April's Real Blog

Saturday, February 23, 2008

They're BUNK beds, Mike!

Mike has the conclusion of the new-bed story 4 U:

Formerly little sis. I think there comes a time in every parent’s life where they have to admit that, despite having gotten the best example possible of parenting from their mother (like our mother for us), there are some things which defy your expectations.

For example, this week I have been telling you the riveting story about how I realized that the way to solve the problem with my children teasing and bickering and fighting all the time, was to put the kids each in their own room. Sure enough, as I was taking off my socks to go to bed…by the way, did I tell you how much starch my wife Deanna has been putting in my socks lately? You won’t believe this, but I can literally push the sock off my foot and the sock stands up straight off my toes. It is quite amazing to see. Where was I? I was taking off my sock, and Deanna was putting on her pink pair of pyjamas, as she leaned against the bed. I don’t know if you have ever seen Deanna putting on clothes or pyjamas before, but she doesn’t sit on the bed, just leans against it. What was I saying? Oh, that’s right. Deanna said, “Well, that’s done! The kids each have their own room.”

I responded, “Finally!” and followed that with my explanation, “I was so tired of their teasing and bickering and fighting.” Once you have the solution to a problem which had been annoying me, it is a great thing to be able to say that the solution is in place. No more teasing. No more bickering. No more fighting. And all this is due to my saying to Deanna that we needed to spend the money to buy the bed which would bring peace to the house. We had to buy on sale, but the point is the problem is solved. Deanna agreed with me and said, “Yes. It was definitely time.”

Well, I was buttoning my pyjamas and having a difficult time with it, because these were those kind of pyjamas to button which did not have visible buttons. After I was finished, I decided to step into the hallway between my room and the kids’ room, put my hand to my ear in order to hear better, and also to let the cameraman know that I was listening. I said to my wife, “And…listen! No noise! --They’re actually SLEEPING!” I said that last part a little too loud, and my wife said to me, “Good move!” I said in a much quieter voice, “Yeah.”

You see, April, the way it used to be was that my children would tease and bicker and fight most of the night long. This is why it was so shocking to hear them sleep for a change. Deanna said to me, “They are so quiet, Mike. Either they are dead, or they are running around outside the house.” Well, I had to confirm what was happening. We went into my daughter’s bedroom and what should we find there, but my daughter and my son sleeping together on the same lower bump bed? They were sound asleep with “Z” coming out of them.

It was at this point, I had to revise my initial thesis. The children were not teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; and yet they had managed to go to sleep without a night long battle. How was this possible?

First I had to analyze the differences. They were both sleeping in the same room and in the same bed without my having to use an egg timer; so my theory that the reason they were teasing and bickering and fighting all the time was not related to them being in the same room.

Before they were sleeping in the same room in different beds, and now they are sleeping in the same room, but in a brand new bed. The answer was obvious, the teasing and bickering and fighting was caused by poor quality mattresses on their previous beds. Of course, bump beds don’t have very good mattresses on them; so it had to be a different explanation.

Then I realized the answer. Both of my children must have been gotten into the bump beds, knocked themselves unconscious with the “bump”; but not before pulling the covers over their body. But, on closer inspection, I saw that they did not have any marks on them from running into the bed and losing consciousness.

So, it occurred to me there might be something about the bed. My daughter used to sleep on a bed with sides, and my son used to sleep in a crib, with sides; so the difference is in the sides. Perhaps with this new found freedom of being able to fall out of bed at night, my son and daughter decided to test their ability to stay in bed with the worst possible conditions of being in the same bed at the same time. Honestly, I didn’t think my son and daughter were that ambitious.

Then another answer occurred to me. My son had said yesterday that there was too much room in the room. Perhaps, what he meant was that in order to keep from teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; he and his sister needed to be in a room that had less room in the room. Well, with that giant bump bed in an L-shape between the top and bottom bump, I mean bunk, it certainly takes up almost all the room in my daughter’s room.

This means I could have solved the problem years ago, by not insisting that Deanna keep their room so clutter-free. Perhaps this is the reason I teased and bickered or fought all the time with my sister. If mom had not been such a good cleaner, we might have gotten along better. No, that’s not right. I already know I teased my sister, because she deserved it from being cuter than I was.

Then it occurred to me that the reason they stopped the teasing or bickering or fighting all the time, even though they were sleeping in the same room and in the same bed, was the peace of mind which comes from knowing you don’t have to sleep in the same room, but choose to do so anyway.

