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“Hey,” I said over Instant Messenger. “Guess what?”

“What?” he replied, (justifiable) trepidation evident.

“I need your help this week,” I replied.

“With… what?” he asked, looking for clarity. When I need “help” with something, it can be anything from getting my whites whiter or building a shrine to BILLY FUCKING MAYS in my (former) backyard, and he knows it.

“Um, stuff,” I replied, aiming to be as vague as possible so that I could get a “sure, no problem,” without having to answer second-level questions.

“Like…?” He replied, apparently knowing me too well.

“Building stuffs,” I dangled in front of him like a carrot. I know him well enough to know that building shit = happy pants, while I’d just as soon cut off my toes and make a necklace of toe bones to wear than put stuff together.

“Ooooh! I like building stuffs!” He said, happily.

“I know! That’s why you’re perfect for this,” I said.

A couple of hours later, he showed up at my house, knocking before entering. I answered the door, kids piling over each other like a barrel of puppies, each trying to get him to greet them first. He swept them up into his arms and kissed them hello. “Hi Babies,” he said, brushing hair from Mimi’s face so she could see. She still stubbornly refuses to wear clips in her curls, which can make things like “walking” and “seeing stuff,” a little challenging for her.

I stood there, biding my time, waiting for him to be done with the children. Or, I should say, the children to be done with HIM.

“HEY,” I said, as he disentangled children from his frame, which they’d climbed like a couple of monkeys (without, thankfully, throwing poo)(THAT TIME). “Got something to show you. Meet me out front.”

With that, I walked into the garage and flipped the switch, opening the garage door which protested wheezily, but obliged. I walked out into the sea of boxes and held my hands out all jazz-hands meets spirit-fingers style.

“TA-DA!” I nearly shouted, trilling the last bit, relishing one of the last times I could be loud without the worry of irritating one of my neighbors in my new apartment.

“Woah,” he said.

I beamed.

“Where’s the stuff to build?” he asked.

“Um, somewhere in there,” I gestured to the pile of boxes I’d packed, wondering how I’d manage to pack a life into so few boxes.

A smile played mildly on the corner of his lips.

“You just conned me,” he pointed out.

“Yup,” I said, proudly. “Now let’s get moving.”

He stood there, shaking his head, amused, before grabbing a box and playing crap Tetris in the back of my van.

“Thanks,” I said honestly as we drove to my new place. “Thank you.”

even I want the roaring to be over

And thus began the next chapter.

————-

Oh, and I wrote cool shit here.

go sleep on the couch, Mommy.

I’ve never been a big proponent of the family bed.

Before you get all THINK OF THE CHILDREN, don’t mistake my meaning: It’s not that I don’t love my babies or anything, it’s that I like my sleep more. And adding two babies to my bed means that I spend half the night being kicked in the kidneys by a toddler who prefers to sleep horizontally because sleeping vertically is, apparently, full of the lame. I’d thought we’d gotten past the whole “kicking my internal organs” thing once I popped her out of my body, but I was wrong.

Adding to my bed another child – Alex – who’s five, means that he worms his way across his sleeping sister so that he can poke my eyeballs and stick his fingers up my sleeping nose, giggling uproariously until he’s sleepy enough to drift back into the land of nod.

By the time the sun peeks through the bedroom window, I’m staring glassy-eyed at the fug green of my walls and wondering how the sun got to be so damn bright at 7AM. Shouldn’t there be a law against that? I feel like their should be. Maybe I should sue the sun.

I’m starting to feel like it might be time to start shopping for kids bunk beds. Not for me, because, as someone who once broke a toe making a sandwich THAT WASN’T EVEN FOR ME, I’m about as able to sleep on a top bunk without breaking something as I am to eat a jar of mayo. I’ll do a lot for a bet, but that doesn’t come close.

Part of the reason I’d dig a bunk bed for the Littles is because, as the last born with a sibling ten years my senior, I’d always thought the idea of having a special cozy bunk bed would be full of the awesome. I mean – a bed. With a sibling on top of me. The thought of that makes me nostalgic for my childhood, in the same way a Bob Seger song does – nostalgia without a hint of experience.

See? You listen to that and you’re all, OMG HE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A MUSICIAN JUST LIKE ME – I’M A MUSICIAN ON TOUR, TOO. Until you realize you can’t even play the triangle without a stunt double.

I’m probably wrong. I have to imagine that if I did, in fact, manage to get a bunk bed for the Littles, they’d still want to

a) Sleep in my bed

2) Have ME sleep in their bunk bed with them, a situation that would NOT work out well.

So for the time being, I’m going to guess that I’ll just “wake up” each morning with a couple of kids poking me and sticking their fingers in my mouth, laughing uproariously.

three in the bed and the little one said

I won’t lie. I like seeing the tiny Muppets curled up in my bed. My kidneys, though, they tell another story.

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————–

Do you do the family bed thing, Pranksters? Have you used bunk beds before? Where are my pants?

…ation

No, not the Carly-Simon-song-turned-Ketchup-Commercial, although I guess I could get a bottle of ketchup out and try to make it drip onto my non-existent cheeseburger.

After a long battle with move-in dates, packing, and other various and sundries, I woke up this morning, stomach churning with anticipation, rolled out of bed, and pulled on one of the two shirts I had yet to pack. I considered wearing my prom dress, but decided the apartment people would think I was nuttier than normal. Which, not the impression I need to make. NOT YET, at least.

On the drive, Mötley Crüe came on and was crooning about home sweet home, which I took as a good omen.

I walked into the apartment complex, nerves finally settled, and prepared to sign yet another lease, hoping, at the very least, that this would be the final lease I had to sign for a year. I’d stuffed a few things in the back of the car on the off-chance I’d be getting my keys today, figuring that wouldn’t really work out so well, considering the way things have been going, which I should specify as “not bad,” simply, “not easy,” which is why I want one of those THAT WAS EASY buttons. But for real, not just something that SAYS it.

But whatever. No one said this shit was easy.

PROBABLY.

Tentatively, I asked the apartment complex if’n I’d be able to pick up my keys as I signed my year away, figuring they’d ask me to come back tomorrow or Friday or some other inconvenient time.

Nope.

After I packed up a bunch of papers with my new address, she returned and handed me these:

anticipation divorce

Pranksters. I finally did it. I have my own place.

I have no words for how this feels.

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