It’s 5:00 AM. I need to pee very terribly. And I want to go meditate.

Someone else would merely rise, pee, and blithely avoid to their cushion.

Not me.

Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi

To do this, I’ve to manage a CIA operation.

I must remove the covers, inch by inch– in the dead of night our comforter seems like a crinkly bag of potato chips. I need to crawl to the edge of the bed (our bed is pinned against the wall to make room for Benji’s changing table). I should step off, and in the pitch-black, follow the border of the bed frame.

I’ve to round the corner of the bed, where someone who designed our bed has very cruelly positioned a sticking out protrusion at precisely shin height. At five in the morning I forget this each time. I need to stifle my cries. Power through the pain. Eyes tearing, I round the corner and toe the balance-beam width between Benji’s changing table and our bed, ever careful, ninja-like, to step lightly.

I’m almost out. Now I face my greatest difficulty. The little distance in between me and the door, perhaps five feet, is a minefield of creaky floorboards. Gwen has them memorized. For some factor I do not. Initially I stop briefly to consider my choices, then I run scared, dashing the brief range to the door. My feet land extraheavy, and the floorboards creak like mad … yet nobody awakens. Hashtag grateful.

On the way out, I shut the door in one movement, cautious that it doesn’t squeak, promising to myself that today is the day I’ll bear in mind to oil the hinges.

Failure in this operation isn’t an option. Benji isn’t sleeping more than two hours at a stretch. Neither, therefore, is Gwen. She’s bad-tempered. I shouldn’t wake her or Benji.

If stage among OPERATION MEDITATION goes well, I can leave the space with Benji and Gwen still asleep. Now I am in the corridor. I need to pass Noah’s doorway without him stirring. He can sense me. I must mask my aroma, my extremely energy trademark. Any stirrings, and he’ll roll over and groggily say something like, ‘Father, lie with me.’ Which is charming. Genuinely. However it’s not why I’m out of bed. I’m visiting my cushion to meditate. Plus, Noah’s bed is two inches too short for me. So I can not extend my legs and I will not drop off to sleep. I’ll lie there hearing him rest. Material, but wishing I were meditating or asleep in my own bed.

Alternatively, he can get up and be alert for the day. Unacceptable. Waking at 5 to snuggle or meditate is one thing. However art projects and Monopoly are another.

Before I can meditate I should pee. Reflection can not take place otherwise. The bathroom is opposite Noah’s room. I shut his door. Do I also shut the restroom door and run the risk of a squeak? This one is a judgment call. More art than science. Today I leave it open.

I lift the toilet seat. I pee. To decrease noise, I aim simply above the border of the water and the porcelain. Thirty-eight years of standing pees have trained me for this moment. I perform it perfectly and lower the seat without a clank.

At this point I consider heading back to the lion’s den, back to my comfy flannel sheets. This is madness. Gwen and Benji are certain to stir.

Do not do it, I thought-scream at myself as I turn left out of the washroom. Previous Noah’s room. Down the hallway. Into my bed room. Over the creaky floorboards. Around the bed frame. I climb in. Under the crinkly comforter. Ahh. I close my eyes. Benji stirs.

I’m in big trouble.