Tragically, it was not an epic bout of binge-drinking nor a full eight hours of wild monkey lovin’ that kept me up all night. It was the ear infections of two of my kids. It seemed like as soon as we got one settled down and back asleep, the other would wake up in tears. By two in the morning my four-year-old was in our bed, pressing his feet against my side and flexing his toes, tickling the living hell out of me. Unfortunately, this even happens rather routinely even when he is not sick, hence the reason I call him “Midnight Mason and his Big Toe of Doom” after 9pm. We also end up having quality conversations in the middle the night that go something like:
Mason (at a volume that could drive a wooly mammoth to the brink of incontinence): “Dad! My ear hurts!”
Me: “Mkjumph ingu phunk duuuuuuuuu………What?”
Mason (even louder): “My ear hurts!”
Me (louder than Mason): “I’M SURE YELLING AT ME AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS WILL MAKE IT FEEL MUCH BETTER!”
Mason: Starts to whimper.
Wife: “What’s the matter with you! You’re going to wake up the baby!”
Me: “Well he started it!”
Wife: “I don’t care! Act like an adult! Act like a father!”
Me: “Fine. Mason! Go to your room!”
Wife: “You’re an ass.”
Mason: “Yeah Dad, you’re an ass!”
At this point I’m savoring the moment since my wife often chastises me for adding more color to the children’s vocabulary. I rolled out of bed, turned to my wife and said. “Great. That’s some really classy language to be teaching the kids.”
Wife (fuming and ignoring me because she knows I’m right): “Come up here Mason and rest with us until your ear feels better.”
Mason: Crawls into bed with a wide smile directed right at me which is his equivalent of flipping me “the bird”.
Me (not willing to let this swearing thing go yet): “Mason, that’s a bad word. That’s one of those ones that you’re not allowed to say.”
Mason: “Like ‘Bucket’?”
Wife: “Bucket? Bucket’s not a bad word.”
Mason: “Dad said it was.”
Me (wracking my memory): “When did I say that?”
Mason: “In the car. You said it and then told me not to say it.”
I then remembered being in the car with Mason. We were going to pick up dinner and I got distracted by a phone call from work. After hanging up, he was being so quiet in back that I just momentarily forgot that he was there. Then the moron in front of me slammed on her breaks for absolutely no reason that I could discern. There were no streets, lights, signs, cops or any other cars on the road other than me. The only thing I could think of was that maybe she saw the goat sucker thing too. Marveling at her stupidity and angered by the fact that the bimbo forced me to lock up my breaks as well, I let out an impromptu expletive before remembering that my son was in the backseat.
Me: “Oh. I didn’t say ‘Bucket’. I said fu……”
I was interrupted by my wife instantly shooting upright in bed with her eyes opened so wide that they had reached inhuman, squid-like proportions. I knew right there that if I stayed in that room, the next couple of hours would have been spent receiving a verbal bludgeoning and the only hope I had of getting back to sleep was to go somewhere else. I ripped my pillow off of my bed and just before trudging off downstairs to living room couch, I said, “Ahhhhh, Buck-et!”