How much is the Ark of the Covenant lunchbox?

You know how Jesus went into the temple that one time and all of the people were in there using the temple as a giant, indoor flea market to hawk their wares?  And remember how He got really ticked off and overturned all of the tables and threw out all of the people who were selling birds and making change?

Well, I did that today.

Only it wasn’t the temple.  It was my dinette/living room.

And it wasn’t a table covered with what I imagine were miniature golden calves, some Ten Commandments keychains, a snow globe with a little ark that flooded when you turned it upside down, maybe a chicken or a turkey just in case you needed to pick something up for dinner while you were buying your sacrilegious knickknacks.  It was a child’s table covered with leftover Cheerios from The Beast’s breakfast.

And it wasn’t because someone was using my living room for blasphemous purposes.  It was because someone threw tiny beads all over the kitchen floor and had an epic fit when instructed to clean up the mess so his mom went temporarily insane and picked up and threw a table.

Somehow, I don’t think God is as pleased with my rearrangement of the furniture as He was with Jesus’.

That’s your Bible lesson for the day.  Do with it what you will.

P.S. I recently deactivated my Facebook account because it turns out that I don’t like most of my Facebook friends, so you’re probably going to be getting more of these stories that I’d normally post on Facebook.  Sorry.  Or, Yay! depending on how you feel about me.

Road trips, STDs and Urine.

How long has it been?  Months?  Years?  Eons?  I wish I could say that I’ve been involved with some fabulous charity work for some very meaningful organizations like Save Orcas with Diabetes or People for the Destruction of Bats and Their Demon-y Habitats, but I haven’t.  I’ve been involved with lots of Pinterest, some Facebook, small amounts of Zillow and Trulia and just a little bit of travel.  But mostly I’m just lazy.

I just returned home from a month of travel.  Lest you think I’m referring to a European holiday traveling via train from beach to village to countryside vineyard whilst eating in adorable cafes and sipping on gourmet lattes, I will describe my holiday.  I spent four weeks traveling via minivan everywhere from Texas to Georgia to South Carolina to North Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Virginia to Jacksonville Beach, Florida and then finally to Disney World.  At no time did I eat in an adorable cafe.  I did eat at a disgusting Burger King, if that counts for anything.

My road trip diet would cause the 100 Days of Real Food lady to gag and probably report me to CPS.  I do not bake homemade granola for road trips.  I pack commercial-sized bags of trail mix that have sugar listed as the second ingredient right after hydrogenated oil.  I do not pack fruit.  Fruit is juicy and messy and is often shaped like a ball that can be pelted at the back of my head at any moment.  I pack fruit snacks full of red dye number 47 and yellow dye number 63.  When I’m on a road trip I’m every child’s dream and every nutritionist’s nightmare.

As usual, none of this has anything to do with my story.  I am kind of hoping that some of you will reassure me that you, too, eat like college students while on road trips.  The only things that differentiate me from a college student are that I’m old and I can’t figure out how to make Ramen in my minivan.  Also, I drive a minivan.

I’m going to bring you into my holiday at the point where I was driving with my mom, dad, The Good One and The Beast in a caravan with my oldest sister and her family.  We were traveling from Richmond, Virginia to Jacksonville Beach, Florida to spend a day at the beach before heading to Disney.

Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?  It wasn’t.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a road trip with me, I really suggest that you just go ahead and turn down that opportunity because, awesome snacks notwithstanding, there is a good chance that your road trip is going to take about 50% longer than it should.

On this trip to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the extended travel time was due to having five people with unsynchronized bladder issues, a very long stop at a Burger King so that The Beast could play for an hour, and a navigation system who was on her period and thought it would be a hoot to send me to my destination via the most circuitous route possible.  You think I’m kidding, but as we approached our hotel in Jacksonville, my van told me to take the exit one mile past the hotel and then circle back via the frontage road to the hotel.  I obediently did what she told me to do, thinking that perhaps there was a one-way street or some other issue that would have prevented me from getting to my hotel should I take the most obvious exit.  There was not.  She’s just a bitch.

So, the Saturday morning before last, after spending 12 hours on what should have been a 9 ½ hour road trip, I pulled my van into the hotel parking lot at 12:35 a.m.  My sister and her family had arrived 90 minutes earlier despite the fact that they left after we did.  Their van wasn’t being a bitch.

