Me: “What’s the matter with your feet?”
Interrogator: In a loud, pained voice, “They’re HOT, Mom. I have hot feet.” He’s crying now.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Is this a freaking joke?
Me: “Ahem. I don’t understand, honey. What do you mean they’re hot? Do you have pins and needles? Take off your footy pj’s and that will help.”
Interrogator: (yelling now, hiccup cries, snot mixing with tears and running down face) “OH FOR GOODNESS SAKE! (Yes, he uses this expression regularly and appropriately) I AM NOT WEARING FOOTY PJ’S! FEEL THEM! FEEL MY FEET! MY FEET ARE HOT! THEY ARE TOO HOT! I NEED MY SLIPPERS!”
During my parenting years, I’ve awoken to puking, coughing, fevers, the seal-like barking of croup, night terrors, bed wetting, calls for water, lost woobies, lost band-aids, and booty calls (not from the children). These people are just inventing things to ruin my sleep. WTF is this kid talking about? It’s happening, isn’t it? I’m being punked. I better not lose my shit on him, just in case Ashton jumps out of the closet with his camera.
Me: (whispering angrily) “We wear slippers when our feet are cold, bud, not when they are hot. No slippers.”
Interrogator: “Well, then I need medicine.”
Me: “No medicine for hot feet. I’ll get you a drink of water.”
Interrogator: “What for?”
To soak your hot feet, isn’t it obvious, dumbass?
Me: “It will help you feel better.”
I deliver the water, give him a kiss, tuck him in and, as patiently as I can at 3:37AM, explain that his feet are OUT of the covers and can now cool down a bit.
I tiptoe back to bed. B&B has slept through the entire debacle. This is not unusual. I close my eyes. Nothing. I am too irritated to settle back into sleep. Wide awake. Hot feet? Really? Who wakes in the night with complaints of hot feet?
I angrily ponder that thought for 5 minutes. What was that? Is that…whimpering? Is he crying about the feet now? OMFG…
I shake B&B from a sound sleep. It’s for his own son’s safety. I am going to scar the Interrogator if I go back in there for the hot feet talk again.
Me: “I’m sorry to wake you, but can you please in the most patient, understanding voice you can muster, go in and deal with the Interrogator?”
B&B: “What’s wrong with him? Is he sick?” (sidebar, B&B is PHENOMENAL when it comes to puke duty. Buckets appear, linens are stripped and washed, baths are drawn, children are stripped and washed, teeth are brushed, and I can quietly rub the puker’s back and chant, “it’s alright, honey, good job, you’re doing great, I know it’s awful, good job.”
Me: “Um, no, he…ugh….he…well, he is complaining of hot feet.”
Me: “Are you asleep?”
B&B: “I must be. I know this is a dream. Because you could not have woken me to tell me that our 5 year old is crying over…what did you say? Hot feet?”
Me: “Yes, that’s exactly what I said! And I feel like a bad Mom because I am going to yell at him if I go in there right now! So, please can you patiently and nicely try to make him feel better and go back to sleep?”
Thank freaking God. Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all the saints, it will take me an hour to get back to sleep.
B&B is gone for all of 90 seconds.
Me: “What did you say?”
B&B: “Don’t talk to me right now.” Snoring within 88 seconds.
Well, excuse me for asking.
Luckily, that was the last we heard from the Interrogator, so whatever B&B had said, it had done the trick.
Too few hours later, B&B had already left for work before the rest of us were up. I texted him to apologize for waking him.
My text: Thanks for helping with the Interrogator last night. That interrupted sleep kills me.
His text: Sorry I was a jerk when you asked about what I said to calm him down.
My text: Who, good old hot feet? What did you say to him?
His text: He was complaining to me, “now I have one hot foot and one cold foot!”
My text: Moron. So, what did you tell him?
His text: I said, “If you don’t go to sleep, I will take your Legos and give them to the first boy I find who sleeps through the night without yelling and waking his parents at 3:30AM.” Do you think I gave him the cold foot? I mean the cold shoulder?
Note to self…in the future, wake B&B for puke duty only.