Feets don’t fail me now

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?”

B&B: “Yep.”

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.