Sunday, May 13, 2012

The days of snore

I reached through the darkness to pull my slumbering wife, Kara, closer, putting my hand on her shoulder and running my fingers through her downy soft fur.  She shifted toward me before sitting up, cocking her head and scratching her neck with her foot.

Then I snapped awake, remembering that the dog and I had been banished to the guest room.

“Can you wake up the dog?  She’s snoring again,” Kara had said an hour earlier, back when I was still a resident of my bedroom.

“Mmmph,” I replied, flopping my arm over the bed and nudging the dog before drifting back to sleep.

“Now you’re both snoring,” Kara said a moment later.  After a ten-year hiatus, I’m back on the snoring circuit.  I had stopped snoring right after college, leading Kara and I to conclude that the root of the problem had been some combination of pizza, beer and research papers.  For no discernable reason, though, my uvula has decided that it can no longer hang quietly by when, just inches away, there’s a perfectly good wife to annoy.

“The two of you are driving me insane.  Can you please go to the other room?” she asked.

“Let’s put it to a vote,” I suggested, but I was already gathering my pillow and my blankie.  I mean my blanket.  No self-respecting man still sleeps with a blankie, and he certainly doesn’t admit to it in a newspaper.  

Snorers are the permanent underclass of any household, relegated to the fringes of sleeping society, tucked out of earshot in guest rooms and on futons.  As the dog and I headed down the hallway to our exile, we knew that we had only ourselves and our respiratory structures to blame.

Really, though, it was small punishment for us, since the newborn baby across the hall makes sure that we experience plenty of family togetherness twenty-four hours a day.

“Too late for birth control now!” he screams throughout the night.  At least that’s how my brain processes the screams it hears between the hours of two and five a.m.

Zack is actually a very easy baby, and we’re thankful every day for our blessings, but taking care of an easy baby is still a little bit like running an easy marathon.

Shortly after I awoke to find the dog beside me in the guest bed, Zack piped up from his room, requesting another nocturnal audience with his food-givers.  Someday, he’ll come to appreciate that his parents have so much else to give besides food, such as timeouts.  I stumbled into his room, scooped him up and took him to the couch for his bottle.

I recently discovered the show “Walking Dead” on Netflix, and while it’s not the most relaxing show to watch while feeding your baby in the middle of the night, it does help keep you awake.  Also, when you live in a house that gives you at most three hours of sleep at a time, you really start to identify with the zombies.

“Yeah, that’s what I looked like last night,” you’ll say as a zombie drags itself across the floor, groaning incomprehensibly, covered in goo.  Then the zombie will pull itself to its feet and walk straight into a wall.

“Been there,” you’ll say.

“Are you sure this is the best show to watch with the baby?” Kara asked as she stocked the fridge with more milk.

“It’s never too early to teach your baby about the post-apocalypse.  No, really, he can’t see the screen, and I turn the volume down whenever someone’s getting devoured,” I said.

“Okay, if you say so.  Do you need anything before I head up?” she asked.

“BRAINS!” I replied.

“Yes, that might be helpful,” she said.

You can show Mike Todd to his futon at

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