Last week, El and Em were each invited to spend the night with a friend. El is an old pro at staying over at her BFF's house. She seems put off that she even needs to come back here between sleepovers. Em, on the other hand, had never had a sleepover at a friend's house. She spent a night or two with her Grammy - with Lilly there - when she was 3 years old. Now that she's the ripe old age of 7, she's ready to spend the night at a friend's house. Kinda sorta.
See, somewhere along the way I got into the habit of laying down with Em while she goes to sleep. I swore I would never do that, and when she was a baby I even made it a point to put her down when she was sleepy, yet awake. Just like the Internet said to. But now we're in the habit where I lay with her while she drops off, and when she wakes up in the middle of the night she comes to my bed. Every. Single. Night. I always swore I'd never let that happen either, but my resolve is usually pretty low at 2:30 in the morning. When she wakes me from my nightly coma, somehow the words, "No, back to your own bed," never come to mind. Instead all my brain can process is "my baby wants to snuggle" and I get all happy that she's there.
|Please don't tell Superanny|
So imagine my surprise that just one week later (that would be today), the same friend's mom invited both El and Em to spend the night after they had both spent HOURS in Friend's pool. Em is quite impressed with Friend's pool - she told me it's down in the ground and has cement. Imagine that.
The invitation to stay over was impromptu. It was getting on toward bedtime, El, Em, and Friend were still having a great time in the pool, and Friend's Mom said why not just let them stay? I agreed because, hello, FREE TIME!!! And Em is far more likely to make it through the night with El there. Woo hoo, right?
You might think that Miracle Man and I grabbed the keys and hit the town. Ha ha. Silly reader. Since it was an impromptu almost-bed-time invitation, Miracle Man was already fast asleep. You know how the routine advice to new parents is to sleep when the baby sleeps? He never really gave up that practice. So he's no fun right now.
Ordinarily I spend a couple of hours ushering the girls through their bedtime routine, from the first shower until the last goodnight kiss. Instead of feeling this great sense of relief that I have ALL! THIS! FREE! TIME!, I'm trying to figure out what to do with myself. Read? Nah. The book I'm working on is all the way upstairs. Watch Ghost Adventures? Nah. Rerun tonight. Mani-pedi? Pfft, that takes energy. So I have Mrs. Doubtfire on in the background and I'm sitting here blogging about the children I keep thinking I need a break from.
The fact is, I miss my babies. I kissed them both goodbye when I left for work this morning, but they were still both fast asleep. In the evenings it's time for love and snuggles. (And breaking up fights. And denying requests for whatever last-minute things their little brains can think of to delay bedtime. Et cetera.) Without them here, I'm bored. It's too quiet, even though they're usually asleep by now. I'm sure by the time they return tomorrow they will still remember how to drive me nuts, which they really are very good at. But that's OK. I just have to remind myself that they're only this age once. (Right, Dad?)