It’s Better in My Bed

It's Better in My BedSJ has been sick this week. Nothing serious – just a cold. He only had to miss one day of school. He spent the entire day in my bed.  Why wouldn’t he – it’s all better in my bed.

“I wanna sleep in your bed.”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, why do you think so?”
“I don’t know. It just is.”
“I think I know what it is.”
“I think you feel safer there.”
“Yeah. I guess so. Plus, I like your blanket. It’s huge.”

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My Children Have Changed Me

Children out of bed early.My children have made me a different person. Not so different that you would not recognize me if you haven’t seen me in years.  I’m still the same height, about the same weight, and my hair is still black. Well, my hair is another story. I also still enjoy the same hobbies:  sports, writing, reading, and music.

Yet, my boys have changed me. Profoundly.  I don’t mean in the love and protection area either. Though there is an article on about a study which showed that there are “brain changes associated with fatherhood.”  Yes, it’s true: I’ve changed in those ways as well.

But this is not about those types of changes.

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Who Did I Sleep with Last Night?

Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen – that guy always makes me laugh.
Courtesy of

I know that sentence could be part of a movie where guys are all called dude and they are comfortable at the frat house getting drunk on beer. Of course, Seth Rogen would have a role in it.

By the way, as you well know, I am married. I also know that adultery is right up there in on the Mount Rushmore of sins. And I don’t believe in the Dick Van Dyke separate bedrooms for spouses kind of thing.

However, I still want to know who slept in my bed last night?

My boys are not babies. 7 and 9 they are. They are generally happy, energetic, wild, and crazy. Yup. Normal that is.

BR, my 9-year-old can sleep through a storm. Really.  He woke up refreshed the night we were huddled in the basement as Hurricane Sandy bore down on our area.

However, putting him to sleep is another story. It can be a process.  Well, at least we get to have some bonding time.

SJ actually tells us he is ready to go bed. How beautiful is that?

By 10:00 P.M., my house is essentially a kid free zone.  My wife and I are free to do adults things – Whether its watch tv, go on the computer, have a conversation (nice to practice that fine art without interruption), or something more exciting – without interruption.

It’s the down time that everyone – especially crazed parents – need at the end of the day.

Except for some business trips, my wife and I have start every night together in the same bedroom.

Yet, over the past two weeks something has changed.

Morning comes. The alarm rings. I turn and my wife is gone.

Dun, dun, dun. Where has she gone?

Before I can say Perry Mason, I realize I have someone else in my bed.

No, it’s nothing like that. Come on now people, where are your minds? You really need to watch less cable.

Anyway, there’s bulge in the covers at the base of the bed. Or there’s a head leaning on my elbow. Or my blanket is in a jumble.

Who is behind all this nocturnal activity?

Yup, of course you know. It’s my offspring, fruit of my loins, and the cause of my baldness.

The boys have snuck into our bedrooms more often the last couple of weeks than Romeo went to meet Juliet.

Seriously, I think we should have a sign in book at the door to trace the activities.

Regarding these nocturnal visits, there are two huge differences between my wife and I.

First as you noted, I am still waking up in my bed.  A wrecking ball would have to smash through our bedroom window before I am giving up my bed. I need my sleep.

The second thing you may have noted is that I don’t discover we have guests until the next morning. My wife who falls asleep faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100 meters wakes up nearly as easily. “Did a feather just fall?”

Yes, the boys have woken me up a few times over the last couple of weeks and many more over the years. However, I don’t get up.

And yes, I did suck during those years when babies have to be fed during the middle of the night. I’ll take the mid-day feeding thank you very much.

I hope this phase is nearly over and the boys will spend the entire night in their bed. It’s best for them, my wife and me.

Oh yeah, to answer the burning question, my wife gets up and goes to sleep in one of the boy’s bedrooms.  Ain’t that a shame that she has to get up in the middle of the night.

Come to think of it, with a bed of her own, she might be the smartest one of the bunch.

Too Old For This

1:34, 2:18, 3:04, 3:41, 4:00, … This is not a bus schedule, a list of bible sections, or available time slots to have the cable guy come. No, these are the times that BR woke me on Saturday night.

I stopped at 4:00 not because he finally fell asleep. No, I stopped then because I finally got up, told my wife to try and sleep, and I took over trying to get BR back to sleep. I picked out one of his library books, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives by Matthew McElligott, and began reading. Fifty pages later and he was … declaring it morning and time to get up. You thought I was going to say he fell asleep – didn’t you? Oh how I wish you were right!

No luck. One of the blogs I follow is Being Mummy ( One topic that the blogger has written a lot about is the difficulties she and her husband are having getting their child into a good sleep pattern. The baby has been giving them long sleepless nights. I’ve left comments saying, “Good luck, been there, be strong, it will happen eventually, enjoy your 80 ounces of coffee,” etc. While reading the blog and writing the comments, I have felt great relief: Thank G-d my children are past that stage!

After all, my boys are 8 and 5.5. They are way past the up-all-night stage. (The first time BR slept through the night, I told colleagues at work the next day that I had never loved him more.) Sure, I know there is the occasional illness, anxiety, or excitement that may awaken or keep the boys awake a bit – maybe an hour. Nothing a book or lying next to them could not cure. What you may be wondering caused me to be soooooo wrong on Saturday night?

Well, on Sunday morning, BR and I were scheduled to be on the 9:48 a.m. train out of Radburn with our final destination being Trenton, NJ. At Trenton, my Mom was picking him to spend a few days at her condo. We’ll be driving down on Thursday night. This is the longest – by far – that he will be away from us.

How excited is he? And quote.

“Tomorrow will be the second best day of my life.”

“So, you are not coming with me? Or Dad?”

“Of course, I can behave – SJ won’t be there.”

“I’ll only miss you a little bit.”

“You’re not coming with me, right?


So, my parenting expertise gained from years in said role tells me he is ready for this experience. Duuuh.

I’m happy he is excited to spend time with his grandmother. I’m happy he is ready for some independence. I’m happy he is maturing.  Before his next getaway, though, I’ll be spiking his milk and cookies. I need my sleep!