Unless the house is on fire

What time was it? Perhaps 4 am.

I am vaguely aware of my bedroom door opening. I hear, “Mommy?” It’s Katie. I am so far down in the depths of slumber that I don’t answer.

Again, “Mommy?” She doesn’t sound hurt, frightened, sick. I know what she wants. I’m still silent, but I am also more awake now.

A third time, “Mommy?” I realize she just won’t go away without a response. I manage to garble out a muffled, “Huh?”

“I had a bad dream. Can I sleep on your floor?” Years ago, she would repeat this request every.single.night. We finally told her she always had permission to sleep on our floor, using our decorative shams as pillows, as long as she came in without waking us up. And so she did, often bringing Jenny in tow. But sometime, I don’t know when exactly – 6 months ago perhaps – her nighttime game of musical beds tapered off and stopped.

Since Bill left, I expected her to start up again, but she held off until the last week or two. Apparently, she has forgotten the do not disturb rule.

It amuses me when people ask about how old babies are before they sleep through the night. In the last 3 months, each of my children, except for Billy, has disturbed me at least once in the middle of the night.

This is probably another one of those things that people with grown children assure me I will miss one day. I’m not buying it.

6 thoughts on “Unless the house is on fire

  1. This is probably another one of those things that people with grown children assure me I will miss one day. I'm not buying it.

    Totally agreed.


  2. As the mother of grown children, it is NOT one of the things you will miss!

    You have all my sympathies!

    It will be interesting to see how many of the kids remember, in the dead of night, that we are in your bed this weekend & not you ! It won't be a big deal, since we usually wake ourselves up in the middle of the night – something else for you to look forward to.

  3. Michelle, what makes you think this stops when the children get older? They just don't wake you up for nightmares. There are other reasons. I am a mere four months away from having three of my children aged 20 or above. I get phone calls in the middle of the night to say, “I am okay but I am on my way to the ER”. And when they are driving themselves around town at night, don't think you will sleep soundly until they return safely. Motherhood has made me a caffeine based life form. I wouldn't have it any other way.

  4. oooh floor. good idea. james always climbs into our bed around 4.30

  5. After a few nights, my Bill starts to look people in the eye at bedtime and say, “You can go to your BROTHERS' room too, you know.”

  6. I love this… I can picture it so clearly in my head. Mine do this, too, but it's usually with a bloody nose or a wetting accident, or something that requires me getting out of bed.

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