My sister had picked up our room key and had set up a cot in the room that we would be sleeping in.  The plan was for my mom and dad to share a bed, The Good One and me to share a bed and The Beast to sleep in a cot.  However, upon getting to the room, my sister informed us that her room had recently been sprinkled with a carpet freshener (likely because someone died on the floor) and that when she entered the room, her lips went numb.  My mom has asthma and there was no way that she was going to be able to sleep in that room without being intubated, so we decided we’d all hunker down together.

My mom and dad climbed into bed and were asleep within minutes.   The Good One and I were in bed, The Beast was on the cot and my sister was on a chair.  The Good One did offer to sleep on the chair, but my sister insisted that she sleep there.  So for five minutes that’s how we lay.

Then The Beast decided that he’d rather sleep with me in the bed.  So up he crawled.  The Good One climbed into the cot and my sister climbed into the bed with The Beast and me.  Now, the cot that The Good One climbed into was not a full-sized cot.  It was a Star Wars cot meant for a toddler, not a 10-year-old who is over 5 feet tall, so The Good One had a very difficult time getting comfortable.  He shifted and shimmied and tossed and turned for what seemed like 390 days, and then my sister said, “Good One, why don’t you sleep across the foot of the bed.”

The Good One said, “Thanks, that cot is really uncomfortable,” and he curled up on the bottom of our bed.  We all settled back down and looked forward to rest.  Sadly, because of the two Dr. Peppers that The Good One’s mother allowed him to consume in the midst of the eat-whatever-the-hell-you-want portion of our road trip, he could not stop moving.

Now, this was annoying to me.  But to my sister who, in addition to having reactive lips, also has an actual hole in her skull that causes her brain to push against her ear drum to the point that any motion while lying down makes her sick, the constant motion was likely to induce vomiting.  I will not even tell you the bedtime activities she has had to excuse herself from to go to the bathroom and vomit.  But she is married and you can use your imagination.

We all lay there hoping that the movement would stop soon when suddenly there was a loud clunk followed by an “Owww!”  The Good One had tossed and turned himself right out of the bed.  My sister, seizing the opportunity to get out of the Bed of Imminent Vomiting, said, “Good One, come sleep up here and I’ll sleep in the chair.”

So again we shifted.  There we were, now at 2:00 in the morning, half of the room sound asleep and snoring so loudly that I wished I had hearing aids just so I could remove them, the other half praying to fall asleep.

At some point we all fell asleep because at 7:00 a.m., despite the darkness in the room, The Beast’s Internal Clock of Suck awoke him and told him to ask for cereal.  I attempted to quietly get dressed and take him to the lobby for breakfast, but The Beast doesn’t do quiet and he woke up my mom, dad, The Good One, and my sister who was now sleeping on the cot intended for a toddler.

We all got ready, ate breakfast, met up with my brother-in-law, niece and nephew who had slept soundly in the room with the carpet freshener that would have shut down my mother’s lungs and caused my sister’s lips to turn blue and fall clean off of her face, and headed for a day of fun at the beach.

We actually did have a great time at the beach.  For about 4 hours The Beast played in the sand and in the ocean.  “Played” is the wrong word.  He attacked the ocean.  He would walk out to the point in the ocean where the waves were breaking and he would kick and punch the ocean in an epic battle of strength.  He does all things with gusto.

The Good One rented a boogie board and rode waves with his cousins.  He does not attempt to fight the ocean.

At about 3:00 in the afternoon, The Beast was starting to show the effects of no sleep and lay his head in the sand.  We packed up our stuff and headed back to the hotel.  I gave The Beast a shower, fed him Chick-fil-a (the food crapfest continued) and he was asleep in the hotel room by 5:50 p.m.  I said a prayer of thanks and enjoyed the silence.

At about 7:00 my mom and dad returned to the room and stayed with The Beast while my sister and I went shopping.  The Good One was off with his cousins and uncle and was going to spend the night in their room, and my sister was going to sleep with The Beast and me.

My sister and I returned to the hotel room at about 9:30.  My mom said that The Beast had woken once and asked for milk and went right back to sleep.  I was excited for the delicious sleep I was about to enjoy.  We all got ready for bed and by 10:00 my dad was sleeping quietly and my mom was snoring loudly enough to guide ships into a foggy harbor.

(My sister actually taped my mother snoring so that she could play it back for her in the morning.  When she heard it my mom said, “That’s your dad.”  It was so not my dad.)

