So, my kid. Three days a week I work from nine in the morning until eight at night, meaning that I really only see him when I’m getting him up and ready for school in the morning (which is all hustle, hustle, hustle, especially since in all honesty I’m not great at getting myself up on time) and for a few minutes at night before he goes to bed. My wife has given up on getting him to sleep before I get home so his bedtime has been adjusted so that I can see him and give him his daily allotment of hugs before he goes to sleep.
My son is fond of rituals. He is also fond of complicating things. To wit, each night he chooses several (as many as he can get away with) of the following hugs. Understand that this is probably an incomplete list, as I’m tired:
- JUMP HUG: He jumps three times. On the third jump, I catch him and lift him high enough to touch the ceiling, then hug him on the way down.
- CRASH HUG: He runs toward me on his bed, but doesn’t jump toward me. I’m just expected to grab him before he falls off the bed and hug him. He generally tries to do this head down, battering-ram style, and about half the time he manages to hurt me.
- CRUSH HUG: He lays prone on his bed. I’m supposed to lean over him and hug him. He insists that I’m crushing him as this happens. Occasionally this also involves attempting to eat his ears, nose, or chin.
- DROP HUG: I pick him up and give him a bunch of kisses on his forehead and cheeks, then abruptly drop him onto his bed without warning him first.
- TICKLE HUG: Like the drop hug at first, only I only drop his upper body, holding onto his legs, then tickle him.
- REVERSE TICKLE HUG: Like the tickle hug, only I make sure he’s facefirst on the bed so I can tickle his back instead of his stomach.
- NORMAL HUG: As one might expect. I insist on one of these each night.
- BOOMERANG HUG: Starts off like a crash hug, only I swing him around several times back and forth before putting him down.
- BATARANG HUG: Differs from a boomerang hug in a way that only he understands. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes he informs me that I just gave him a boomerang hug and I have to do it over. I think he’s fucking with me, honestly.
Lately he has been attempting to add “moves” to the bedtime ritual, which are a result of him reading Teen Titans GO!: Burger Versus Burrito too many fucking times. What that means is that I’m supposed to yell “Sleepy Smash!” or “Bedtime Bounce!” or “Nighttime Knockdown!” or whateverthefuck and try and put him to bed or tuck him in or whatever. It’s exhausting, especially since he wants me to come up with new “moves” all the time, and I’m not that damn creative at 9:00 in the damn evening after an 11-hour shift, and I’m trying to nip this one in the bud before it becomes any more of a monster than it is.
It may be time to start reading Go the Fuck to Sleep to him at night. We have a copy around here somewhere, after all.