I seem to have developed preternatural hearing.
I swear, even in my deepest sleep, I can distinguish between the roar of the air-conditioner, Hudson’s snuffles, and the telling mini-creak of the floorboards when tiny feet carry my sleepy toddler into my room so we can all “be to-ge-ther”. At the sound of him approaching I usually get up and am ready to escort him back to his room, no matter what the time.
Recently, he has become something of a master negotiator. First he tried perseverance. After the fifth visit to my room, I could see him smiling every time I led him back to his bed. He knew he was just going to give it 10 minutes and try again. He knew he would break me in a battle of wills. Toddlers are not to be screwed with. They will make you PAY. Now he tells me in a surprisingly clear voice “I just wanna lie down in your bed a LITTLE BIT…” It’s 3 a.m. and I’ve done the dance between our rooms 7 times already. I want to cry. Or laugh. I’m not sure if I’m super proud of him or if I hate him just a little bit. But I’m hardly likely to argue with him. There’s no reasoning with a toddler. Smart SOB.
I KNOW if I bring him to bed, I stand no chance against his hard little fists and fidgety legs. It’s really cute to feel his tiny hand across my throat in the morning, but it’s a bit alarming in the middle of the night. Once the sun rises, a sweet little foot on my back is adorable. But not ALL. NIGHT. LONG. And not when that foot ends up in my pajama bottoms (Sorry for getting mad at you, husband), and not when I have to listen to an accompanying chorus of Andy harrumphing in annoyance (it seems our little guy likes to furiously rub his feet on a hairy chest). Hey, if you’re willing to get up and put him back in his room - go for it! Yay Papi! No? Oh, well then. Stop your near-silent judgement and move over.
Lately though, since the baby came along, my abilities have diminished. I can’t discern if the sounds I’m hearing are from Andy (who sleeps with a pillow over his face as insurance against all child-led noise), or from Hudson, who has a habit of choosing the dead of night to continuously lick his paws/drag his face across the carpet/bark at phantom intruders. Or is it the new baby, who has some weird sleep snort thing going on, which I’m obsessed with? All this has me feeling insecure in my powers, and I find myself randomly sitting up multiple times a night, making sure I know which sounds are coming from every creature in the room.
Among the normal cacophony on any given night, the toddler’s nocturnal visits have become a little creepy. I haven’t been able to hear him approaching at all. I must be so sleep deprived that I faint and miss the telltale creaks. Sometimes I open my eyes and he’s just…there. Like last night, when he went all Paranormal Activity on me. It was the middle of the night, I was fast asleep but I felt my skin prick…like someone was watching me. I opened my eyes, saw him looming ominously over me, and screamed! A second later, I realized it was just my child, silently staring. My harmless, loveable three-year-old. Not a demon hell-bent on torturing me (although one could argue that they are one and the same). Nonplussed by my scream, he proceeded with the business at hand.
“I want to sweep wit you.”
“You can’t, let’s go back to your bed.”
“But I want to SWEEP wit you.”
“I know baby, let me cuddle you in your bed”
“But I just came to cuddle you in YOUR bed.”
Since I never heard him coming into my room, I didn’t get out of bed. Hence, I was attempting to negotiate with this sharp-minded individual (who really should be wearing pin-striped pajamas) from the drowsy warmth of my cozy duvet and pillow-top mattress. Hardly a position of power. My sleep threatening to leave me at any second, I hastily agreed and moved aside. I wonder if tonight he’ll just lie there and be still. Yes! Tonight he’ll be fine! I’m so optimistic I’m starting to feel giddy. Fool.
Up I get to fetch his little toddler pillow and his TeddyCat (it’s neither a Teddybear, nor a Cat. It is, in fact, a dog. But he refuses to believe me and so we have the first hybrid-cuddly toy ever. Doing great things for the Trans (species) community since 2012). Upon my return, I find he has made himself very comfortable on my down-filled Frette pillow and is already sleeping peacefully. On my side of the bed.
Andy doesn’t even know he’s in here (or he’s pretending like he doesn’t know). I can’t very well leave! Or maybe I can. Toddler pillow in hand, TeddyCat in the other, I use my foot to push the baby bassinet into the other room and tuck myself into the twin bed.
Best night’s sleep I’ve had in ages.