There’s a certain sort of urgency that gets me out of bed at 1:30am. Sometimes the little ones call out and I can tell (through my own sleep-fuddled fog) that they’re calling out in their sleep, or are nearly back to sleep themselves. But sometimes there’s a note in their voices that gets me up and to their sides before I’ve even really realised I’ve heard anything.
This morning, Babess was calling me, but Fainjin was the one sobbing. I went to him first.
“What’s the matter?”
“Daddy gave me the wrong food!” he was heartbroken. Fearing a sore tummy and possibly a stomach bug, I asked, “When? What food?”
“At lunch!” he wailed. Whew, more than 12 hours ago, probably not a sore tummy then. “What wrong food?” I was confused.
“I didn’t want milk on my cake!” more sobs. Since we didn’t have cake, with or without milk on it, I rub his back and tell him it’s a dream. Some cuddles later, he settles back down.
Meanwhile, I’ve been talking across the room to Babess, who is sitting up wide-eyed. She is worried about the monsters. No monsters, I tell her, they’re not allowed in our house and certainly not to scare our children. Did I growl at them, she wants to know. Yes of course I did, because Mummies are good at scaring off monsters, and now they won’t dare come near.
“Has the moon gone down?” she asks next. I don’t know whether the moon going down is a good thing or a bad thing, so I hazard a guess and speak confidently. “Yes, all gone now.” Turns out that’s a good thing, she’s worried about the “moon monster”, but if it’s gone then all will be well. I don’t know where she’s got the idea of a moon monster from, or why she’s suddenly scared of monsters in the middle of the night. More cuddles for her, her eyes are still wide and fearful but she lies down and snuggles her Piglet.
They both ask me to leave the light on, and Babess makes sure I’ll leave her cot side down (which we do anyway), because “otherwise I’ll be trapped”. Since she can’t climb out even with the side down, I’m not sure what she means, but as long as she’s happy I’m not going to argue the point.
I stumble back to bed, tell the half-awake Dad what a brute he is for putting milk on Fainjin’s cake (he might as well be as confused as I am!), and drop back off to sleep amazingly quickly.
© UpsideBackwards 2012.