The other night, I was sleeping. I would say this was unsurprising, but in a way, when you are a parent, it’s kind of surprising, because you seem to wind up with a lot of nighttime visitors, people who need to tell you they are about to go use the bathroom, and people who really need you to help them find their blankies.
The people who usually wake me up are Asher and Noah. Noah either appears next to my face and grunts until I wake up and pull him into bed or pick him up and carry him back to bed or he cries from bed until I go in to see what’s happening or missing. Asher often wakes me to ask if he can come sleep with me. Selah does not usually wake up or wake me up, but every now and then she’ll come in and ask if she can come sleep with me. I seem to be a hot sleeping commodity these days.
One night Noah was crying in his bed, and I went in to comfort him. I patted him, I handed him his blankie, and I prepared to leave. But as I pushed myself off his bed, I put my hand on his pillow and discovered it was soaking wet. I had given him too many drinks at bedtime, and his overfull diaper had leaked everywhere and he was drenched and freezing cold. Oops. Glad I figured it out before leaving and telling him he had to go back to sleep.
The unsurprising part, I guess, is that I was awakened the other night. By a light, rather than a small presence next to my face. I went through a sleepy thought process where I wondered if it was morning, and then I remembered that it is pretty light when we are supposed to wake up these days.
It was 3:02 a.m. I went out in the living room, squinting, and found this: Selah, sitting happily on the couch, merrily reading a book. What the…?
“What are you DOING?” I said in an angry-mom whisper. She looked slightly surprised. I muttered a lot of angry telling-child-off mom-whisper things and escorted her out of the living room and turned off the light.
I went back to bed, and then figured I should go to the bathroom as long as I was up. Once I was in the hallway, I could see the light streaming under her door. I opened her door. Seriously?!
Sometimes I’m glad nobody nobody has a video camera running in my house, because I have a mental picture of me that’s bad enough: crabby, half-crazed mother in her nightgown, squinting with frizzy hair and snapping shrewishly.
Selah was lying on her stomach on her bed, happily reading a different book, with Hazel sitting contentedly by her side. I have no idea what I said. But the night and book were whisked away and the cat and child were sent back to bed.
Whose kid wakes in the night so she can read?
When things like this happen, however, like the time I found the children wrestling in the dark at 3:00 a.m., I have to ask myself, How often does this happen? Does this happen every night?
Maybe I’m better off not knowing.