Wednesday, October 26, 2005

alone

It's the second day since my wife went out of town on business. She's due back this evening, just after dinner, and we're all looking forward to her routine.

The girls have been fairly upbeat about it, and haven't been pining after her since she left, but to be honest, I didn't expect they would. I've been doing the stay-at-home routine for the past year, and the girls are pretty well accustomed to having me in the role of the only parent around during the day. It's just that that's been temporarily extended into the evening as well. (That's not to say it's been without incident of we-want-Mommy-itis. Since my wife usually comes home for lunch, Rachel was excited to hear the mail carrier at the door Tuesday, since she thought that meant it was her mother.)

Night time has been different, though. For starters, both girls have decided to sleep with me. I don't mind that, to be honest, even though the elder child is turning 6 this week and I'm sure there are some busybodies who hate the notion of co-sleeping with a passion, and would be appalled that somebody else's 6-year-old might want to join her parents in their bed periodically. (As long as there's room, I don't mind.)

Monday night went pretty smoothly. We were all in bed, lights out a little past 9, and we were all out cold not long after that. We slept smoothly, too, until 6 a.m., when R. woke up and started hitting me for being on the wrong part of the bed and keeping her from where her mother usually sleeps. Yes, it was milk time. Rachel took it pretty badly that her mother wasn't available, and got out of bed to go looking for her. At last she decided I was telling the truth, and at 6:30 a.m., she went back to bed and back to sleep. I stayed up, and got an early start on the day, since I would have to get Evangeline up at 7 a.m. anyway to get her ready for school.

Tuesday night was not as smooth. We were all in bed, lights out at 9, and R. was out cold almost immediately. E. lingered a little longer, but was gone by 9:30.

At 11 p.m., R. either awoke or started having night terrors, but she screamed at the top of her lungs for a few minutes. I moved her back into her own room, so she wouldn't wake her sister, and stayed with her until the screaming subsided and she was mostly quiet, except for the occasional noise that indicated she was self-comforting herself back to sleep. Once I was satisfied she was OK, I went back to bed.

At 2 a.m., she came back into my bedroom, asked for her mother, and then went to sleep on the floor by the bed. I covered her up with a blanket, and let her sleep there, until 5:30 a.m., when she climbed into bed, got upset to discover that her older sister had moved during the night to the spot where R. had started, asked me for a drink of water, and then curled up beside meand went back to sleep.

E.'s contribution during all this was to moan in her sleep, "But now we'll never know what the recipes really are!"

And now it's time to rouse the elder child to get ready for school.

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