Paternal Care

/ posted in: Family

I stayed up late last night to read.  About an hour after the husband went to bed I heard Z wailing.  You’d think I’d pay attention to that but she is a very accomplished fake crier.  She attempts to use it way too much and this wailing sounded a bit too theatrical to be real.  Besides, I figured her father who was sleeping across the hall from her would hear her and decide it this was worth investigating.

He didn’t wake up.

She progressed to yelling, “DAD!”  No response.  These were not the cries of a child in need.  These were the pissed off screams of someone not getting her way.  We hear that a lot from her.  Again I decided to wait and see if he would hear his offspring bellowing like a mad bull.

He didn’t wake up. His snoring never varied.

Then it started.  The Banshee Wail.  This is a scream she does in a pitch that makes me think she’s trying to communicate with bats combined with the volume of an air raid siren.  You would think that something would have to be bad wrong to use this form of acoustic torture but I’ve heard her Banshee Wail because a cat was sitting in a chair she wanted.  My lack of urgent response is directly related to the number of times she’s done this for no good reason.

(Why, yes, we did read The Boy Who Cried Wolf to her repeatedly when she was younger and she never understood it.  Now she is living it.)

Again, he didn’t wake up.

I walked down the hall contemplating which one of them I was going to kill first.  (Later I realized the correct answer would have been Z.  Her father would have slept through it.)

I opened her door and said, “What’s the problem?”

In a perfectly relaxed tone of voice that the uninitiated would not expect to hear from a child who was trying to break crystal with her voice mere seconds earlier, she said, “I’m awake.”

My brain exploded with profanity.  Maturity tempered it so it came out of my mouth as a barely sarcastic, “Yeah.”

“I need to talk to my dad.”

“He’s asleep.”  We can both play The Obvious Game, sugarplum.  “What can’t wait until morning?”

“I have to tell him I can’t sleep.”

I decided that deep breathing was the best response here.  Then I went and got her some ear plugs from my stash to drown out his snoring which was reaching virtuoso levels at the time.

Now I’m hoping that the smoke detectors never go off when I’m not home because he’ll probably sleep through them.  But, this is the same man who gets all mad at poor Freckles in the middle of the night if she squirms too much because the sounds her dog tags make are so loud he can’t sleep!