I was getting ready for bed when a kid knocked on the bathroom door to ask me something really important. “Just a sec,” I said, figuring it was Graham needing to run in and pee. He gets trapped in the bedtime water cycle:
But I opened the door and Nicolaus was there pacing, waiting patiently to ask me a question.
Which he knows I have no interest in or knowledge about beyond “that thing my kid likes”, but maybe he figured I would get excited about looking something up on my phone — a reasonable bet seeing as I grew up using microfiche and card catalogs and haven’t ever gotten over the high of instant looking up of stuff. Instead I hugged him and bounced him back to bed. “We will talk about this in the morning.”
A little later I let the dog out, and he joined me out on the porch to laugh about this ridiculous abridged graphic novel version of The Hobbit hahaha it leaves out something important in this one conversation, well, I mean not IMPORTANT but it sounds better with those two words you know?
Once I was all settled in bed, he tapped quietly on our bedroom door and came in to tell me the rules of his new elf story that is based on the elves from the hobbit but they aren’t the same elves, so now he needs to make up a language for them and here are the rules he’s come up with so far, and so “Want to hear me translate something? -CK is pronounced like a long A sound. All Es are replaced by N sounds, including silent ones but that makes a slightly different kind of N sound. And TH will now be said like ITH. So say the phrase “The feather is under the brick” which is just a random thing I am saying that doesn’t really mean anything about anything, I mean it’s not from my story or whatever but say that’s the sentence? It would be “Ithn fne-ithner is undnr ithn bray.”
We are constantly reassuring this kid that he is not in trouble. He often assumes any level of “nope, sorry” or “Hey, please don’t do that” means we are mad at him or he’s in trouble. So I feel a little bad that I reassured him that if he did not go to bed and stay in bed and never get out of bed again until the wee hour of 9 a.m. released him from bed then he would be in TROUBLE. But it didn’t faze him. No wet eyes blinking back tears, no stressing at all. Just: “Okay, sorry. I am also thinking that there’s no need to have the letter K really at all? I mean we have a C already and it can do both the K sound, well really AND the S…”
“I know! Just one more thing I promise! If someone uses a silent K then it wouldn’t make sense to –”
“STOP. I love you. It is after one in the morning. BIG TROUBLE NOW.”
“Okay, okay, goodnight…”
“Can I get some paper?”
“So I can write down some notes?”
“For in the morning so I won’t forget –?”
“From your printer?”
“YES. Now GO OR TROUBLE.”
And he did, he went to bed and slept until 5:30 in the morning when he whispered. “Mama? Did you charge the ipad? I want to listen to that podcast by the Tolkein professor…”
This is when I remembered something: I gave my son a nice big glass of unsweet tea with his lunch. He seemed really exhausted from a weekend social-a-thon and I thought it would be a nice treat. Perk him up a little bit! Awesome idea! I’m basically a genius at parenting! What’s the worst that could happen?