Enter Sandman

Enter Sandman


I don’t get it. All those fancy writers say a consistent bedtime routine is the key to getting your kid to sleep through the night. I’ve been doing the same thing for 11 long months, and still, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why my kid is an insomniac.

At bedtime and then again at 12, 2, 3 and 4 am, when I hear The Beast’s composition of moans, yells, squeaks, squawks and cries, I counter—not with ‘Brahm’s Lullaby’ or ‘Rock-a-Bye-Baby’. No, I respond with Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. As I thump across my room like a crybaby, I decorate the air with eff bombs because it makes me feel like a rock star (and because I’m immature). Before I tend to my real-life crybaby, I pull myself together in the hall by singing and air guitaring the opening guitar riff.

‘Djuu, dju dju dju djuuuuuu; djuu, dju dju dju djuuuuuu…’

Sometimes I even head bang just a little.

When I enter The Beast’s room, instead of soothing coos and reassuring phrases, I recite heavy metal lyrics. For theatrics, I lift him up in the sky like Simba in ‘The Lion King’.

‘Say your prayers, little one, don’t forget my son, to include everyone…

Tuck you in, warm within, keep you free from sin, till the sandman he comes…’

By now in the interpretation, I usually pretend to scratch my voice box with sandpaper so my vocals remain true to the original. Then I continue…

‘Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight…’

By this point, The Beast and I are usually rocking out in the rocking chair.

‘Exit light. Enter ni-ight. Taake my hand. We’re off to never, never land.’

Then, like every other song I’ve ever heard in my entire life, I forget the rest of the lyrics. I resort to the guitar riff because those words are easy.

‘Djuu, dju dju dju djuuuuuu; djuu, dju dju dju djuuuuuu…’

The Beast’s eyes are wide like water. I let the guitar riff fade out as I place him gently in his crib. I creep away as the bridge suddenly comes to me. I peek through his crib rails and whisper…

‘Hush little baby, don’t say a word, and never mind that noise you heard. It’s just the beast under your bed. It’s in your closet, in your HEAD.’

I let that part crescendo a bit just so he knows I’m still there. I hit the chorus one more time before closing his bedroom door over. The Beast is quiet. He is very, very quiet…but only for a minute until he bursts into tears again.

Sigh…I don’t understand. I’m doing everything the fancy writers say to do and still he’s up all night. It’s not like I’m telling him a creepy story about a man who sneaks into his room at night and sprinkles sand in his eyes.

That would just be cruel.



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