After the movie was done I crawled into bed, ridiculously pleased that it's cold enough for the feather duvet. My pillows had never been more welcoming. I drifted close to the edge of sleep and was about to tumble blissfully over when I heard it. The tell-tale shuffle of little feet in footed jammies and the "Mom!" that I hoped was a dream. It was not. It was my almost five-year old son, standing in the dark on my side of the bed. (Why is it that he always stands on MY side? Could it be because he knows that his father sleeps like the dead and rarely hears any noise made in the night by a child?) Anyway, I hauled Nic into the middle of the bed, murmuring vaguely comforting nonsense with the hope that he would go back to sleep in a reasonable semblance of stillness. Again, this is a lesson I should have learned already!
Nicolas does not sleep still. Rather it's a bit like a whirling dervish that flails and pummels you if you have the misfortune of being in the same bed. There is a reason that there is still a side rail on his bed. If you have seen "The Perfect Storm" you may be able to conjure up a mental image. And this is on any normal night. However if you add any measure of illness or bad dreams, well, matters get much, much worse. So it was this night. First I tried the usual questions about tummy aches or being afraid. My son responded with sleepy but incredulous negative responses. No Mom, his tummy did not hurt, he did not have a bad dream and he was not afraid of anything. After being kicked and rolled on for awhile, I convinced him to let me carry him back to his own bed with promises of finding his green blankie. How he had made it into our bed without in the first place was a mystery.
I managed to carry him back to his own room in the pitch dark without stubbing or breaking anything. I settled him back in his bed, found his blankie and stumbled back to my own bed. I left his door and mine ajar so I would have warning of any further trouble. It was not long in coming.
I'm not sure how much time had passed or if I really slept at all. In the distance I could hear growing rumbling and pretty soon there was a small face close to mine. This time the green blankie and "baby Max" the toy dog had also made the journey. Since I am such a considerate woman I thought I would spare my husband this continuing saga, so I gathered up blankie and Max and said small face and took them all back to Nic's bed. Here I made another great mistake. I gave it to those sweet pleadings of "You can sleep in my bed with me Mom." At that moment it seemed more sensible to be able to stay in one bed and maybe sleep a little.
You have to understand that sleeping in Nic's bed is like taking your pillow and just climbing into the toy box for the night. An amazing array of toys must accompany him to bed. You can never be quiet sure which toys will be the chosen ones. But rest assured, there will be a host of them. Trains, cars, plastic "crackets" (crickets) Woody from Toy Story; all these friends are essential for a good night's sleep. At least for Nic.
So I crawled into my son's bed with him, hoping that maybe we would both get some sleep. We did; sort of. He moaned and whimpered; he rolled back and forth across the bed, blissfully unaware of the obstacle (me) in the way. He held conversations with more than one person. Don't ask me who they were; I only know that some of them were in big trouble with Nic. Finally dawn began creeping through the cracks in the parisianas (blinds). I began to hear the roaming of my 7-year old daughter around the house. When she finally figured out where I was, she came and announced in a stage whisper a little lower than a shout "Mom, it's time to get up!" When I quietly protested that it was Saturday, that Nic and I had not slept much and that I was NOT getting up yet, she protested "But, Dad's up." Somehow I managed to convince her to go away. My cherubic son sprawled beside me, snoring to his heart's content.
He snored until a little while later, when he woke up, looked at me with a hint of annoyance and announced "You can sleep in YOUR room Mom!"
We got up.