Oh, John, light of my life, bane of my existence. My son, my sleep-thief. Tee-thing-pain: the tip of the tongue taking three steps down the palate to tap, so innocently, against the bones that cause such misery. Two. Year. Molars.
He was awake, plain awake in the morning, screaming upright in bed at four o'clock. He was stubborn at home. He was happy at school. He was flirtatious at the grocery store cash register. But in the depths of my night, he was always helplessly screaming.
Did it have a reason? It did, indeed it did. In point of fact, there might have been no screaming at all had there not been, one eon, a certain initial idiocy of evolution. Between the forestland and the sea. Oh when? About as many years ago as some fool decided our survival could stand an unimaginable torture called teething. You can always count on a mother for incoherently blaming existence.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the childless, the inexperienced, free-wheeling childless are snickering at. Look at this ream of sleepless nights.
(With thanks and apologies to Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita)