Monday, March 19, 2012

See Mama Again


A dog snores in the distance. Everyone in the house is asleep. Or should be.
Suddenly 2-year-old TODDLER's wail pours through a baby monitor.

TODDLER “MAMA!” (pause) “Ma-maaaaaaaaaa!”

DADA: What the --?  What was that?

MAMA: I think you know.

DADA: The apocalypse?

MAMA: We should be so lucky.

DADA: An hour and a half early? I guess he doesn't know it was St. Patrick's Day last night. 

MAMA: We haven’t celebrated St. Patty’s Day since the Little Dude was born.

DADA: I know, but after only 4 hours of sleep I feel almost as wiped out as if I’d had 10 Guinness’s last night.

DADA: I'll get him. 

MAMA: Good idea -- zzzzzzzzzz


Tired DADA shuffles in to find TODDLER standing at attention. Whimpering ensues. From Dudes both Big and Little.

DADA: What's the problem, little man?

TODDLER: See Mama?

DADA: She’s resting, but it's OK, Dada's here. What's wrong? 

TODDLER: See Mama?

DADA: Mama's sleeping, like most of L.A.; did you have a bad dream?

TODDLER: See Mama Again! 

DADA: So, tell me, what do you really want?

(Crying ensues. TODDLER is extracted from crib.)

DADA: Here's the deal: you can stay in your crib and sleep, we can rest in your rocking chair or (under his breath) you can rest in Mama and Dada's bed. 

TODDLER: Mama Dada Bed!

DADA: You can only go in there if you are going to rest. Are you going to close your eyes and go back to sleep? 

TODDLER: (Emphatically) Yes! Yes!

DADA: Yeah, you seem tired.

INT. MAMA & DADA'S BED: 6:10am

MAMA:  Are you sleepy, Little Dude? 

TODDLER: Yes, me rest eyes.

MAMA: OK, Mama rest eyes, too. 

DADA: Goodnight everyone.

(TODDLER lies down and closes eyes. The room goes silent. Out of fear, MAMA & DADA don't make a sound.)

TODDLER: See Buzz and Woody! 

DADA: Buzz and Woody are sleeping now. Probably because they know that they’ll be blown up by Sid if they don’t. Let's go back to sleep, dude. 

TODDLER: See Mickey Mouse? 

DADA: Mickey and Minnie were out late last night for St. Patrick's Day. They threw a big bash at the Clubhouse. They're sleeping, too.

TODDLER: See Mama Again! 

MAMA (from 6 inches away): I'm right here.

(For 5 minutes a game of pinball occurs in the bed. MAMA on one side. DADA on the other. Both semi-comatose. TODDLER bounces back and forth between them, as though he’d just chugged a case of Red Bull)

MAMA: Do you want to sleep or play?


DADA: OK, I'll take this one. Then you'll only be up 600 morning shifts on me. 

MAMA:  600? You're getting warm...


Lights are low, toys are flying. TODDLER is squealing with delight. DADA is catatonic.

DADA: DADA is going to play “sleep in the rocking chair”. Do you want to play, too?

TODDLER: No sleep. Read books. 

DADA: OK, you read and I'll watch you. With my eyes closed. 

TODDLER: No, Dada read books!

DADA: (grumbles) OK, pick ONE book.

TODDLER: Dis one--

DADA: NOT that one. It has, uh, too many words. 

TODDLER (frowning): See Mama Again!

DADA: In a little bit. She’s resting.

TODDLER: Choo Choo time? 

DADA: OK, Dada is going to lie down & you can drive the trains on my back. 

TODDLER: Dada is train track?

DADA: Yup. Wake me up, I mean, let me know when you are finished. Hopefully in an hour or two.

7 minutes later, DADA is woken up by Thomas the Train plowing into his ear canal.

TODDLER: See Mama Again?

DADA: Let's, uh, play with your dinosaurs.

