01/24/2013 10:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2013

The Things I Think About When I Should Be Sleeping


I have three boys. My oldest son is almost 8 and my youngest recently turned 2. This means I've been waking up in the middle of the night for a very, very long time. Someone's thirsty. Someone else wet the bed. And someone else yet wants me to buy popsicles. ("I didn't want to forget," my 5-year-old explained as sweetly as one can to an unhappy woman at three in the morning.)

Sometimes, I find myself lying awake because I'm afraid I'm going to forget something. I'm thinking about birthday party invitations that need to be sent out or prescriptions that need to be refilled or shoes that need to be resoled.

But the worst is when I lie awake for no reason whatsoever. I will look at the clock and it's 2 a.m. and I'm awake trying to remember what the third Die Hard was called. Or the name of the actor who played Mallory's boyfriend on "Family Ties." Or I'm thinking about important stuff like this:

  • "Child-rearing" seems like an appropriate enough name, given how much time you spend wiping them.
  • I feel bad for the dinosaurs because they're extinct and unable to see how popular they are with 3-year-olds.
  • One of my least favorite milestones is the one where your kid discovers that unless money is inserted into the machine, he's not really playing a video game.
  • I'm pretty sure the greatest thing in the world are baby girls with nonexistent hair wearing barrettes.
  • I don't miss a lot about my life pre-kids, but I do miss not worrying about the constant threat of lice.
  • The expression "you snooze, you lose" sends a terrible message to young children.
  • Before you get married, it's important to know if your future spouse wants children and what word he wants them to use for "farting."
  • Taking candy from a baby is easy, but only if you don't care about the crying.
  • It blows my mind that Chuck E. Cheese's is spelled without a 'z.'
  • Why is it called "childbirth" and not "babybirth"? "Babybirth" is more accurate and much less scary.
  • The person who coined the term "clean as a whistle" obviously never saw any of my kids blow a whistle.
  • If kids are supposed to stay home when they're sick, why are schools still giving out Perfect Attendance Awards?
  • I wonder how many adults are in therapy right now because someone played "got your nose" with them when they were babies.
  • Two really nice things about babies are that they have really soft skin and they don't get smoker's breath.
  • I get sad when I think about the fact that my kids won't grow up in a world with sitcom theme songs and commercial jingles.
  • If someone plans to open up a baby store where they just sell baby things, they should call the store, "Just For Shits and Giggles."
  • At what point is it just completely, 100 percent inexcusable for your child to hand you his garbage instead of throwing it out himself?
  • The worst way to be greeted by a young child is when they walk up to you and say, "Mommy, it was an accident."
  • The worst sound to hear is when the toilet flushes and you're home alone with someone who isn't potty trained.
  • I need a better method of remembering to cut my toddler's nails other than getting scratched so hard it draws blood.

(Some of these previously appeared on my blog or Twitter feed. If you have a problem with that, I'll give you your money back.)