Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Saturday was not a really fantastic day. I had been awake with one screaming, writhing, burping baby or another, virtually all night. My husband arrived home from work at 2am. I was grateful for the extra help, but we both couldn't settle the babies sufficiently until well after 4am.

We woke up, in a stupor, at 7:30, to my son's fervent appeals (and small but painful slaps in the head) for eggies and juice. We dragged ourselves out of bed and feigned lucidity as long as we could, but abruptly fell asleep during their naptime. I managed to struggle through the remainder of the day with the assistance of caffeine and a mashed-beyond-recognition Reese's Peanut Butter Heart I found in my purse.

Once the elusive silence of night finally settled over our house, I collapsed in a heap on my bed, physically and mentally exhausted, my entire body aching for sleep.

I was tucked comfortably between a brand new set of buttery 500-thread count sheets and sliding my legs around, well, like a kid with a new toy, when I heard a familiar thumping sound.

Bum, ba-dum, ba-dum, da da da...

I rolled over without much thought, figuring it was a car driving by.

Bum, ba-dum, ba-dum, da da da...

I listened and waited for the noise to fade into the distance.

It's not un-u-SU-AL to be loved by anyone...

"Ohhh, what the..." I grumbled quietly to myself, tapping my forehead with my index finger.

I wasn't going to fault them for their taste in music. I just didn't want to hear it. And I really didn't want it to wake my kids.

I heard a car door, and then someone drive off. Home free, I thought.

And then another bass line cascaded in.


I stood up and very carefully parted the blinds with my fingers, needing a look at the A*hole who was obviously bent on robbing me of sleep.

I saw a car, in front of a garage of a neighboring building, running, with its lights on. Maybe they were waiting for someone? Warming up the car? Using the phone?

I settled back into bed and hoped, with every fiber of my being, that they would drive away, or at least get out of the stinking car.

Another two songs came and went as my fury mounted. I then made the decision any other sane, logical, well-rested mother of three would: I got out of bed, put on my coat and shoes, and stomped outside, braless, at 11:30pm, with my kids asleep in their rooms, to make them turn off the music.

I crossed the parking lot without much (okay, any) concern about how ridiculous I looked, and continued until I reached a white, convertible Midlife Crisismobile with a couple sitting inside. I arrived just in time to see Blake Carrington lean over and lay a passionate kiss on his younger, perkier female counterpart. I knocked on the driver's side window. And knocked. And knocked. For a good minute, before the woman, startled, noticed and pointed at me. The man turned around, somewhat startled as well, then stared at me, open-mouthed, like a hungry goldfish.

I frustratedly motioned to him to roll down his window. He did. An overwhelming cloud of alcohol and sexual tension wafted towards me.

"I'm really sorry, but I'm over there, " I said, motioning to my apartment, "and I've got three kids in there asleep, and that's really loud."

The man fumbled an apology. The woman just looked afraid, and I don't blame her. I probably looked like a crazy, braless vagrant, wearing a lavender Land's End jacket I wandered off with at a bus stop.

"Yes, and the oldest is two," I returned. "You know, I don't mean to rain on your parade," I scolded, waving my finger all around his car, "but that's really  loud."

He apologized again, said he they were going in anyway (of course), and he would turn off the car.

"Thank you!" I sputtered, turned on my heel, and marched back to my front door.

When I arrived inside, I silently congratulated myself for my proactive parenting. And not so much for being the Mama Bear, but for not allowing anything or anyone take away my opportunity to rest.

I lay in bed for a few moments, amused, wondering if his Viagra would work, or whether he would get a leg cramp, or if they might, in the throes of chemically-assisted passion, roll off the side of the bed.

An hour after I finally settled into bed, the Universe rounded the corner with its karmic kick in the pants. Both twins woke up, simultaneously, screaming bloody murder. I spent the following hour or so hushing, rocking, feeding, and shuttling them back and forth to maintain quiet in the house. I collapsed again, more exhausted than earlier, and promptly fell asleep.

Proving once again that no good (bad, or indifferent) deed goes unpunished around here. Not one. Trust me.

Momma Be Thy Name

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