TODDLER: No dinosaurs!

DADA: Elmo?


DADA: Aren't you tired? 

TODDLER: No tired! 

After a few more minutes of negotiation, TODDLER lets out a bellowing yawn.

DADA: Are you sure you don't want to rest your eyes for a few minutes?

TODDLER: No rest!

DADA: Since you are up, do you want to go clean the bathroom? If so, go light on the bleach.

TODDLER: No clean!

DADA: So what do you want to do? 


DADA: See Mama Again?


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  1. I miss those times. Really. Love him up when that happens, because I swear you'll miss it. I wouldn't believe it if someone had told me that then, but now I remember those crazy early mornings and wish I could have them back sometimes. Great post!

    1. Even as I know you say it from experience, it's still hard to believe. As a morning person, it's even harder :)
      Thanks for your kind words, P&P!

    2. I am not a morning person either! Never have. I just loved having him want to be with me all the time. He's only 5 and he's already drifting away from me. Wipes off kisses and tries to ward off depressing. :(

    3. Never have been. Damn typos.

    4. That'll change, believe me. I can tell that you are too good of a parent for him to not "get it".

  2. Probably good I'm not a parent. When I read this, my first impulse is ground up Ambien in the kid's apple juice...

    1. My kid won't drink apple juice, so that wouldn't work. Unfortunately, I can't find a cure.

  3. oh have i been there. only my husband NEVER gets out of bed first. (my secret: we let the kid watch tv in our bed weekend mornings.)

    1. As I kindly noted, my wife is waaaaaaaaaay ahead of me in early wake-ups, but I've had 2 in 3 days now (including today) and am ready for a serious nap.

      When this happened sporadically, we would bring him in and put the TV on so we could sleep. But then I think he realized he could wake up early and it meant TV time, so we've had to nix that so it doesn't become a daily occurrence.

  4. Oh Jesus this brought it all back and I'm tired FOR you just reading it! (-:
    So hilarious. Really, and I loved the screenplay format...

    1. Thanks, Ado. I'm glad that you appreciated the format. Just a little twist.

  5. Just my .02, never bring the kid back into the bed! NEVER NEVER NEVER! They never go back to sleep. Feeling the pain, I've got a 2 yo & a nearly 4 yo!

    1. We've learned that the hard way, Jackie. Now we vote on who goes to him.

  6. This just reminds me how much I love sleep...

  7. This gives me flashbacks. I have had a lot of toddlers. You nailed it and made me think that I might have a little PTSD. ; ) Erin

    1. I can't even imagine the flashbacks, since I'm just going through it, but I can't imagine they are very fun. Something else to look forward to, Erin. Thanks.

  8. "You can drive trains on my back" -- you had me laughing from then on. Just to give you a little glimpse of the light at the end of the train tunnel, my twelve-year-old practically goes into a coma when he hits the bed and I practically have to set his room on fire to get him up in the morning. And he was definitely a "let's play at 5:00 AM" toddler. Great post!

    1. I look forward to those days, Louise. They seem a loooooooong time from now, though. Sigh.

  9. Haha! No, they never go back to sleep. Best to just get up and brew a stroooong pot of coffee ;)

  10. from the mother of a toddler who until last week never slept past six a.m., let me say: i feel you. deeply. good luck, friend.

    1. Likewise! Best wishes on that continuing. Is it improving?

  11. How do they learn to lie that they'll go back to sleep and have us fall for it? Mine is 5, this still happens. Loved this post!

    1. Thanks, Michelle. It's something inherent, I guess. If that's how smart he is at 2 (or 5, in your case), what's going to happen in 12-15 years?

  12. We've had those patterned mornings. I do NOT miss them. Right now the kids are on a 6:15 wake-up for the most part. On wonderful mornings they'll play until closer to seven - if it's the weekend. Ahh 45 minutes of bliss!

    1. That is brutal. I guess you are truly living for the weekends, eh?