I cuddled up to the sleeping Beast and fell asleep.  At about 4:00 a.m. The Beast started tossing and turning.  He’d rest his head on me and then flip over to my sister and rest on her.  He shifted and moved for about 10 minutes and then snuggled up to me and said, “Mom, can you get me new underwear?“

I chuckled to myself that he was talking about underwear in his sleep and made a mental note to tell my family what he said in the morning.  Then I noticed the unmistakable warmth of urine on my left butt cheek.

I jumped out of bed hoping to be only a little bit wet, but considering The Beast had not peed for 12 hours and had let loose in the bed, it was a miracle we didn’t drown.  The Beast and I were both wet from hip to ankle.  The only dry spots on the bed were the foot of the bed and where my sister had been sleeping but was now awake and enjoying the midnight showing of everyone’s favorite comedy, “Sweet Frack, How Much Urine Can Your Bladder Hold!?”

My sister was very careful not to move out of her dry spot.  I placed a towel over the wet spot on the mattress, changed The Beast and put him in the cot.  I changed into the pair of pajama pants I had bought just the night before.  Yes, I put on unwashed pajamas.  I was sopping wet and my choices were nudity or jammies with factory lice on them.  I went with the pjs.

I held The Beast’s hand until he fell asleep and then settled in on top of the comforter at the foot of the bed.  I closed my eyes, anticipating rest, when suddenly I had a vision of all of the God-forsaken things people could possibly do at the foot of a bed.  I saw naked, skeevy, hairy men waiting anxiously for their Hampton Inn hooker to come out of the bathroom.  I envisioned disgusting, horny teenagers doing whatever the hell teenagers do nowadays.  I imagined the bedroom scenes of all of the R-rated movies I had ever watched in my life, and I knew instantly that I was sleeping on dried semen and derrière juice.  (Sorry, I know that’s vile.  I really don’t know how to put it in a ladylike manner.)

However, since the mattress on my side of the bed was wet with approximately 2 gallons of urine, my only option was to stay where I was and just pray that they sell antibiotics for face syphilis.  So I lay my head back down and passed out.

At 7:00 in the morning, The Beast’s Internal Clock of Suck woke him up and told him to ask for cereal.   He was very excited because he knew that after breakfast we were heading to Disney World and he was going to get to see Virginia Slims Man, whom we hadn’t seen in two weeks.

I was excited to see Virginia Slims Man too, because then he could take care of the kids while I sought out alcohol and a Disney World doctor who specializes in VD of the cheek.

So we all ate breakfast, hopped in our minivans and headed for a week at Disney World.

Heads up, The Magic Kingdom, unlike the other parks at Disney World, is dry.

Happiest place on earth, my ass.

Safe travels.

P.S.  Various forms of the verb “lay” appear in this post.  I’m nearly certain I used the wrong form in every instance.  I was an English major but did not master that aspect of grammar.  I was too lazy to look it up.  You’ll deal with it.

My Morning — A Post-ette

7:40 a.m.  –  The time that I normally leave the house to drop the boys off at school.

7:42 a.m. –  The time we got into the car this morning.

7:43 a.m. –  The time that The Good One — heretofore known as The Son Formerly Known As The Good One But Based On All The Dip-&*it Stuff He’s Been Doing Lately Is Now Known As The One Whose Dingbattiness Is Getting On My Last Nerve — informed me that he had to take a sack lunch for their field trip today.

7:44 a.m. –  The time I ran back into the house and packed a lunch in under a minute.  It’s possible The One Whose Dingbattiness Is Getting On My Last Nerve is having a box of uncooked mac-n-cheese and a stack of post-it notes for lunch today.

Ask me if I care if he breaks a tooth on an uncooked noodle.

Hint:  I do not.

8:14 a.m. –  The time I got back home and contemplated putting wine in my oatmeal.

About Boys

Warning: Long post ahead.  Go grab a cup of coffee, maybe a snack.  You might want to get a Gatorade to replenish electrolytes.

If you regularly read this blog, you have likely discerned by now that I’m a female.

If you haven’t figured that out yet, then I question whether it was your cat or dog that helped you to get online to read this.

I’m starting out with the mean today.  Forgive me.  Or don’t.  I don’t really care.

