>Right before I got married my sister Sam (a tween at the time), wrote me a letter:
I can’t wait to be a bridesmaid at your wedding.
I have seen Titanic 20 times.
I love Leonardo DiCaprio.
Mum says his real name is Lenny Caper.
A caper is a fish.
I loved that letter. And now I have kids of my own, I truly appreciate the linear logic. I thought that was the first and last time that Lenny Caper would be mentioned in relation to any of my life’s events. Until now. I recently saw the movie Inception. (Ok, I saw the first 20 minutes and then fell asleep, leaving M to watch the rest alone. But I haven’t made it through an entire movie in about 10 years; put me on the couch in the dark and I pass out.) From those 20 minutes I gathered the movie had something to do with people who mess with other people’s dreams. Ha! Mr. Caper — you make another entrance into my life. And here’s why:
For some reason, there aren’t enough hours in the day in which my kids have the opportunity to bicker with each other. No, as of late, they work overtime and fight in their sleep.
Witness Efram — who comes running into our room around 2 am screaming that Bennett has taken something from him, done something to him, said something about him.. it’s hard to decipher at that hour. He’s utterly convinced and ENRAGED, and each time it happens, it takes me a good 15 minutes to calm him down. I don’t really put him back to sleep, because he is not really awake.. it all happens in some bizarro dream state.
Witness Francie — who, while we were all piled into one hotel room in Portland, OR, starts yelling at Efram, who is asleep next to her in the bed. Again, it’s hard to make out what she’s saying, but we managed to make out that Efram had stolen one of the stuffed dogs she sleeps with. The dog is on the floor. I pick it up and give it to her, tuck her back into bed, but she’s still moaning on about Efram. This goes on — in patches — for about 45 minutes.
As I spent the next 3 hours trying to fall back to sleep, I got to thinking whether I should, ala Inception, try to resolve all their sibling rivalry issues in their sleep. (I once saw a Flintstones episode in which Wilma tells Fred, in his sleep, that he needs to buy her more jewelry.) What if, next time one of them wakes up, I say things like: “That couldn’t happen. Efram loves you,. He’d never do anything to hurt you. If you feel yourself getting mad at him, just jump up and down a few times. You’ll feel much better” or “Bennett didn’t take your football. He loves you. If you feel yourself getting mad at him, count to ten and you’ll feel much better.”
Granted it all sounds a little Manchurian Candidate… but what if I could program them in their sleep: You will only pee IN the toilet, not near it, not around it; You will learn to love all the clothes in your closet, and not just the pink items; You will never cry, fight, or puke on long car trips; You will spend school holidays peacefully playing chess with your brother; You will never throw a football in the dining room, inches from my china; You will never again take a permanent marker and draw all over your stomach so that weeks later the marks are still there like some virulent rash… I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
The possibilities are endless. Thanks, Lenny.