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Full Moon Baby

She laughs at me when I mention the full moon, my wife does.

I understand.

I’m a little bit nuts to begin with and so she probably hears me begin to ramble on about the wild powers that I think the fat, glowing full moon possesses and she just thinks to herself that I’m passing the buck, making excuses for me and the kids (and for her, too) when I point out that any of our recent chaos is due to something hanging out in outer space.

Whatever; I know what I know, because I’ve been watching closely for a long time now.

And I am here to lay it out on your table, man. You are looking at a diehard believer in full moon fever.

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Of course, I’m not breaking any scientific ground here. People have been attributing crime and debauchery and out-and-out insanity to full moons since they began scribbling stuff on their cave walls with buffalo blood. But the way I see it, whenever something has been kicked around for thousands and thousands of years, there has to be something to it, no?

Look, ever since our daughter was born, five years ago, I slowly began to notice some weird crap going down at certain times of the month. Our baby was a pretty sound sleeper, rarely rolling too far off of the rest schedule we had worked hard to get her used to. Yet, every now and then, BOOM: a few nights of odd restlessness would overcome her, and she would simply abandon her sleepy ways in favor of all-nighters where she tossed and turned and cried incessantly.

Exhausted, my wife would struggle through the nights, often waking my slumbering ass up deep in the night so that I could offer her just a little relief from the runaway baby in the crib down the hall.

After this happened a few times, I started to wonder what the hell could be happening. Nothing had changed on mom and dad’s end; we were still feeding her exactly the same stuff at exactly the same times of each day. Our patterns of care were unshakeable; they were, I dare say, towering monuments to routine.

I’d remember to look at the calendar after a bad day and sure enough, it was a full moon about 80 percent of the time.

Then, one blurry morning after a particularly rough night that came out of nowhere, I noticed the calendar on the kitchen wall had that little full moon icon on yesterday’s date. Flare guns went off in my skull, and suddenly I was absolutely certain that here was our answer.

I think I was right, too. My wife dismissed my idea with a snarky comment, but I began to monitor this thing really closely. And guess what? Yup, many times whenever something seemed pretty "off" in our household, when we’d had a nasty argument or someone had seemed undeniably grumpy or touchy, and practically every time our daughter cried through the night—or even the afternoon, in ways that were not her usual behavior at all—I’d remember to look at the calendar after a bad day, and sure enough, it was a full moon about 80 percent of the time.

How can that be coincidence, you know?

It just can’t be.

These weren’t everyday occurrences that happened all of the time, therefore making it easy to say, “Well yeah, this stuff is going down during the full moon for sure ... and during every other phase of the moon, too, by the way.” This was mostly madness out of left field, highly unusual days and nights, especially when it came to our little girl, when short periods of time were shrouded in mysterious darkness as far as I was concerned.

Until I plugged the moon into the equation, that is.

Over the past half-decade then, as we welcomed another child into our world and continued our lives as best as we could, I have spent a few days each month observing the fact that me and my kids, and quite possibly my wife as well (I implicate her not! I am no fool!), act differently when the pie in the sky is whole and complete. Often, I admit, I’ll forget all about the moon thing for a while and am just trying to keep my head above water—working and being a dad and whatever—and then some bizarre restlessness will ease into my world. Sometimes it comes in the form of some serious blues that bring me down for reasons I just cannot pinpoint; sometimes it comes when I notice my two kids, 5 and 3, bickering and fighting way more than they typically do.

And sometimes, I totally confess, it appears in the form of a double-headed fire-breathing dragon of marital distress, a hot argument over something so stupid and innocuous that I can rarely even recall what the thing was about the very next day.

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Still, I swear to you, almost every time things spin well out of control, I remember my calendar hanging out there on the kitchen door, a calendar which I thought nothing of during the heat of our family’s most recent battle or madness, but which has rarely failed to reveal to me one certain truth above all else when I finally get around to approaching it with cautious eyes once again.

There she blows, without fail, the tiny full moon, in some far-flung Chinese factory’s printer’s ink, staring me in the face like the barrel of a cold, mean pistol, and pointing down at me from somewhere far, far away.

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