The bedtime ritual at the Williams' house is always a battlefield. For his six years, Kyser is a formidable foe. There is the "five more minutes" tapdance which slowly blooms into a "I'm dying of thirst" softshoe culminating in a "why do I have to go to bed when you and Dad are up?" full-on fireworks-worthy extravaganza of defiance and rebellion. Every now and then the little schiester throws in a "I don't want to watch this movie" sidebar followed by a "but I'm not tired, how about another book?" monologue. This has led to the bedtime routine of beginning to talk about going to bed as soon as supper is over, developing a system of tagteam wrestling on the part of his father and I and the great Benadryl debate (don't judge me, I hardly ever go there...) until finally the protests, questions, and minute-by-minute play by play of why he shouldn't go to bed yet subside and at last, there is quiet.
Throw into the mix our new dog, Biskit, who is a serious distraction and not at all helpful in the rigidity of a bedroom routine. He likes to jump on the bed, he likes to pull the covers off of Kyser, he likes to bark and yelp and do speed-dog lap thingies up and over and around Kyser and Kyser's bed.
Tonight, however, Biskit added a new number to his bedtime repetoire...
We had gotten Kyser tucked in and retired to the living room when came the all-too-predictable holler. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM? MMMMMOOOOMMMMMMM? MOM!"
James and I traded glances and it was decided, without words that I would attend to this one. I went into his room and he was standing beside his bed pointing at his favorite cushy pillow. "Biskit was dancing with my pillow and he got sick all over it and something is wrong with his legs...I think he has a hot dog stuck on his leg....Mom is Biskit going to die?"
....."JAAAAMES! JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMES!" I hollered.
Hobbling is the only way I can describe the condition of Biskit as he poked his fuzzy black head around the side of the bed. He looked incredibly....relaxed and I half expected him to light up a smoke and put on some Englebert Humperdink records. "My pillow is wet where Biskit got sick..."
I screamed for two reasons: the first, there was only one way for Kyser to know the pillow was wet; the second, Kyser has a habit of sucking his thumb before he goes to sleep. I hauled him into the bathroom and began dousing him with hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and facial toner.
James entered came into the bathroom and evidently Biskit was still, uh, wound up because James no sooner got through the door than he stopped short. "Whoa...wow!"
Biskit then scampered off into this pet carrier for some time to reflect and uh, unwind.
I went into the kitchen and came back with a pair of James' barbecue tongs - the really long ones - grabbed the cushy pillow, or as we now call it, Biskit's girlfriend, and placed it into a garbage bag, along with the tongs. I then gave it a good spraying down with Lysol. In fact, I sprayed Kyser's entire room with Lysol because we all know that Lysol covers a multitude of sins.
It was then that Kyser began asking questions. "Where did Biskit get a hotdog? I didn't give him one...What was he doing to my cushy? Why did he pee on my pillow? Was that pee? Why did I have to wash my hands? What's that smell?"
I met James in the office before he got to the bedroom and we did a quick conference. "He wants to know where Biskit got the hotdog, what he was doing to the pillow, what was all over the pillow."
James frowned and looked at me. "And why is this up to me?"
"The same reason you had to teach him to pee standing up."
"Did Biskit have a hotdog?" James looked a bit puzzled.
"No it was his..."
"Yeah, whoa...okay, I got this..."
I listened outside the door as James explained that Biskit got a little overexcited and that wasn't a hotdog and we were going to have to get him fixed. "What's the vet gonna fix? Is Biskit broken?" James explained that Biskit wasn't broken but that it would actually be better for Biskit, and our home decorative accessories, if he got fixed. "Someday are you gonna fix me?" Kyser asked.
Is it bad that as a mother I considered that? Is it bad that as I stood there and listened to the sweet voice of my one and only baby boy that I got a little sad at the thought of some other woman someday laying out his Star Wars pajamas and fixing him frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast? That's a long way off, I reminded myself. Thousands of bedtime battles yet to go...and suddenly I wasn't so sad.