Archive for July, 2010

The Science of Sleep

Baby in a night shirtClay burst in to our bedroom the other night, babbling at the top of his lungs. I fully expected him to belt out a song, Ethel Merman-style. “There’s no business like show business.” He was ready to go, tapped into some powerful energy source. One tiny problem. It was 2:15 a.m. Five minutes earlier, we were all asleep.

Clay is the Typhoid Mary of sleeplessness. Basic rule—if he is awake, I’m awake. Generally, he is out by about 11 p.m., but there are plenty of nights when he can’t settle down. When that happens, he’ll come in for a visit. Sometimes he circles our bed reciting phrases from Dr. Seuss books. Sometimes he burrows under the covers between us, squirming like an eel on a hook. Sometimes he drags his comforter with him and plops on the end of the bed with his feet in our faces. Sometimes he goes downstairs, turns on every light and forages for food. Sometimes he does all of the above. Read the rest of this entry »



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Birthday Cheer

We were caught in that no man’s land between ordering our meal and its arrival, when Clay started to wail. Saturday night. People packed into booths and tables all around us. Harried waiter. Dishes clattering. Other diners sneaking glances at our table. Clay flailing and crying. What do we do?

We usually get take-out on Saturday night, since the possibility of this kind of scene makes it difficult to relax and enjoy a meal out. But it was Clay’s 15th birthday, and—given the choice on his keyboard—he requested the meal out. Read the rest of this entry »



Keepin’ it Real

One night this week, my wife was using the keyboard to let Clay know that he was taking a trip to a nearby state park at camp the next day. His typed response?

“Cool deal.”

It is easy to forget that Clay, who will turn 15 tomorrow, is a teenager. Lately, he’s been making the point on the keyboard.

I was struggling a few weeks back to get him to type with me. He was deliberately typing gibberish, most likely because I wasn’t offering the right support or pressure that he needed. My wife grabbed the keyboard and sat next to him on the bed. Read the rest of this entry »


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