August 11, 2007 – Saturday

Saturday Night at age 34 years and 46 weeks
S. is put to bed at 7:45. She’s had her clean diaper, nightly medicine, her teeth brushed, and a drink of water. She’s tucked into bed (loosely – it’s warm), the fan is on low. S. rolls to her side and clings to her S.-clone Beenie Baby doll, Angel, who is between S.’s cheek and her pillow, kisses and hugs, and S. is comfy and cozy and ready for sleep.
Except she’s apparently not ready for sleep tonight at her usual time. She’s quiet for maybe 15 minutes except for her nightly routine of getting herself to sleep – the thud, thud, thud, thud of her feet kicking the wall by her bed. During this time we are settling down for our Saturday night free time – no kids, S’s in bed, and yep – that’s our opportunity to actually do things we can’t do with S. around – R’s loading the dishwasher before settling into the recliner to read his book and I’m sprawled across the couch reading my book, sipping on a nice cold diet gingerale. Then a “thump” and a sudden blood curdling scream comes from her room. We rush down the hall but carefully open her door. S. has walked into her door and is standing there in the dark. She’s crying pretty hard so R. brings her out to the recliner to lounge with him for a bit, while I’m saying “she needs to go back to bed”, not wanting to prolong her time back in the livingroom long enough for her to get used to this getting out of bed after bedtime stuff. Her diaper’s a little gushy, so we change it, and that seems to satisfy her so we lead her back to her room and tuck her in again. We close the door and head back down the hall to the livingroom. I sit down and pick up my book as R. gets back to the dishwasher. Screaming. Again.
We head back down and opened her door. She’s right there at the door again. Screaming. I say, “Nope, that’s it. It is bedtime. You need to go to sleep.” and lead her back to bed. It’s wet. There’s a huge puddle of, I guess, pee (could be drool) that managed to bypass the diaper and get right to the sheet. (One new habit she has is constantly sticking her hand down her diaper, which doesn’t help.) So we remove the sheet, R. gets the spray cleaner and paper towels, I get a clean sheet, and we get her bed all fixed up good as new.
And we put her back to bed.
We go back out to our livingroom and sit. We wait. Well, R. doses off in the recliner. I sit there with my book facedown beside me, holding my breath although my heart beats about double time whenever I hear a sound from the bedroom. I hear feet running back and forth in the bedroom. I hear crying but no screaming. Still, with each cry there is the heavy feeling in my chest of dread and I hold – or significantly slow – my breathing.
Silence from the bedroom – a quick sigh of relief.
A fuss – another jolt of dread.
A few minutes pass as I lose myself in thought about how I’m spending my Saturday night, thinking “please be quiet”, “please go to sleep”, “she’s almost 4 years old and still so much a 2 year old”, “she’s going to go through another one of her sleepless phases”, “this isn’t how I envisioned life at 34 years and 46 weeks”, “I didn’t order this”, “I am going to lose it.”
Silence, I realize.
“Finally she’s quiet”, “I love you S.”
Sweet dreams.

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