This entire blog is about vulnerability. Now is the time for you to learn a bit more about me. I am a madman at night. Hands down – no ifs, ands or buts about it. Jekyll and Hyde, Caleb and Lunatic.
Who in the World is This Guy?
The middle of the night… You know, the time of day when carefree loving fathers turn into raging lunatic werewolves after being roused from sleep. Oh, that’s just me? I call it “good dad/bad dad” time. I particularly struggle with this. During daytime hours I am all about make believe, going to the park, teaching my toddler how to crack eggs, showing my 8 month old son how to bite my ear when we wrestle, etc. That’s me.
But then there’s the version of me that wants to murder someone when I am woken from slumber. I sometimes don’t even remember what I say or do in the middle of the night. Roxanne has come to realize that waking me at night means she may get Caleb the husband or Caleb the Crazy; a mindless animal snarling about the little skin bag that won’t go to sleep in the next room. It’s a problem, I know. I’ve had many a conversation with Jesus about why He allows such apostasy in children, but He never seems to respond – I mean kids act like sleep is akin to the grips of death itself. “What’s wrong with you Lord?! You can fix this kid – so do it.”
Just Screamin’ in the “Rain”
One particular night seemed “normal”. My son woke up and I fortunately wasn’t in a “raging” mood (yet). I was rum-dumb tired and stumbled my way to my son and gave him to my wife so he could nurse. After he nursed Roxanne tells me he needs a diaper change – typical procedure. Bear in mind (literally a grizzly bear in mind about to break loose) that we were out of town with relatives and were sleeping in Roxanne’s little sister’s bedroom; Roxanne and I were in the bed and the 2 kiddos on the floor. I know that changing my son’s diaper means imminent screaming – God forbid I wrap his genitals in a diaper of death! I don’t want to wake my 2 year old and I realize this means I have to hold my infant son and carry him to the living room of our in-laws so that his crying won’t reach the ears of my sleeping daughter.
I guarantee you a Navy Seal couldn’t navigate the mine field that is my wife’s 7 year old little sister’s bedroom floor. I stepped on a barbie high heel toy with the equivalent sharpness of razor and thus began the transformation from Caleb to Crazy. My off balance physical response to being stabbed by a miniature stiletto rouses my son and now he’s upset. By the time I get to the living room to change his diaper I’m full on accusing Jesus of making malfunctioning children who hate sleep. I proceed to unbutton the Chinese finger trap that is the onesie my son is in. When I finally get it unbuttoned and his diaper off he’s changing from shades of red to purple – this is fun isn’t it? Ever try to smell one of those flowers in a circus clown’s pocket? Didn’t end well for you did it? You probably know where I am headed then…
When Infant Males Open Fire on Their Fathers
No sooner had I removed the diaper and my son, Carsten the Clown, began draining the remainder of his bladder onto my forehead, face and – good Lord – my mouth. I instinctively grab the clean, dry diaper and cover the little geyser to stop the leak. Expletives start pouring from my mouth faster than the rate of my son’s pee bouncing off my forehead.
“Son of a!!… wait his mother is my wife – can’t say that. Mother!!… wait his mother is my wife – that’s a no-go too (remember that I’m not the best with language at times) … I eventually conjured some form of speaking in tongues that sounded like Russian, Japanese and Redneck.
My knee-jerk reaction to hot pee on the face scared my son and now he’s blood-curdle screaming. My attempts to stop his “flow” accidentally redirected his pee-shooter in a northerly direction. Now my son is mad WHILE peeing on himself. I mean let’s be real – he deserved it. I gave him a “douse” of his own medicine – take that kid.
My sense of justice began to wear off when I realized I had 2 wet diapers (the clean one was used as a shield in battle, remember?) and a half naked kid in a wet onesie. I had no more diapers or clothes – I wasn’t exactly expecting an ambush. I then had to strip the soaking clothes off his body. What was once a kid fully clothed and in need of a diaper change and a totally dry-faced dad had morphed into a fully naked baby boy and raging animal father, both of whom were dripping with urine. We made the trek back down the hall to the room of barbie-toy-mines where I delivered my son back to my wife in a very different manner than before.
“Here’s your son. Don’t ever wake me up again woman – I mean it! I am so pissed right now!”
Never wake a sleeping baby?
No. Never wake a sleeping dad.