Anyway, as a girl who grew up with four sisters, a mother and a father who likely sprouted a uterus the minute his last daughter was born, I know lots of things about girls.  It’s part of the reason I have so few friends.  Girls can really be kind of annoying.  Girls like to eat pretty food and post pictures of it, their cats and coffee mugs on Facebook.  Guess what?  That picture you posted of your “super-cute” coffee mug just sucked up a pixel of my brain’s available memory.  I will never be able to erase it and free up that pixel for other more worthy images. Thanks a lot.

If I ever post a picture of a mug that isn’t in some way ironic or a picture of a plate of food that doesn’t have an actual severed human thumb in it, you have permission to punch me.

While I do not do those annoying Facebook things, I’m annoying in a host of other ways.

Anyway, adopting two boys and being married to a boy, I was a little surprised to learn how genetically different boys are from girls.

I’ve been compiling a list of some basic boy truths that will help you navigate the raising of your boys.  If you have only girls, perhaps this list will give you some insight into why the moms of boys are always drunk.

You really need to print this out and save it for future reference.  You might consider framing it and giving it to all of your pregnant friends.  It’s so full of boy-parenting genius that I should write a book about parenting boys and get a Nobel Prize in Literature.  Maybe even a Nobel Peace Prize.  (They’re different things, right?)

Ready?  Here we go.

1.  Boys smell.  All. The. Time.  Sometimes they smell like outside.  Sometimes they smell like sweat.  Sometimes they smell like rancid feta cheese mixed with wet, mangy dog.  Sometimes when I’m doing the laundry, I will empty The Good One’s hamper to try to locate what smells like a month-old ham sandwich or maybe a dead rodent.  I never find anything.  The point is, boys always smell.  And it’s never like cherry blossoms and unicorn farts.  Usually it’s actual farts.   This leads to point number 2.

2.  Boys fart.  A lot.  And they find it hysterical.  They may say “excuse me” after they do it because you’ve beat into them that they need to have manners, but in reality they think the fact that they can expel air out of their butts is a riot.

3.  Boys will say the word “fart” and it will be their favorite word.  “Fart” is to boys as “shopping” is to girls.  Growing up in a family with 6 women and a father who sacrificed his Y chromosome at the altar of Tampaxia, The Goddess of Estrogen, we were never allowed to say “fart.”  We would say, “Did you gas?” or “Who tooted?”  These genteel phrases were Estrogen-approved.

However, the minute there is a boy child in the house, the word “fart” will become commonplace.

One of my sisters, Terri, originally had only daughters.  Then about 2 years ago she had a son.  Before her son really started talking, we were visiting and The Beast said “fart.”  Terri said in shock, “Do you let him say that word?”  And I said, “Honey, you have a son now.  I guarantee you that that word will be spoken in your house.  You can try to fight it, but even if you make that a no-no word, the minute you walk out of the room, your son will start saying ‘fart’ as if it’s the only word in his vocabulary.”

My advice here is to desensitize yourself to the word “fart.”  Otherwise, wear earplugs.  Maybe have your cochlea removed.

4.  To a boy, if a toy has wheels and can be sat upon, it is a bumper car.  If we’re in the driveway (or the kitchen, for that matter) and The Beast sits on his tricycle and I sit on the plasma car, It. Is. On.  You might say I’m encouraging the behavior by taking part in it, but I’ve watched The Beast play bumper cars since he was 8 months old.  Boys obviously have a genetic need to bang into things when they’re on wheels.  To me, telling a boy that it is wrong to play bumper cars would be akin to telling a girl that it is wrong to play with Barbie as if she were a fashion model and that instead Barbie should be played with as if she were a ninja assassin.  So my advice to you, should you not want to play bumper cars, is don’t sit on anything with wheels.

5.  If it’s round, it’s a ball.  It will be thrown.  This includes rocks, globes and roundish clumps of dog poop.  You get the picture.

6.  If it looks like a bat, it is a bat.  It will be swung.   You would do well to stay out of the bat’s way.

7.  If it looks like a gun, it is a gun.  This applies to sticks, branches, empty paper towel rolls, action figures, and . . . well, anything can be a gun.  You can choose not to purchase toy guns for your son, and I completely understand why many parents do this.  However, don’t assume that just because you’re not purchasing toy guns means he’s not playing with guns.  He’s got an imagination: He’s playing with guns.  You can tell him not to shoot at people, of course, but that crayon you just handed him?  A gun.  A wooden spoon?  A gun.  The dog dish?  A gun.

Or maybe my kids are just violent.  I don’t know.

