I Want To Sleep With YouJoel Stein
I know motherhood is a conflicted thing, but I still thought it was weird that Cassandra kept saying she couldn’t wait until Laszlo had nightmares and came into our bed in the middle of the night. I’m 40. At this point in my life, I don’t even want me coming in our bed in the middle of the night.
Laszlo is only two, and nightmare-free so far, but he does like to wake up happily at 2 a.m. and walk into our room. He drags his little stool next to our bed, hoists himself up on my side of the bed, and quietly lies down next to me. Waking up and seeing a two-year old inches from your face staring at you is a little Chucky for me. It’s also another good reason not to keep a gun in the house.
Sometimes I’ll wake up when Laszlo asks, “Why you have no shirt on, Daddy?’ which I’m pretty sure is his way of telling me that I’m grossing him out and need to start working out again. Sometimes he’ll play with toys he brings with him. But usually he’s just cute and quiet. Every so often he’ll lean over in his little buttoned-up pajama suit and tell me he loves me and kiss me on the cheek. It’s like being married to an itsy bitsy Mad Men character.
This would all be nice it weren’t for the fact that Laszlo likes to kick. Specifically, he likes to keep moving his feet and pressing them against me. Specifically, against my penis. I’m guessing it’s the warmest part of my body, and, in his defense, it is shaped like a footrest for a two-year old. I’m just glad we live in L.A. instead of Buffalo, where he’d discover that my ass crack makes a great hand-warmer.
I’m a great sleeper. But, like most people, I have trouble falling asleep while being kicked in the dick. So after a while I pick Laszlo up and tell him he has to sleep in his own room. And he asks me why.
I don’t know. I have trouble sleeping alone, too, and I love the little alone time I get. Laszlo is still too young too feel safe. If he’s alone in a room during the day for five minutes, he freaks out, yelling for us. Even if Cassandra is home with him, he’ll cry when I leave the room. Making him sleep alone is cruel. Though getting him a little two-year-old live-in girlfriend seems a little creepy. I know it is because Craigslist has no section in the personals section for “Toddlers seeking Toddlers.” If Craigslist doesn’t have something it is really, really creepy.
So when I drop Laszlo back in his bed, he asks me to stay there for “one more minute.” And I do. And he says, “Daddy, close your eyes.” And I do. And I fall asleep. For five minutes. Then he kicks me in the dick, and I’m out of there.
Pre-order my book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, (out May 15) on Amazon.
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