The jingle jangle of the holidays has caused Olive to regress. Getting her to sleep with the heightened anxiety of the world bearing down on us like a smallpox blanket is taking much longer than usual. There’s also the fact that she’s refusing to sleep in her own bed, stating instead “I sleep with MommyDaddy.” It’s working out fine, for the most part — we’re giving her a pass because she’s extra cute and everything is wonky during the Holidays.
Early this morning, I heard her yell, “No thank you!” several times in her sleep, and I laughed to myself that, even in her nightmares, she’s polite. In what felt like two minutes but could have been hours, I woke with a start because she’d hauled off and punched me, really friggen hard, in my left eye. I shouted, she got put over on the other side of the bed, and she apologized profusely on her own accord. I forgave her, of course, but damn if it still doesn’t smart like heck. Apparently politeness didn’t work out and she tried to punch the monster in her dream!
The other thing that is making it harder to put Olive to sleep each night is that the crazy season has apparently activated our neighbors, as well. Our apartment abuts a courtyard, in which several apartment buildings have balconies, decks, and garages. One of our neighbors starts his big, terrible truck every three hours, for some unknown reason. When we first moved here, it really bothered me, as it happens at 3AM and is insanely loud, but now it’s become part of the background, like twittering cardinals used to be, when I lived in Connecticut, or angry Eagles fans, when I lived in Philly.
Last night Olive was extra keyed up, because we were having a party with a few friends, and they had just showered her with amazing presents. She bid them good night and tried valiantly to go to sleep, but Truck Dude had pulled his vehicle out of the garage and was blaring Bon Jovi from it, at such a volume that our guests were air guitaring in the front room, and Olive was saying, “Too loud, Papa!”
I looked out the window, considering whether I should tell him to turn it down, or try to wait it out so as not to attract his crazed attention. Truck Dude had put a BowFlex machine where his behemoth of a truck usually sits, and he was frantically working on it, in time to “Living On A Prayer”. It was so hilarious that I forgave him for all the noise, especially because I knew he couldn’t keep up that pace of exercise for long. I was right — after he played 3 of Bon Jovi’s best known hits, he put the BowFlex away and drove off in the van to do whatever a person like him spends his leisure time doing, after getting “totally psyched up” to 80’s rock and BowFlexing.
Even that scene could not top what had happened the night before, however. A different man from the same apartment building as Bon BowFlexer had put his bike upside down just outside the garage, and was trying to fix it. Unfortunately, the attempted repair was not going well, and in response, he was having an EPIC MELT DOWN.
I mean, toddler fits on the playground over a shovel had nothing on this grown ass man. He screamed, he cursed, he WEPT, he threw things, all while I was trying to put Olive to bed. I didn’t even consider asking him to STFU, because he sounded so unstable I did not want him to know where I lived, and, as he decompensated, I felt pangs of shame for him having this public freak out with all his neighbors listening in.
“I RUINED IT!” he yelled, and collapsed into bitter sobs. The next moment, he was shouting, “Get in there, tire! Mary Mother of God, WHY? Why is this happening to me? WHYYYYYY?!!!!!” It was ludicrous. And it went on for at least 45 minutes.
Somehow, Olive did not really mind this display of lack of impulse control. She went to sleep in the midst of it, if not more fitfully than usual. I went out into the front room once she was safely asleep (in our bed), and looked out to see Bike Boy putting away his tools. Either he figured it out, or he decided to let the bike live to see another day. In any event, I saw that he’d been wearing his bicycle helmet the entire time.
Safety first, folks.