Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Open Letter to Space Aliens

Dear Space Aliens,

I'd like to discuss your mascot. Your seven-foot tall mascot. The one that towers over children with its giant corpse head and spindly tentacle fingers. The one that silently and ominously glides from table to table. Yeah, that one.

Yes, this was totally worth ten dollars.
We went to a birthday party at Space Aliens, a seemingly happy place filled with pizza, unnaturally large baked potatoes, and pointless games that require annoying tokens and produce tickets which then yield landfill-occupying plastic crap masked as fabulous prizes.

The point of this place is to spend upwards of $50,000 in alien tokens in order for your child to win a prize that was made in some sweatshop in Thailand and was purchased in bulk from a franchise for about two cents per unit.

Anyway, as I was trying to force a child-sized cheeseburger down my daughter's throat, which was impossible due to the lure of skeeball and drop-a-token-on-Spongebob-and-win-some-stupidass-tickets game, we heard an announcement over the loud speaker. Someone was going to visit us. A visitor from Area 51.

I was initially a little excited. Norah loves mascot-type things. She loves the giant bat we see at our local baseball games. She loved the evil-looking easter bunny at the mall. She even loved-- and hugged-- the giant foam urine sample cup.

But when this dark figure entered the room, she clung to me and whimpered. She buried her head in my neck. It wordlessly lurked about, posing for pictures with the other children. Norah clutched my sweatshirt and trembled. It floated past our table. Quit lingering, motherfucker, I tried to message him telepathically. The children in our group weren't even all that interested in the creature, yet he remained. Little Ralphie just looked at it suspiciously. Baby Ella seemed mildly amused at first, and then drew her attention back to her mother. The other kids were busy with their grandparents.

After it finally left, she asked where it was. And kept asking. She needed to know it was far away. She saw it again from across the restaurant and was back on my lap. That night she would randomly ask me about it. Where was it? She seemed to know that it was a person dressed up, but nonetheless, it frightened her.

"It wasn't real, Mommy."

"What wasn't real, Baby?"

"The alien. It was pretend. It was Halloween."

"That's right, Baby. It was just a dude dressed up. Just like we dress up for Halloween. No need to be afraid!"

"I don't like that. I don't like aliens."

And she hasn't slept in her bed for three nights. Even with a nightlight. Even with me in there with her. Even if I put her in her bed while she's already asleep. She'll wake up and scream for me.

So, to the point, Space Aliens, you owe me three nights' sleep. This is what I'm dealing with here, so you know how serious I am.

Sleeping with Norah

1. We fall asleep on the couch in the dark.

2. Gently take her to her room and cover her up.

3. I hear screaming an hour later.

4. Try to soothe; singing, backrubs, etc.

5. Can't take the begging and crying anymore.

6. Bring to Ryan on the couch (he's a night owl.)

7. They fall asleep on the couch.

8. He puts her down to sleep, clumsily.

9. She wakes and screams for Mommy.

10. I bring her to my bed.

Someone kill me.
11. I spend 7-8 hours with my muscles tense, so as to not fall off the bed. I try to switch sleeping positions slightly so that I alternate limbs falling asleep and going numb, without lifting my head off my 1/8 of the pillow, because the second my head is up, Norah's head occupies that space. Then she mumbles, "Scooch over, Mama." Then Ryan starts to snore and Norah mumbles, "Mommy. Daddy snores." Then one tingling or numb hand reaches over to tap Ryan. Then the goddamn cat sees movement and begins to attack, thinking it's happy super fun play time. Then Norah starts giggling and saying, "I like my cat, Mongo." Then Mongo attacks Norah's feet because they're wiggling as she laughs. Then she starts to cry, "Mongo bites me." Then I sit up and throw the cat off the bed. Then Norah wails, "You pushed my cat." Then I lie and say, "No, Honey, Mommy hugs Mongo." Then Ryan murmurs, "What's going on?" Then I lie down, but Norah's head is where my head was. Then I shift down to the bottom quarter of the bed. Then Norah says, "I'm not tired. Let's go to the living room."

12. Ryan benevolently brings Norah to the living room, but leaves the door open, so I can plainly hear her crying about that sonofabitch alien and that she wants chocolate milk. I lie there and eventually fall back asleep.

13. Then I'm awoken by Norah placing rainbow-colored foam letters on my back. She's wearing a colorful t-shirt that does not have a hedgehog on it (Jessica, the t-shirt bestower, says it's an echidna.) Cute. But also multi-colored neon-striped leggings, and ruffly white socks. This is what happens when Mommy oversleeps and Daddy dresses the short one. I didn't even give a shit. Off you go.

14. And I go to work.

So, thank you, space Aliens. Because of your alien mascot, Ryan and I will probably get divorced or one of us will murder the other, due to lack of sleep and irritability. A broken home. Or I'll get fired for falling asleep at my desk and we'll end up in my mother-in-law's basement. More laws will certainly be broken after that. And Norah's budding social life will be quashed prematurely due to her goofy, mismatched outfits. She'll become a loner, start collecting small, dead animal carcasses, and eventually end up trying to sell her outsider art on the street corner for cheap liquor.

Thank you, Space Aliens, for ruining our entire fucking life.




  1. seriously? what place thinks spindly space aliens give kids the warm fuzzies?