Carpark Collisions and a Trip to the Snooze Bus

It’s called a suicide note when someone writes something before they kill themselves, right?
What’s it called when you’re writing something and you die before you finish?
What if something kills you mid-sentence?
Is that a homicide note? 

I’m just wondering because I’m sitting here writing, but there’s a good chance I’ll be gone before I’m finished. I just want to be upfront about that.

But why? I hear you ask.
It’s because I’m the proud father of a three year old who doesn’t sleep.

A three month old? You say.
No, (you’re not listening.)
A three-year-old. 
Practically an adolescent.

And does he not sleep? I hear you say.
No. He does not.

Well, that’s not strictly accurate.
He does sleep.
He sleeps between 19:14 and 22:07. 
Then he wakes. And wakes again. 

He cries.
He hollers.

He rips open the delicate fabric of our sub-consciousness and chews it up with mouthfuls of hot, salty tears.

He wails.
He vociferates.

And then, with one of us at his bedside, he settles back down for another preciously limited interval of silence.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: The five stages I go through every time my son wakes up during the night.

As I write this I look over at my wife.
I’m almost certain she’s my wife.
She looks different.
She looks at me different.
She looks at me distant.
She’s a waif.
She’s a wraith.
She’s a sailor cast adrift in a sea of heavy fog.

Or maybe it’s just my vision.
I have lazy eyes. They just want five more minutes.
They’re the reason I crashed into another car in the Coles carpark last night.
Crashed is a bit extreme. 
It was more of a forceful rub.
A deep tissue collision.

They say driving tired is like driving drunk.

Maybe the cops should run traffic stops for tired drivers.
Have you had anything to sleep tonight, mate?
No. Nothing to sleep, officer.
Get out of the car please.
You’ll need to step into the Snooze Bus.
You’re under a rest.

I know you think I’m being silly, but the Snooze Bus idea has legs.
Get an email to the Police Chief. Let’s do this.

But before you send that email, please pray for us.
We could really do with some sleep.

Hate the sin, love the Santa

We have this precarious arrangement with our kids that we will never lie to them when they ask us a question. And by 'lie' I mean all of them, the white ones, the grey ones, all of the hues that are available to us in these opaque times.

The upside is that they are learning to trust us when we tell them, well, anything really. They've got no reason to look at us out of the corner of their eye, "right, Daddy, whatever you saaay...".

The downside is... obvious. 

Lying is helpful, right? It's convenient, functional, user-friendly. It gets us out of sticky situations, rescues us from unfavourable commitments, it's a handy face-saver and foot-in-mouth remover all-in-one.

It's also a preservative. It enables us parents to maintain some pretty swell traditions. Traditions like the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and those bone-jarring New Year's Day hangovers.

So for Family Smith, all of that is off the table. But let me tell you something, our kids l-o-v-e love Santa Claus. And we love that they love him, mainly because we love the way they love him.

When my soon-to-be-five-year-old comes across Santa in the shopping centre, she gets a kick out of him. To begin with, he's funny looking. All dressed up in red (her second favourite colour), 'ho-ho-ho-ing' (which nobody she knows ever says), and willing to give lollies if she sits on his lap (actually, neither of us think that's a great idea).

But she enjoys the experience because, well, why wouldn't she? She knows he's a big old guy dressed up in a costume. She LOVES costumes, and wears them herself whenever her Mummy will let her. It's a great big game of pretend that only comes around once a year. That's actually pretty cool for a kid to be a part of.

"But!" Some will say. "What about the children?" "Will nobody think of the children! (Specifically) my children, who's precious belief in the real Santa Claus will be destroyed by your kids anti-Santa ideology!"


Why? Because, along with the whole bugbear about lying, we also have this big rule about not being a brat and ruining other people's fun. 

Are your kids dressing up as Queen Elsa and Captain Jack Sparrow for this Saturday's long-awaited birthday party? Fear not! My kids aren't going to start crowing about the fact that there is no real Elsa or Jack, because, well, that'd be a really crappy thing to do.

It's great. For five years my daughter has been privy to one of the biggest conspiracies involving almost all of her fellow small-humans and she's never said a word - even when nobody's watching. I should know. I asked her the other day. And we've got this thing about lying.