It was just one of those nights. The Who and I arrived home from daycare just as m* was pulling into the driveway and so we all came in together, all of us tired, our patience low. We had all worked hard at our various jobs and still, dinner had to be made and eaten, baths taken, lots of negotiation still on the horizon. A toddler doesn’t just stop wanting to play or chat just because he is tired or just because his playmates are tired. So, on we go.
When it was time for bed, he put up a fuss, but headed for the stairs all the same. It’s almost rote now. Despite protesting, his little feet carry him to the stairs when bedtime is announced, almost independent of his brain. He climbed up one step, whining. I was throwing something away and turning the corner to follow him up the step when he toppled down, hitting the floor, face-first. I gathered him up and sang to him, kissing his sweaty forehead as his sobbing slowed and we made our way upstairs. No time for a bath, we chose jammies, distressed that the ones he really wanted were in the laundry still.
On the big bed, where we read stories, he hunkered down into the flannel sheets, his binky in his mouth and his di* tucked under his cheek. I rubbed his back after we finished stories and his eyelids grew heavy and I could just feel his comfort — in his Moms’ bed, back rubbed, comfort items all present and accounted for, sleep just a moment or two away. But then when we picked him up, kissed him goodnight, and carried him to his crib, he just wailed, reaching for the big bed, hoping against hope that he would be allowed to return to what felt so good just a minute ago.
He went to sleep just fine, ultimately. I heard him calm down as m* sang to him and I could see him on the monitor, drifting to sleep with his monkey and blankets.
But now I miss him. I hate how sad he was when he went to bed. I hate that he fell and hurt himself. I hate that, despite his crib really being the best place for him to sleep**, he was content and happy on the bed and we had to move him from it. I hate it all. I just want to go in there and hold him on the rocker, and kiss his little head. Of course, I’ll wait ’til tomorrow. But, still.
*Di. Di is The Who’s “lovey.” It’s a cloth diaper. It’s actually many cloth diapers, all interchangeable. I owe the genius of this to my aunt and little cousin, the originators of the “di.” We love Di. All hail the mighty Di.
**I know that many people disagree with me here. For several reasons, The Who sleeping in his own room in his own crib is the best choice for our family. ‘Nuff said.