Thursday, July 26, 2012

Young At Heart

I'm a really light sleeper, something that until I had children I felt was a curse rather than a blessing.  Once a parent, my mind was at ease knowing that I would not miss any newborn cries during the night because even a tiny sniffle would jolt me upright from a dead sleep, a behavior that has continued until this day.  You can imagine how difficult a night's sleep can be with two noisy boys and a husband that likes to shout out what sounds like broken German in his very heavy, deep sleep.

Maybe it is a curse after all.

But the burden of being a light sleeper has fallen on my children as well.  Both of them are slow to fall asleep and quick-- very quick-- to wake from as little as a hiccup from his brother.  So when I put Cael in bed for his nap yesterday afternoon, only to stub my toe on his dresser and jostle Graham from his slumber, I had no choice but to stash Cael away in a different bed so that Graham could go back to sleep.

I grudgingly ushered Cael back upstairs and into my bed before he discovered that Bloose had been left behind.  Sure, I probably could have gone back down to retrieve him, but there is direct correlation between the number of times I sneak into their room and the number of minutes shaved off of my already limited "free time", so I assured Cael that Bloose would be fine on his own for one nap.

Cael, on the other hand, was not.

He begged for Bloose.  He pleaded.  I refused to get him simply on principle because I wouldn't give in to his tantrum.  Finally, we reached a compromise that I would locate some other stuffed animal for him to snuggle that could serve as a suitable alternative until he and Bloose were reunited.

Just as I began to head downstairs, I remembered that I had a small stuffed lamb in my closet that Joel had gotten for me from a small shop during my first visit to Seattle after our freshman year of college.  I saw it, said it was cute, he bought it without me seeing, and since I was just 18 I thought that it was just the greatest thing, like, ever in the history boys buying gifts for girls.

So when I pulled out the lamb, Cael gawked at me in shock that I, a grown woman, would have a stuffed lamb in my walk-in closet.  Bet he'd be really surprised to know that I have half of his future Christmas presents tucked away in there too.

"What else do you have in there, Mommy?!"

Uh oh.  I could see his gears turning and knew that he was reevaluating all of his previous ideas of what make children different from adults.

"Do you have toys in there?"

"Nope, just my clothes and shoes and some other stuff."

"But you had a lamb!"

"Yeah, I had a special animal in there." 

"Aren't special animals just for kids, Mommy?"

"Usually, honey.  But I like to keep this one."

"Do you like to play with him when you wake up in the morning, too?"

"No, I like to sleep in the morning."  Remember sleep?

"Do you think toots and poop are funny like I do?"

"No, I never think that's funny.  Just bad manners."

"Do you go to preschool?"

"I'm way too old for that.  Do you really think I am in preschool?"

"No, but you like stuffed animals, so maybe."

And then, his proudest moment.

"Mommy, do you wear a diaper?"

With that, I tucked him in my bed with my lamb and plopped down on the couch for some much-earned peace and quiet. 

"Mommy, you never answered me about the diaper!"

Ugh.  My lamb and I might need a stiff drink and some Melatonin before bed tonight.  If all goes well, I'll be the one speaking German in my sleep. 

Gute nacht.

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.