Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It was a dark and stormy night

Lengthy rumbles of thunder and jumpy bursts of lightning light, absent the soothing dulling of any rain, had both girls stirring. L woke first.

Faced with the option of nursing her in the rocking chair and attempting to transfer her back to her crib or just taking her into bed, I wanted to bring her into my bed. She had fallen asleep early last night, so early that I had not changed her diaper, dressed her in pajamas or fed her too thoroughly. So I knew she was hungry, and I also knew that once I fed her, that diaper that remained on her from daycare would not protect any mattress for long.

I lay her down on the floor to changer he quickly and she started crying loudly, since she had summoned me but was not yet being fed. E, still asleep, could nevertheless be hear stirring more against the cries.

I changed L, brought her into bed and started feeding her. She was just falling asleep when E screamed.


L was wide awake again, and crying again. I couldn't leave her alone in the bed so I picked her up, plunked her on the floor outside the bathroom, locked the gate at the top of the steps, and plucked E from her crib, where she was standing up and also crying.

Did she wake up from a dream about using the potty? Or did she just wet herself in her diaper, and wake up from the sensation? I don't know, but she sat on the potty and all that fell out of her was tears.

So I got a new diaper and I got her dressed again. Both girls were awake and upset. E was shaken, repeating I had a bad bad dream, I had a bad bad dream. She was sniffling and asked if she could sleep in my bed. E still falls out of beds. I told E I didn't want both girls in bed with me with no Daddy to buffer; I didn't feel I could keep them both safe.

I put E in the middle of the bed, surrounded her by pillows, cautioned her not to stray to the edges, and hesitantly accepted her tentative okay in response. I took L back to her room and tried to nurse her back to sleep in the rocking chair. I thought I had her asleep so I returned her to her crib. I walked back to my bedroom and climbed into bed. E squeezed me in a hug and clung to me. I started to reassure her. And L began to wail.

I felt terribly about unwrapping E's arms from my neck. I told her I'd be back as soon as I could. Just I go to my crib, she offered, as dejected as I've ever heard her. But the offer was a relief to me, so I scooped her up, hugged her and kissed her and squeezed her and deposited her in her crib, and returned to L again. And I retrieved L again, and brought her into bed, again.

Both girls returned to sound sleep, but I woke for the remainder of the night at every sound and creak in the house. I had one dream that I was in San Marco's in Venice and a crow, not a pigeon, was trying to fly into my clothes. I awoke to find L looking for a snack. And then the alarm clock began to sing. L opened her eyes next to me. She crawled on top of me and smiled. She briefly hugged me and then turned her attention to the alarm clock I had just snoozed, its pretty illuminated numbers and the twinkling glow of the adjacent baby monitor. She reached for the lights, probably to try to eat them.

And so it was morning. Pin It