Last Night with the Boogey Man

Tonight will be Nate's last time to work the graveyard shift.

After this one last night alone, I'll finally have another adult in the house with me all night. I couldn't be happier.

I am a scaredy-cat. I am afraid to be by myself at night, and I have gone to asleep afraid every weeknight for the past 8 months. Maybe it's because I have never lived by myself, or maybe my parents let me watch too much violence on TV as a youngster, but I can imagine the most horrifying things happening when I am in bed, alone in this big house. Of course, the boys are here, but they don't count. They can't protect me; on the contrary, it is my charge to protect them, and their tragic, grisly demise is always part of my morbid fantasies.

What am I afraid of, exactly? Anything. Everything. Mostly scenarios in which crazed lunatics break down the door with the sole intention of inflicting violence on whoever is inside. I know this is fucked up. I know I should try to get over it. But right now I am fighting mental battles on so many fronts --- trying to lose weight, trying to be a patient and fair mother, trying to be a good person in general --- I just don't have the energy to devote to quelling these ridiculous fears. Instead, I've been waiting it out. I knew Nate wouldn't be on third shift forever. And now I have one more night to be freaked out by every odd shadow, every creaky floorboard. One more night. Tomorrow morning I'll be a very happy woman.

We drove our new car home yesterday. A Chevy Malibu Maxx. (It's actually a 2006, for anyone who cares). Nate did all the research and shopping; I just picked out the color. It's white, in honor of a white Toyota I used to have and drove to death.

Tonight my brother and sister-in-law are babysitting so we can make another foray into the strange world of work clothes. Nate wanted me to come with him so we can pool our fashion knowledge. Even though he'll soon be just another midwestern man in the office, he doesn't want to dress like one. He wants to look sharp, and I say Amen to that.

So, after we buy some more work attire, we'll be ready for this change. We're excited.

Well, we're mostly excited. Nate is nervous about controlling his swearing as he transitions to the office. In the warehouse, workers are free to let fly any colorful expression they can dream up. But Nate suspects the expectations the office will be different. He's probably right. But I know he'll be fine. He can keep it in check in front of our parents and (usually) the kids. So all he needs to do is keep a tight lip for the first couple of weeks, feel it out, and then let loose, with or without swearing as the situation dictates. I predict there will be a fair amount of cussing even in this more glossy environment. If watching The Wire has taught me anything, it's that drug dealers and councilmen alike enjoy a good "shiiiiiiiiiiiiit," now and again.

For my part, I am dreading the extra hour or two of solitary childcare a day. Right now Nate gets up at 4 pm. He's not really awake for another hour, but if I pester him enough, he can help out. But when he starts his new job, he probably won't be home until 5:30 or 6:00 pm. Sometimes later. This fills me with anchor-in-the-gut-dread, as dinner is, bar none, the most hectic part of the day. I'm going to have to get more organized, maybe do some dinner prep during afternoon nap. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but here we go: In order to get the boys to bed at the time I want, I'm going to have to have dinner on the table when Nate gets home. Oh my god, I'm really a housewife now. Just give me some pumps and an apron, and I'll be good to go. We'll see how it all works out... I might have to use the TV a little more than I'd like to get through these additional hours alone.

Third shift wasn't all that bad. We got used to it. I think we adjusted well. There are even a couple things I will miss about it. For example, when it was time to take Simon to school but it was also time for Theo's nap, I could leave him because, technically, someone was in the house (even if that someone was asleep). Now Theo will have to come to and from school with us every time, even though it will cut his nap short and I absolutely hate that.

Also, I have to say it was nice to have someone else in the house all day, who could be woken up in case of emergency. I can only remember one time that I had to wake Nate up. It was the time I discovered piles of shit all over Simon's room. Shit smeared on the floors and walls, shit caked on toys. All of this, but an inexplicably clean little boy. "Simon, what happened?" I asked, simultaneously feeling the urge to vomit, cry, and punch a door frame. "My animals were taking a mud bath." What, I never told you that story? I guess it was because I was trying so hard to BLOCK IT OUT. Anyway, at that moment in time, it was nice to be able to storm into the bedroom and say, "Get up. I'm about to explode. I need help." And, groggily, he came to the rescue.

It probably goes without saying that the benefits of this new normal-hours job will far outweigh any advantages of the third shift job. We are very ready.

It will be great to go to bed without a knot of terror in my stomach. Oh, and spooning with my guy as we fall asleep together. That will be nice too.


Colin said...

you guys are awesome. Don't let Nate fall into that trap of "oh man, I need some colorful dress shirts like maroon and tan and green," make him stick to white and blue varieties.

Everyone in colored dress shirts either loooks like a high-school kid, or a schmuck. Nate is neither.

However, for neckties, the sky is the limit. Do they sell any ties featuring Cam'ron?

PS-- I want to hear the story about you getting tipsy at a bar.

The Tricyclist said...

we ARE awesome.

okay, maroon and tan are out, obviously. but green? a nice lime green? c'mon, that's pretty.

Bonnie said...

I, too, don't like sleeping alone, which is why I make Trav sleep closer to the door.
But what's really scary to me is the poop all over the room. That's a good way to keep a girl's legs crossed.

Angela said...

I share you terror of bumps and creaks in the absence of husband.

I envision all the exact same terrible things you do: people coming in to get us and all the things in the house I could use to stop 'em.

As a kid I used to refuse to look out any windows as I passed from the family room to my bedroom at night, lest there should be some gruesome face staring in at me. A little too many Scary Stories books for this girl, me thinks.