You see what I mean about defying explanations, little sis. My wife Deanna said to me simply, “Mike. What’s important is not understanding why they have stopped teasing or bickering or fighting all the time; but they that have stopped.” That is why my wife and I get along so well. It is her simple, homespun, wisdom.

Michael Patterson
W8 a minute. W8 a friggin' minute. This is what Mike sed 2 Dee: "I was so tired of their teasing and bickering and fighting." He was tired of it. It bothered him. Was he concerned abt the effect the teasing and bickering and fighting had on his kids? No, it was all abt his peace b-ing disturbed. So let's think abt this. Mike, if Merrie and Robin NEVER teased or bickered or fought, does that mean they wd have had 2 share a room 4ever, despite the availability of other rooms in the house? Oh, and what if separating them didn't have NE effect on all the teasing, bickering, and fighting? Wd U have put them 2gether in one room again? Gah!


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  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    I think all the big words your mother taught him have so crowded his brain, there's no room for common sense.

  • At 12:24 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. All those questions you asked. Let me see if I can answer them:

    1. Was he concerned about the effect the teasing and bickering and fighting had on his kids?

    You answered it with, “No, it was all about his peace being disturbed.” This is an interesting answer and your usual attack on me, showing all your teenaged Martianosity, but unfortunately none of your Patterson wit. First of all, when did I say anything about “my peace”? I didn’t. I said I was tired of their bickering and fighting. For example, when you say, “I’m tired of mom eating all the butter tarts”, are you concerned for mom’s health? Of course you are. It is the same thing with my kids. One these days, the bickering and fighting will turning to actual bloodshed, and not just the blood that was shed with the vegetable peeler the other day.

    2. Mike, if Merrie and Robin NEVER teased or bickered or fought, does that mean they would have had to share a room forever, despite the availability of other rooms in the house?

    April, a good parent goes with the method that works. Obviously being in the same room didn’t work, so they needed to move. However, if they never fought, then that would mean staying in the same room was working. Just because you have a house with extra rooms doesn’t mean you have to make someone unhappy by forcing them to move into another room. To do that, you have to have a good reason, like fighting or bickering or an apartment fire. As Dad would say, “If it isn’t broken, then keep it away from mom.”

    3. Oh, and what if separating them didn't have any effect on all the teasing, bickering, and fighting? Would you have put them together in one room again?

    Well, of course not. If you have 2 kids in the same room and they fight, and then you move them to different rooms and they still fight; well cheeze, then you haven’t solved the problem. You don’t go back to what didn’t work. That would be silly, formerly little sis. The next step would be to move one of them into the washroom, and see if the style of room had any difference. Or another possibility would be try and borrow one of Anthony Caine’s hand-made cages, he said worked wonders with his little half-Quebecoise child, to get her to settle down. Mom suggested screaming at the kids and throwing packages of frozen vegetables or coffee cups; but I consider that to be a last resort (considering how it affected dad all these years).

    Well, formerly little sis. I think that answers all your questions. It’s good to see that you are inquisitive about good parenting techniques, for the time when you and Gerald are married and making Milborough babies of your own. When it comes to good parenting, I can’t think of a better example than me and Deanna, except mom of course.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, u mite not have come rite out and sed nething abt yr peace being disturbed, but u definitely implied it. especially that time u told dee that the teasing "drivesh [u] crazy." this was not concern 4 yr kids' well-being. it was concern 4 yr own peace an' quiet.

    and if robin and meredith did not tease or bicker or fite, that wd NOT b a sign that they wd not benefit from having their own rooms. that totally soundz like punishing them 4 their good behaviour. @ least dee seems to recognize that "it was time" 4 them 2 have their own rooms. separate and apart from ne bickering, fiting or teasing.

    and the only way i consider u an xxample of parenting is an xxample of what NOT 2 do, IF i have kids sumday. and y do u never listen 2 me when i tell u i m not going 2 marry gerald and i m NOT going 2 live in milborough? it's like i say stuff 2 u, and all u hear is "blah blah blah, mike. blah, blah blah. blah, blah blah, mike blah."


