The Intruder

I often like to imagine that our household doesn’t fit into the typical “couple with young kids” stereotype. I puff out my chest and can rattle off a list of things like how interesting our kids are, how artsy they’ve become, that one can beat adults at a game of chess and the other has a sense of style like…well…Betsey Johnson maybe? I like to separate my kids from the herd in saying that they’re polite and well behaved and are burning through books and not greedy and whiny and obsessed with video games and Disney princesses. The truth is that they’re typical and that we do fit into the stereotypes. I live off of coffee, own a lot of yoga pants, and know the theme songs to way too many cartoons. We buy McDonald’s, we YouTube pop songs to dance around to, we let them play video games and they whine and cry and demand. We even have ground up Cheerios in our living room rug! I suppose part of it is that I don’t like falling into what everyone thinks living with young kids is like. It’s a picture that’s painted with equal parts repulsion and curiosity. Why would people ever have kids? *blech*

They interfere with your body, your bank account, your lifestyle and your sleep.

Ah, your sleep. Your precious sleep. Since having kids I find that I don’t sleep well. I’m either stressed, physically sore from stress, having bizarre dreams about them growing extra limbs and failing math tests or sleeping with one ear open in case there are midnight tummy aches and teething. A good deep sleep is now a precarious thing.

Last night I must have been having a dip into the elusive REM cycle when some subconscious alarm went off. I opened my eyes a crack and saw a dark shadowy figure standing right by my head. Natrually, because I was completely freaked out of my mind thinking I was about to die, I started yelling loudly which alerted my soundly sleeping husband to the present danger. Being a police officer, his adrenalin and hyper-vigilance went into overdrive with his need to subdue the threat to my person. He lunged his upper body over me and grabbed the shadowy figure, pulling them onto the bed. As he was about to unleash his fists of fury onto the burglar we realized it was Amelia. She’d had a nightmare and came upstairs for some comfort. Poor child. Afterwards she told me that she had been quietly saying “mommy” trying to wake me up when I started screaming and James attacked her.

Needless to say, Amelia managed to get to sleep after that. James and I tossed and turned, trying to find space to get comfortable without knees and elbows and stuffed animals. It didn’t happen.

Our lives will calm down eventually, when the kids are older and independent. For now, we fit most of the stereotypes…except for the mini-van. We’re fighting that one until the bitter end.


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