8.  The having of a penis and the ability to change an empty toilet paper roll are mutually exclusive.  Fortunately, this genetic defect can be overcome with extensive behavior modification therapy. photoMy boys are obviously still in therapy.

9.  If they climb it, they will jump off of it.  This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, counter tops, tables, trampolines, play forts, swings, appliances, shelves, bathtubs and ladders.

10.  They have one speed.  It’s called running.  Walking is a skill they learn later in life after being screamed at repeatedly.  They especially like to run near moving vehicles.  Often AT moving vehicles.  They are dog-like in that way.  Lectures on becoming “Flat-[insert name here]” are helpful in this area.

11.  They eat dinner on the edge of their seats as if they are running late for a very important meeting.   You can tell them to sit properly on the chair, but within seconds they will again have approximately 1 square inch of ass cheek in contact with the chair.  My advice here is to save your breath.  After they fall out of the chair enough times, this behavior will correct itself.

12.  Dirt is a boy’s idea of heaven.  (Until he reaches puberty and then his idea of heaven will be boobs.)  Have you ever watched your son when he first catches a glimpse of a pile of dirt?  And then have you ever watched your son as you tell him he’s not allowed to play in the dirt?  His countenance will turn from one of excitement and euphoria to one of despair and confusion.  You will see in his eyes an internal battle begin to rage as he tries to resist temptation and obey your orders.  This will require him to overcome the desire to do what every cell in his body and synapse in his brain is telling him to do: play in the dirt.  It’s almost cruel to expect him to be around dirt and not let him play in it.

Is it convenient to have to bathe your son (or hose him off) so frequently?  No.  Wouldn’t it be nice if boys hated to be dirty like most girls do?  Yes, it would.  But if you let your son play in that dirt, he will be occupied for hours and will be utterly and completely happy.

If your son is reaching puberty, reread the above paragraphs and replace the word “dirt” with “boobs” and you’ll be getting the same sage advice.  (Actually, I just did that and the resulting advice is kind of skeevy.  “If you let your son play in the boobs, he will be occupied for hours and will be utterly and completely happy.”  While that’s true, it’s not really the best parenting advice.)

13.  To a boy, the only thing better than dirt is mud.  If your son is an adolescent, you know what “mud” is and I suggest a lecture on STDs complete with graphic photos.

14.  If you build it, they will knock it down.  You can choose to get angry about their destructive nature, or you can roll with it and make it part of the game.  However, choosing to get angry really doesn’t do you any good because they are going to keep knocking your crap down whether you like it or not.  My suggestion here is never to build anything of value near your son.

15.  They are happiest when they are teetering ever so slightly on the brink of disaster.  You can put them in bubble wrap and force them to stay firmly planted on the ground at all times, but they won’t be happy.  The Beast loves nothing more than to climb the rock wall to the top of our 8-foot-high play set and then lean over the edge.  He loves to climb on top of our 6-foot privacy fence and dangle one leg on our side and one on our neighbor’s side.  Both boys love to sit on cardboard boxes and slide down our steps at Mach speed.

I’m not saying that you should permit your sons to do whatever dangerous thing they feel like doing, but you should know that those moments are the ones that make them the most happy.  My advice here is to invest in high-quality helmets.

And there you have it.  This list is far from exhaustive, but I’m over 2,000 words and even I can’t stand myself enough to read that much of my rambling.

But I do have one last thought:  I think boys today get a bad rap.  Sometimes even by me.

Society’s idea of proper childhood behavior seems to be geared towards girls, and I think that’s because girls resemble adults more closely than boys do.  Girls are generally more calm and composed and not nearly as dirty and physical and loud as boys.  However, I don’t think that that means that the way girls play and behave is necessarily better or more right that the way boys play and behave.

If a boy and a girl are playing in a room and the girl is quietly having a tea party with her dollies while the boy is crashing his cars into his blocks or banging his army men into each other in a mock war, we say, “Oh, she plays so nicely.”  What that really means, to me, is “Oh, she plays like a calm little adult.”

We naturally appreciate that behavior because it’s peaceful and it’s how we as adults behave.  But that boy who is sitting on the floor crashing things into other things and making explosion sounds really is playing just as nicely as the girl.  We just don’t appreciate it as much.

And when a little boy and a little girl are playing together, and the little boy starts banging his toys together and making a ton of noise and the little girl starts to get upset, we usually make the little boy play differently (or at least I have always done that), and really, I don’t think that’s right.  Honestly, I think it makes more sense to have boys and girls play separately than to ask one of them to behave in a way that is completely against their nature.

