Bedtime was a bitch tonight. Seriously, it had all the makings of a great comedy, except that I was living it. Let’s just do a quick bulleted run-down, shall we?

Ok, not bulleted, because I can’t make bullets.

Avery begins a relentless episode of plaintively calling, “Mommy?” at dinner.

I begin a series of futile attempts to retrieve what she wants.

Much emphatic head shaking and disappointed declarations of, “NO!”

I pass responsibility to Sean.

Avery begins the routine anew.

Sean chooses not to engage.

Avery is sent to bed.

Curtain down on dinner, commence bedtime routine.

Briar climbs in the crib with Avery, Avery climbs out of the crib.

Avery empties every drawer in her room.

Briar begs for me to put Avery in the crib.

I explain Avery doesn’t want to be in the crib yet.

Briar pleads, Avery screams, “No.”

Briar asks if she is pooping, I say I don’t know.

She says she thinks she is.

I rush her to the potty, Avery cuts in front of us.

I swallow several four letter words.

Briar gets on the potty, her underwear do not escape unscathed.

Avery squawks about poop.

Avery grabs a razor from the sink.

Briar tries to wipe, “Uh oh, mom….”

I grab the razor with one hand and fix Briar’s issue with the other.

Avery sprints from the room, I call for Sean.

Sean takes Briar to bed, I take Avery to her room.

Avery wants to nurse, but forgets that teeth aren’t necessary.

I swallow more four letter words.

Avery begins to nod off.

Knocking downstairs, Sean keeps reading.

I peek through the window, it’s a client.

“Sean, Rosa is here.”

He leaps up, promising to be right back.

Briar is quiet.

Avery sleeps.

Sean moves around downstairs, the 100 year old crank doorbell sounds.

Briar asks who it is.

Avery stirs.


Patient, silent waiting.

More voices.

More waiting.


“Shh, Dad’ll be right back.”

More waiting.

“Does anyone wanna read me A Fly Went By?”

“Shh, Dad is coming right up.”

Avery stirs.

Briar runs in, “Can ya just put this sticker in the trash?”

I tale the proffered piece of withered paper, Avery looks into my eyes.

“Shh, back to sleep Ave, back to bed Bri.”

Pitter patter of feet and the squeak of an old bed.

Avery falls asleep and Briar is quiet.

Sean returns.

Avery wakes and bites me. I choked on a big god damnit.

Sean and Briar whisper next door.

Avery claws at my breast, kneading herself to sleep.

I wait and then put her in bed.

Downstairs, quickly joined by Sean.


“Mom, can I pee? Can I pee. MOM CAN I PEE?”

“Did she pee?”

“Yes, she peed.”

“CAN. I. PEE?”

“She peed.”

“I have to pee. Pee. I have to pee, mom!”

Sigh. Upstairs, Briar meets me at the door.

“Mom, I’m gonna pee.”


Avery wakes and immediately begins howling.

“Am I poopin?”

“No, but I think mama is?”

“You’re poopin, mama?”

“No, mama was being silly. Mama’s just crackin.”