Why is the most overused song lyric in the history of the world “All Night Long”? The phrase spans decades and genres, has been in more songs than the words bae, shawty, and boo combined, and IT IS A LIE.
You know what happens all night long?
Not what they’re talking about.
The things that happen all night long are stomach viruses.
And raging diarrhea.
And colicky babies.
And rocking inconsolably screaming babies.
And feeding newborns.
And neighbor’s car alarms.
And croupy coughs.
And work, when there are impossible deadlines.
And you know what else happens all night long, sometimes, if we’re lucky?
THAT’S what music should be celebrating.
Here’s a list of things that do not, in real life, happen all night long:
3. And getting down on the dance floor.
I want to know what superpower Dads possess that allow them to completely tune kids out while trapped in a moving vehicle.
I hear every word, every breath, every candy wrapper dropped to the floor, every silent bad attitude, and certainly every argument. If Chris is trying to talk to me and there are conversations going on in the backseat, my head nearly explodes with the inability to process both at once and greater inability to only listen to one or the other.
Yet the children can be saying, “Hey Daddy? Hey Daddy? Hey Daddy! DADDYDADDYDADDYDADDY” and I finally have to say “CHRIS. The children are trying to talk to you. PLEASE ANSWER THEM SO I DON’T JUMP OUT OF THIS CAR RIGHT NOW WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR ON THE INTERSTATE.”
“Oh – sorry! I didn’t hear them.”
Whatever that special DNA twist is, I will pay anything for it.
Can I get on a transplant list?
My husband is the sensitive sort, rarely offending and almost always spoiling me in every way.
But he’s still a man.
And he doesn’t understand all things of women. So sometimes, I attempt to explain The Feminine Plight to him.
A few weeks ago, for instance.
We were driving along, and I mentioned, sadly, that I had started my period.
He thought for a second, then made a practical and completely unemotional remark about how I should feel better before such and such future plans.
I grew silent, brooding about his lack of empathy toward the currently occurring crushing of my internal organs.
That night at bedtime, I tried to teach him a new level of understanding women.
”Here’s the thing, babe. A period is always a tragedy and should be treated as such. It doesn’t matter that it happens once a month and that us women usually know it’s coming. It’s still a tragedy. Every time, no matter what. It is not an item to be practically planned around, it is an item to show mournful sympathy towards.”
I could see the cogs in his brain jerking and steaming, trying to process what exactly it was that I expected from him.
“So….I need to…mourn it…every time.”
“Is this something I should share on my Facebook, perhaps? I could have a status like, ‘It sure is sad to see this Uterine Lining go. It was like a member of the family.”
“Well, that would show a lot of respect…but probably not.”
“Or what if I named them like storms? You know, in alphabetical order each year. This month’s could be Uterine Lining Ava, and next month could be UL Belinda.”
“You might be missing the point a little bit….”
“Would referring to them by number be better? ‘UL12’?”
”You know what. Never mind.”
There is nothing more detrimental to a parent’s mere existence than that light-sensitive Melissa and Doug puzzle.
You know the one. The one with the animal sounds.
The pieces get lost within seven minutes of obtaining ownership, leaving those shining dots just waiting to register every change in lighting in your life.
Then the kids leave the puzzle in your bedroom floor, so the rooster alerts you to daybreak. Followed immediately by the pig. And then the kitten and dog and duck, in a chorus of murderous cacophony.
Or that stupid cow moos in the middle of your One Quiet Moment Of The Day and nearly makes you wet your pajamas.
(Because you never got out of your pajamas.)
(Because you were rocking that baby. All night long.)
Here’s a list of other things that make parents consider buying a one-way ticket to Fiji:
1. Play-Doh. Because why did they have to make it so crumbly? WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO OVERCOME CRUMBS. Use it.
2. Balloons. Children become unnaturally attached to balloons, somewhat like Wilson the Volleyball in Castaway. And no matter how shrunken they become, how long they’ve been missing their helium, and how annoyingly they float whimsically all over your house, your children will insist on keeping them.
You know what I do? I murder balloons after bedtime. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a steak knife to a balloon and then carefully hiding the evidence.
3. Glitter and Glitter Glue. They are the Gift from Satan that never quits giving.
4. Bubble Bath. It’s the ultimate tool in a Stalling Child’s arsenal. It stretches out bath time, makes it harder to rinse their hair than finding the pieces to that blasted Melissa and Doug puzzle, and intrinsically allows them to stay up later. Don’t let them use it against you, parents of the world.
5. Toys that use up 90% of their battery the first day of use and then hobble along on the remaining 10% for the next six years, consequently singing woefully off-tune and with painfully distorted cadence. They plan them this way, you know. It’s a conspiracy theory I could believe.
6. All Children’s Music. Except for Silly Songs with Larry.
7. Paint. It’s the item that they always want to pull out at the most inopportune time, and it never goes where it’s intended. And does children’s paint ever dry? No. Because they pile it on in the thickest, goopiest, most bleed-through-the-paper way possible.
8. Capri Suns. Did you know that it is scientifically impossible to stab that stupid straw into the thinnest part of the foil pouch without causing a tiny, sticky geyser? Because it’s true.
9. Stickers. No matter how conscientious your child is, those stickers are magnetically drawn to hardwood floors.
10. ALL Sippy Cups. It’s twenty-freaking-fifteen. We can’t invent a sippy cup that doesn’t mold?
May you all get some sleep tonight. All night long.