Why do we (I) never ask the little girl to accept that when playing with a boy, there will be dirt and noise and a big, giant mess?  I obviously want my boys to grow up to be chivalrous gentlemen, but I also want to balance that with the understanding that boys will be boys.

My point here isn’t to offend you if you have daughters.  I pray that they are sweet and peaceful and smell of sunshine and unicorn farts.

But I hope that you’ll understand why I let my boys be gross, smelly, dirty, loud boys.

It’s part of who they are and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.

Now, go Ctrl-P this sucker and start giving it away.

As always, you are welcome.

This is why I drink.

A conversation with The Beast

Me:  Beast, it’s time to clean up your toys and get ready for bed.

Beast:  What are toys?

Me:  Toys are those things you play with, like your trains and cars.

Beast:  What are cars?

Me:  Cars are vehicles that people drive.

Beast:  What’s a vehicle?

Me:  A vehicle is anything that is used to move things around, like cars and trucks and airplanes.

Beast:  What’s an airplane?

Me:  An airplane is a vehicle that flies in the air.

Beast:  What’s air?

Me:  Air is the oxygen that we breathe.

Beast:  What’s breathe?

Me:  Breathing is when you take in air through your mouth and nose and fill up your lungs.

Beast:  What are lungs?

Me:  Lungs are organs in our bodies that help us breathe and stay alive.

Beast:  What’s alive?

Me:  Alive means not dead.

Beast:  What’s dead?

Me:  It means you don’t breathe anymore.

Beast:  What’s breathe?

Me:  Dear Lord in heaven, PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME ANY MORE QUESTIONS!!

Beast:  What’s heaven?

Whoever said that we should answer our children’s questions and do things to spark their curiosity is a top-notch Nimrod who evidently didn’t have a 3-year-old who liked to ask questions just to piss off his mom.

From now on, no one in my house is allowed to ask a question.  If you’re in my house and you’re curious about something, feel free to step outside onto my porch and ask Siri or Google, but if you ask a question I will punch you in the face.

Amen.

Ass Turned on the TV

If Virginia Slims Man (VSM) and I ever get a divorce I’m certain that the divorce filing will read:

Grounds for Divorce:  Husband turned on television while Wife was sleeping and woke her up, knowing full well that Wife is not able to fall asleep as easily as narcoleptic Husband.  Wife then picked up iPad that was sitting on bedside table and attempted to bludgeon Husband to death with it.  Wife seeks spousal support, child support and a new iPad.  Husband seeks restraining order and would like to press attempted murder charges against Wife.  Husband also requests that he not be required to purchase new iPad for Wife seeing as how he bought her the first one and she tried to kill him with it. 

I should have been a lawyer.  Or at the very least I should write for one of the Law & Orders.

In all honesty, Virginia Slims Man has been incredibly considerate of my relatively new sleep issues.  In the past, I could fall asleep easily and stay asleep, regardless of the noise and light level in the room.  But for some reason, I think related to the acquisition of children, the TV now drives me nuts.

I do sometimes like to watch a show in bed.  But my goal is to watch a show, start to finish, not to make myself sleepy so that I can then fall asleep in the middle of the show.  So I’ll go into the bedroom, turn on the TV, watch my show, turn off the TV and then fall asleep.  You know, how a normal human being does it.

Virginia Slims Man, however, sees the TV as a 32-inch, electronic binky that he uses to lull himself to sleep.  This process takes a little over a minute, but because the timer on our TV cannot be set for less than 30 minutes, I then have to suffer for 28 to 29 more minutes while waiting for the TV to turn off on its own, or I have to molest VSM in an attempt to locate the remote control to turn off the TV myself.

A few months ago I explained to VSM that either something was going to have to change regarding the TV or one of us was moving out of the bedroom.  We discovered that if I’m in a full, dead-to-the-world sleep, then his turning on the TV doesn’t bother me.  Or, if I’m wide awake when he comes to bed to watch TV, if he falls asleep within a few minutes, then it’s really not a big deal for me to find the remote (taking care not to touch him in his special places because if I accidentally do that it creates a whole host of other issues that interfere with my sleep) and turn off the TV.

The big deal is when he enters the room just as I’ve just drifted off to sleep.  I’m not in a deep enough sleep for it to stick, and if he turns the TV on and wakes me up, then I cannot fall back to sleep.

With that knowledge, our sleep issues have greatly improved.  He’s been very careful to make sure I’m either fully awake or fully asleep when he turns the TV on, and really we haven’t had an issue over the last few months.

But last night I contemplated throwing my bedside lamp at the TV and then strangling him with our sheets.

You see, The Beast’s sleep is all jacked up.  He says there are ghosts in his room.  I think he’s been watching too much Scooby Doo, but that explanation does nothing to calm him in the middle of the night.

Last night, at about 11:00, The Beast woke up and called for us.  I was already well on my way to being asleep.  Since VSM had just come into the bedroom and wasn’t yet in bed, he went to The Beast’s room and got him back to sleep.

VSM came back into our room, got into bed and didn’t turn on the TV.  I felt a wave of relief that I wasn’t going to have to kill him for waking me up completely, but then The Beast started fussing again.  Again, VSM got out of bed to calm The Beast back down.  All the while, I was in the semi-conscious state that occurs just before the wine completely knocks me out.

VSM got The Beast calmed down and came back into bed, only this time he turned on the TV.  Now, I completely get why he did it. The Beast has some sort of supernatural ability to sense the exact moment that you have fallen asleep, and it’s at that precise moment that he calls out for you.  He does this two or three times, spaced about five minutes apart, and then he falls back asleep for the rest of the night.

It’s infuriating and exhausting to get in bed, start to fall asleep and then hear him call for you.  In an effort to avoid this frustration, VSM turned on the TV so that he could hopefully stay awake so that when The Beast likely called for him one last time, he wouldn’t be woken from a sleep.  Then once he felt assured that The Beast was down for the night, he was going to turn off the TV.

I should disclose that most of the time my husband is a saint, because 9 times out of 10 when The Beast calls for someone in the middle of the night, it’s VSM who goes in to comfort him.  Part of this is that VSM falls asleep so much easier than I do, so even if he gets out of bed and is fully awake from walking to The Beast’s room, once he’s back in our bed, he’s asleep the minute his head hits the pillow.

The other reason that my husband usually gets up with The Beast is that the monitor is on my side of the bed and VSM doesn’t really hear it, so when The Beast wakes up and calls for either one of us, I kick VSM and say, “He’s calling for you.”  Yes, I lie.

Anyway, none of my husband’s generosity mattered last night when he came to bed and turned on the TV.  I truly have no idea what he was watching, but based on the flashing strobe lights, my closest guess is a documentary on Studio 54.

In my annoyance, I huffed and puffed and yanked my blankets over my head.  I lay there, cursing my husband under my breath for waking me up just as I was falling asleep.  I imagined all of the horrible things I wanted to say to him.  I was now completely awake, yet exhausted, but not able to fall asleep due to the discothèque (That is not even close to how I thought that word would be spelled) that VSM had invited into our bedroom.

After what felt like three hours, but was probably closer to three minutes, I grabbed my blanket and pillow and stormed out of the room.

VSM called out, “I’ll turn it off.”

I exited the room and yelled, “It’s fine!”

It’s never fine.

Since the guest bedroom is a disaster, I went to the couch and tried to fall asleep there.  And while I was no longer at risk for suffering light-induced seizures, I was now awake to stew in my anger. I imagined all of the horrible things I was going to say to my husband in the morning.  I fantasized about how I was going to set up my new room in the guest room.  I was going to make it perfect for me. There would be a wine refrigerator and possibly one of those margarita machines.  There would be a gentle sound machine playing.  There would be a TV, but it would play Psych and The Middle and nothing with Donald Trump or monster catfish.

Then I fell asleep.  I woke up this morning, confused as to why I was on the couch, but then I remembered the night before.  My anger had now dissipated, and I knew that VSM felt badly for waking me up.  I reminded myself that Virginia Slims Man is really a good guy and chewing him out for turning on the TV would serve no purpose.

Plus, I’m a little bit afraid that if I harp on the TV issue too much, he’s going to make me start getting up with The Beast in the middle of the night.

So, if I can overcome my fear of being strangled by it in my sleep, I’m going to get a sleep mask.  And some earplugs.  Possibly talk to my doctor about getting some sleeping pills and anti-seizure medicine.

That said, if you ever read a story in the paper about a double murder in a suburb in Texas where the husband has an iPad-shaped indention in his skull and the wife has a sleep mask wrapped around her neck, you’ll probably be able to surmise what happened. . .

Ass turned on the TV.