  • At 12:41 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i guess that story of ur bro’s xxplainz yu grabbed me by the shirt & sed, “think of our kids 1st! don’t be an asshat!” course then u looked rilly embarrassed 4 havin’ sed it, but i know wut u mean now. u don’t want 2 end up like ur bro, or i guess married 2 sum1 like ur bro. i guess considerin’ ur fam’s history of repeatin’ stuff that is like rilly obvious w/wut ur bro & ur sis do, thass gotta b sumthin’ u worry ‘bout. i’ve heard enuff stories ‘bout how ur mom wuz clueless w/ur bro & ur sis, & now ur bro is clueless w/hiz kids; u hafta worry that b-in’ clueless w/kids iz sum kinda family trait, eh?

    i dunno if i won’t do sum st00pid thingz wen i am a ‘rent, but i gotta say that wen it comes 2 ur bro, he is takin’ st00pid ‘rent 2 a whole new level of st00pid, i don’t think i can evn reach. i dunno if that makes u feel ne bettah or not.

    neway, we prolly shud get back 2 cookin’ if we’re gonna finish this vegan dinner 4 the peeps @the ronald mcdonald house. az u sed, doin’ sumthin’ 4 othah peeps iz definitely not the patterson way of doin’ things.

  • At 12:54 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I said, “The teasing drives me crazy.” Again, this is like when you say, “Mom’s eating drives me crazy.” Does that mean you want your own peace and quiet? I guess considering the amount of noise mom makes when she is shluffing and slobbering through her pastries, peace and quiet could be an issue. She is not a quiet eater. However, I would like to think that as a Patterson you have a greater purpose in mind.

    You seem to be really concerned whether my kids have their own rooms or not. Are things not going well at mom and dad’s place? Have they not renovated that basement room for you, like they promised? You know that you are welcome to move in with us. Your old spot in the rec room is completely unoccupied except for the rabbit, but I am sure she won’t mind moving for you.

    Just to let you know, formerly little sis, I do listen to you when you tell me you’re not going to marry Gerald and you’re NOT going to live in Milborough. Those kinds of statements really take me back to when I used to hear Elizabeth say the same thing. She would say, “I’m going to be a teacher in the Northwest. I am going to make a difference in the world. Stop asking me about Anthony Caine. I am done with him.” It’s so much fun to hear the voice of innocence and naïveté. It doesn’t sound like blah, blah, blah at all, except when you don’t enunciate or talk with food in your mouth. Then who knows what you’re saying.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    jeremy, i m so glad u came up w/this awesum idea of makin' a vegan lunch 4 the ppl @ ronald mcdonald house in to. the chickpea cutlets, portobello salad w/spicy mustard dressing, baja-style grilled tempeh tacos, and the pumpkin crumb cake w/pecan streusal all came out amazing! this is such a cube way 2 take my mind off of my stupid fam.

    and yeah, it is comforting 2 know u'd never reach mike's level of stoopid!

    mike, u just can't come out and admit it when u r being selfish, eh? i'm surprised u don't just embrace yr selfishness and say u xxpect every1 2 b all quiet and tiptoey around u when u r "immersed in the world of breaking the windjammer" or whatev else u happen 2 b working on @ the time.


  • At 7:14 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Actually, I do most of my work during the night after the kids go to bed. I know I planned to write during the day, but I can’t think of a time in the last year when I have written during the day time, can you? I think I spent almost the entire month of September looking at photo albums with my daughter.

    And in case you couldn’t tell from my stories over the past 3 weeks, I was feeding the kids and putting them to bed before Deanna came home from work. I’m a kept man and loving it, especially now that the kids have stopped teasing and bickering and fighting.

    Why would you think that my working on my next novel Breaking the Windjammer is selfish? That’s my career. My family lives on the money I make from my novel(s). If that’s selfish, then I am a very selfish man for my family.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    oh, pls, mike, u r trying 2 make yrself sound all virtuous when u r not. never mind that on that day/nite u r referring 2, the one when u used the timer and told the kids they hadta b quiet when it went off in 15 mins, u had 1st of all denied they cd b hungry cuz they had "just had lunch." but 4 sum reason, u were working on supper preparations when they had "just had lunch." but then when u got annoyed w/them 4 fighting and u PUT THEM 2 BED WITHOUT NE SUPPER. so what's this "feeding the kids and putting them 2 bed b4 deanna came home from work" stuff?

    oh, and if u hadn't put them 2 bed w/out supper, and they'd still been awake when dee had gotten home, u totally wda pawned them off on her so u cd escape 2 yr writing hideaway. and u yrself have admitted u use that 2 avoid yr fam, not just make $ 4 them 2 live on. the only 1 bringing home ne $ @ the moment is dee.

    and whenev i c u w/yr kids u look annoyed, overwhelmed, gobsmacked, or doing a full-body clench. the only time u show sum approval of them is if they do sumthing annoying u yrself did when u were a kid. like hurling a superteddy at sum1. as long as the sum1 is not u. then if it is, u b-come murderous.

    but no, u're gonna pretend u r all kinds of perfect.


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