Wake Up, Brother!

Hal (and his bedding) are very fortunate that he is so adept at leaning over the side of the bed when he throws up.

Can’t say the same for his older brother and the dog who sleep in the perpendicular bottom bunk beneath him.

What I can say is that, considering it can’t be fun to wake up to being splattered by falling vomit, Daryl handles the situation with considerable patience and good grace. Especially since it has now happened twice.

The dog does well too. Even goes right to work trying to help clean it all up. Although she needed some help with the stuff on the top of her head, and she seemed a bit concerned that she might be in trouble.

And for anyone wondering why we have a sick Kindergartener sleeping in a top bunk… he’s not sick. At least, not with a stomach virus. He has a lot of mucous build up. He gets to coughing and gags on the mucous and then… wake up, brother! The boys chose the sleeping arrangements and both are happy. Although Daryl might start reconsidering the merits of the top bunk.

Up and Down and In and Out

My boys have a rather strange obsession.  Actually, they have two obsessions, both related to hotel occupancy.  The first is the desire, no… the need, to push elevator buttons.  The second is to use the room key to open the door to our room.  Both were on fine display while we spent the week in Knoxville, TN for the Destination Imagination Global Finals.

They will fight to a rather ridiculous degree over who gets to do what and try to rush past each other to beat the other to the button.  Hal has even been known to burst into tears because his brother pushed the button.  Pushing it after it is already lit up is not satisfactory.  They each have to be the one that actuates the button.

My husband came up with a rather nifty compromise.  On the first day, he declared one the button pusher and the other the door opener.  He explained that they would alternate each day.

This worked for… oh, I don’t know… approximately half a day.  And then Hal couldn’t stand to let his brother push the button in the elevator.  He rushed in and pushed the button, apparently deciding that asking for forgiveness was better than permission.  As such, he was told that he would be performing neither activity for the rest of the day.  He was devastated, his brother quiet.

The fights baffled us.  I mean, it’s just a button.  The fights began to spill out to the crosswalks as well.  Sometimes we didn’t know whether to laugh or scream.  And then one day, we found ourselves alone in the elevator.

My mom and her boyfriend had taken the boys to the zoo.  After eating lunch with them, we returned to the hotel for some much needed down time.  We walked into the elevator and then both stood there silently. Eventually, he asked if I was going to push the button.  I startled and glanced at the panel, surprised that the button wasn’t already pushed.

I laughed at the stark difference the lack of children made.  Who was there to push the buttons?!

Sleeping Alone

Daryl spent the night at a friend’s house last night. He’s done this before but it’s been awhile. Hal doesn’t like it. Not one bit. He’s very accustomed to having his brother in the room with him. He said he was scared when we put him to bed and we told him he’d be fine.

Sometime after my husband left to pick up Jane from her outing with a friend, I thought I heard Hal’s door open. I gazed down the hall but saw nothing. I turned back to the computer. Time passed. Then my chair moved ever so slightly. Hal was hiding behind my chair.

“I’m scared Mommy. I don’t like Bubba being gone.”

I had him lay on the guest bed nearby until I finished the night’s blog post. Then I carried him back to his room.

“You know,” I said, as I tucked him back in, “when Bubba was about your age…” I was about to tell him that his Bubba had slept in a room by himself, but then it dawned on me that five years ago, I was about to give birth to Hal. We had already moved Jane into Daryl’s room so we could turn her room into Hal’s nursery. But, wait! That means…

“You know what, Hal?”


“Did you know you slept in a room by yourself when you were a little baby?”


“Yep. You slept in a room by yourself until you were about 2 or 3 years old. Sissy’s room used to be yours.”

He got a big smile on his face. “I did?”

“Yep. So, see? You’ve done it before. You are just scared now because you aren’t used to it. But it’ll be ok. I wouldn’t put a baby in a room by himself if it wasn’t safe, would I? And I wouldn’t do it to you now. You’ll be fine. I promise. Just remember when you get scared that you’ve done it before, even if you don’t remember. Ok?”

He snuggled into his blanket like he was willing to give it a shot, but then, speaking very slowly as if working it out in his head, he said, “Well, Mommy, maybe when I was two I was really brave and now that I’m four, I’m not very brave at all.”

“Oh, sweetheart. You are just as brave now as you were then. You just didn’t know anything different then. I bet if we grew another bedroom on this house and moved you into your own room, you’d stop being scared in no time. You just aren’t used to it, that’s all.”

With that, I gave him a hug and left him to face the monstrous silence of an empty room. Alone.