I took Jac out to celebrate his birthday (and by “I took,” I mean that I found a sitter. He still drove. And paid. Because he’s the man.) and we ended up at a raucous “Sports Bar.” You know what I’m talking about right? A noisy restaurant that boasts t.v.s and more than 3 beers on tap? One of those places. We went for the chicken wings and pizza – delish – but ended up with front row seats to cage fighting on plasma screens.
To be honest, I’m not certain it was actually cage fighting. What I could hear above the din of my fellow patrons was spotty at best and the announcers kept using random acronyms – BAC, TRA, IBM – that made things fuzzier. What I know is what I saw: two muscly guys with either shaved heads or colorfully dyed coifs (again, only what I saw), were put into an 8 sided cage to duke it out. They wore no gloves, but boxed and jabbed at each other. Kicking was evidently allowed as was wrestling-like holds and punching when thier opponent was down. It was all rather gladiatorial. The fighters strutted and preened while the live audience and the citizens who filled the restaurant where we were, cheered and jeered and screamed.
As much as Jac and I were trying to focus on one another and carry on a meaningful conversation whilst screaming to be heard, we couldn’t help but be transfixed by the brutal action on screen. I’m not one for violence and it was disturbing to watch a man be pummeled in the face again and again and again while he laid on the mat.
Now, I mention this only because, that man on the mat? The one who is being whooped while the crowd cheers for a knockout? That’s me. And the victor? Ellie.
Oh, sure, she looks sweet, but so did the baby-faced guy with the pink hair. I assure you, Ellie is brutal. The last week has been a contest of the wills and she is the undisputed champ. Sometime, when I wasn’t loking, she decided that sleeping was over-rated and began her all-out brawl with slumber. I know that sounds harmless, but I am the one who takes a beating in this death match.
It began with the night time routine – her waking up at 11 and refusing to go to sleep. While she fends off her fatigue, she arches her back, kicks, flails, grunts, yells, and , her favorite move!, scratches. Scratches the sheets, our clothes, my face. If she does manage to give in and shut her eyes for a few moments, she is sure to be awakened by Jac’s snoring and then start the whole process again. For several nights now, she will sleep only if she is nursing. I have nursed NON STOP through those long hours. By the time the sun is coming up, I feel like a bruised and bloody mess, feeling around to see if I have all my teeth, disoriented, only able to see out of one eye.
It wouldn’t be so bad if that’s where she left it, sleeping during the day so that I could return to my corner to recouperate and get fixed up. However, she is merciless. She will not rest until she has made it clear that sleep has NO control over her and that she is the champ. Our days are now filled with her cranky and impatient crying and the shortest of short naps. I hold her most of the time, letting her yank my hair and bite my shoulder. Just like in cage fighting, there is a lot of wiping of noses, sharing of sweat and spit. Thankfully, so far there is no blood.
I tell myself it is teething and a cold that has turned her into this fighting machine. But I can’t help but wonder if she has been lying in wait, watching me, her opponent, to see what tactics would be the most succesful in rendering me, and in turn the entire household, completely useless. Could she be so calculating?
At the moment, she is down for the count, finally sleeping. It has been 40 minutes – unheard of in recent days. I want to hold my hands aloft and jump around in victory. But I’m too tired.
She wins again.