Thursday, June 11, 2015

Last Night Was Hard

Captain woke up at two in the morning. 

Stevie got out of bed, went and got him, calmed him, took him to the potty, waited with him, took him back to bed, comforted him, and then came back to bed. At three in the morning he woke up again. I got up, went and got him, calmed him, took him to the potty, waited with him, took him back to bed, comforted him, and then came back to bed. At three-forty-five Captain woke up again. You know the drill.

This went on until four-thirty this morning. We took turns. We loved our kid while we were in the room with him, and when we came back to bed we cursed his name. We were so frustrated. This shouldn't have been happening. He’s two-and-a-half. Two-point-five-year-olds should be sleeping through the night. We should be sleeping through the night. I wanted to throw my own temper-tantrum. I wanted to slam doors and scream. I wanted to yell at Stevie, not because this was her fault but because I just needed to yell. 

Instead, she pulled me close. 

“I’m frustrated too. This will pass,” she said.

“I know. I’m just tired.”

“Me too.”

We closed our eyes and immediately fell asleep. 

At 4:45 AM Captain woke up and started crying again, and I wanted to die. Yes, that is overly dramatic but everything is overly dramatic at 4:45 AM. I threw the blanket off me, jumped out of bed and stomped to his room. I’ve learned not to dramatically open his door, because he is generally behind it. Instead, I opened it slowly and my son’s tiny face peered through the crack. 

“Don’t look at me like that, tiny puffy face man. I am tired, I have to work in a few hours and this is your fault,” I thought.

Tiny puffy face man looked at me and did his little lip quiver thing that is usually cute, but not at 4:45 AM.

“Dammit! I used to sleep! I used to sleep all night. I used to sleep in. Your mom and I took naps. Everything was easier. Why won’t you sleep? What are we doing wrong? What are you doing wrong? WHY?” 

But he didn't have an answer. He was just a face at my knee in zip-up footy pajamas and a stuffed Winnie the Pooh tucked under his arm. We stared at each other and I tried to hear him

“I’m tired, too. I’m frustrated, too. And I don’t have words, or someone to pull me in close and tell me this will pass. All I have is you, and you look really angry right now.”

I was angry. I've been angry.

I picked him up and pulled him in close. He wrapped his tiny arms around me and we went over to his rocker. He immediately laid his head on my chest and I lost it. 

“My friend died. My friend died and he was a daddy like me. I’m sorry that I have been angry lately. Your dad is dealing with some stuff, and I don’t know what I am doing. I have no idea what I am doing, and I’m afraid you can see it. I’m afraid you aren't sleeping because you can sense that there is something wrong with me. I’m worried that you aren't sleeping because I’m not sleeping.” I rambled on for a few more minutes whispering fears and prayers, and then he was asleep. I stood up, carried him to his bed, gently laid him on his mattress, and tiptoed out of the room. 

When I crawled back into bed with Stevie, she pulled me close again.

“You ok?” She said. 

“Yeah. I’m just frustrated. And I’m tired.”

“Me too. This will pass.” She kissed me on the forehead a little longer than usual.

A couple minutes later Captain started crying again. 

“I’ve got him,” we said.


Hey gang! A few things. Posts have been sporadic lately. I know. I'm sorry. Like this post kind of touches on, I've been dealing with some stuff. I am fine. Really - just sad and trying to find happy things. Writing has just been difficult, but it is getting better. If you need more Ask Your Dad in your life, I'm still posting quick, funny stuff on the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page and on Twitter. Please come see me there. I promise to have more fun, frequent, happy, funny posts up here soon. Thanks for everything!

- John


  1. I'm so very sorry, John. I know nothing can be said to ease that pain but don't worry about not knowing what you are doing parenting wise. None of us do. However from the snippets I've read here and on FB, it's obvious that you and your wife are doing a wonderful job so far. :)

  2. Thanks for posting this. We just got our first home last night and it was harder than I ever imagined it would be. It helps to know that we're not the only ones frustrated at times. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

  3. Moments and phases, something I always have to remind myself. Stay strong!

  4. Sorry you've ha a rough go of it. It's hard when you feel your kids are picking up on your emotions. Maybe, he is and maybe he isn't. Either way, don't be too hard on yourself - you're allowed to feel.

  5. Posts like this are why I love this blog!
    It's real.
    It let's me know that other Dad's love their children, are patient and kind with them, but flip them off behind their backs.

    I'm very sorry to hear about your friend.
    I will be praying for you.