When is the Boogeyman coming?

My son has recently started dreaming. Actually, I would say he has always dreamt, but now he acts them out much more emphatically. He twists and turns and yelps and mutters and jolts and you get the picture. I wonder what he dreams about. I used to think (since he was always smiling) that he dreamt about milk – lots and lots of it. Now I would have to include cars, trains and gelato (or giallolo as he likes to call it). When, though, should I expect the Boogeyman to show up?

I can’t really recall when he showed up when I was growing up. I do, though, remember building the stuffed animal fortresses around me in bed or leaping into bed to avoid the hand that I was sure was going to reach out and grab me from below. My best bodyguard was Big Ted a stuffed teddy bear that was worn by my sister and my affection over the years. I would have him by side in bed and always make sure that he was between the closet and me.

I also had two sets of cultural Boogeymen to deal with (Latin and Anglo-Saxon), as well as a vast library of children’s books on the subject such as Where The Wild Things Are, There’s a Nightmare in My Closet and most of the untouched-by-Disney Brother Grimm tales. The only book, though, that I found often mixed into my dreams because it was itself a far-fetched dream sequence as well as a kid’s dream of baked goods was Sendak’s In The Night Kitchen (and to this day is one of my favorite children’s books) in which the cooks acted like Boogeymen. In my dreams I can vaguely remember not only escaping, but turning the tables on them.

I can’t say that I was really scared by any of these books, but they certainly did not lend credence to my mother’s assurances that there was no such thing as the Boogeyman or monsters under my bed or in my closet. On occasion I would, in fact, crawl into bed with my folks or wake up my older sister so she could share in my misery as the night shadows turned into fantastical creatures looking to make a midnight snack out of me.

I hope my son keeps smiling and laughing in his sleep, but if he must think of monsters I hope he gets the better of them like Max or unmasks them as scaredy-cats like the ones hiding in the closet.

Drinking Coffee Where The Wild Things Are…

The first sign of my son’s awakening in the morning is usually a sudden and sustained banshee-like scream that thanks to the monitor my wife places on my nightstand is the only alarm clock I need.

This is my cue to stumble towards the kitchen as my wife attempts to calm our son who is entering his full “I WANT MY MILK!” frenzy. It’s all very Where The Wild Things Are-esque with “gnashing of teeth” and all. There are two things I have to do simultaneously when I reach the kitchen (hopefully without tripping or bumping into anything in the dark):

1. Heat milk (for my son)

2. Make coffee (for my wife)

This must all be completed in less than the 30 seconds it takes my wife to bring our own little Max to inspect my work (and gnash some more). Quiet returns to our humble abode only when I have successfully inserted the sippy cup straw into my son’s mouth. Then comes the extra large 10 serving cup size mug full of steaming coffee for my loving wife who has been mumbling to no one in particular the whole time. This leaves yours truly with just enough coffee to open one eye completely. I lovingly pour the remaining precious drops of the restorative elixir into one of two portable coffee mugs: my stainless steel thermal OXO Liquiseal Travel Mug from their Good Grips line or my brown and red KeepCup.

Sure, there are thousands of mugs out there, but I have tried hundreds and these are the only two that I find practical and yet of rare beauty in this product category. For reasons known only to them, most manufacturers of “travel mugs” compete to create the ugliest objects in the consumer realm (Is it a coincidence that it is a favorite trade show tchotchke along with glow in the dark key-chain bottle openers?).

So I tip my hat to these two companies for making an object that I am actually not embarrassed to bring with me to work or while pushing around the stroller.
More importantly they can take quite a beating and in OXO’s case have never spilled even a drop of coffee on me even after having been used as a sledgehammer by my son. The OXO also does an incredible job of keeping the coffee warm FOREVER!

As for the KeepCup, it is shatter proof and recyclable (polypropylene #5) when its recommended life cycle of 4 years is up. The designers of this very cool cup added a very nifty tab to keep your coffee from spilling from the sip hole that is unobtrusively attached to the KeepCup’s lid.
So after the traumatic awakening I can slink off with my spiffy mug and precious load of coffee to nurse my aching ear!