But it happened Tuesday night, a strange, blessed event — kinda like when people see the Virgin Mary in a loaf of Spam. Yet, against all common sense, it left My Lovely Wife and me in a restless panic — flipping and flopping deep into the night.
We can never appreciate such an event. That would be too self-indulgent, too … well … awesome. And as all parents know, “awesome” ain’t in the job description. Self-sacrifice — check. Constant second-guessing — you bet. Awesome — only after they graduate from college, raise children of their own and have returned home to apologize for all the agony they put you through.
I kid, of course (mostly).
Jellybean slept through the night in her own bed. I know this because I woke up about every 35 minutes to make sure she wasn’t actually warming the spot next to me, occasionally kicking me in the cheek with her tiny foot, making my nose twitch when her fine blonde hair wafts up from the pillow she’s stolen from me or poking me in the eye to say, “Hold me, Daddy. Hold me.”
None of that happened. Still, I woke up with this intense need to shout, “A dingo stole my baby!” into the darkness of the bedroom. Thus waking up My Lovely Wife to which I’d be forced to watch recorded episodes of “Biggest Loser” until the sun rose and I started to seriously question my own appetites. There’s nothing worse than watching fat people get skinny to make you feel bad about your own laziness.
But every time I woke up … no Jellybean, which really defeats the purpose of her sleeping in her own bed all night. She’d stumbled in sometime after midnight virtually every night for the past two years — like clockwork. To suddenly have her not there was like having a wart remove — sure it was a hassle, but ya kinda miss it once it’s gone.
An admittedly terrible analogy, but I’m writing on little sleep and my creativity is as tired as I am.
Jellybean was a wonderful sleeper for the first few years of her life. Sure, there were the crying fits when she got hungry. But My Lovely Wife was breast-feeding , so that kept me out of the loop. I occasionally had to wake up just to wake her up, but otherwise I kept my mouth shut and tried not to gloat.
Even when we converted her toddler bed into a “Big Girl Bed” she stayed put … then something changed. Maybe it was too many jokes about “don’t let the bedbugs bite” that sparked her midnight ramblings to our room.
As with most parental mysteries, I blame My Lovely Wife. See, there was this camping trip (by “camping” I simply mean staying in a cabin in the woods and keeping beer in a cooler) with some friends and their kids, so we took Jellybean. I wasn’t there the first night, so Jellybean whined her way into sleeping with My Lovely Wife. That was all she wrote. Jellybean’s been sleeping in our bed ever since.
Oh, it’s our own fault. She comes in so late that pulling her under the covers is just a groggy memory, a dream made real only by her snoring.
Much as I appreciate the space and the chance to cuddle with My Lovely Wife, I gotta admit that I miss hearing, “Hold me, Daddy” in the middle of the night.
And that’s no sacrifice.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com