At about two o'clock this morning, as I was just drifting back into dreamland after settling Jakie back into his crib, I heard a little whimper wafting to my ears from the next room.
Now, typically, I do not leap from my bed and dash into Christopher's room when this happens. I'm more of the "let's see if he'll just turn over and go back to sleep" mentality. But last night, for whatever reason, I yanked myself out of bed and ran right in. There was my precious little one, laying in his crib just crying away. When he saw me, he stood up, put up his arms and said "Mommy, up."
Perhaps I have stated this before, but it merits repeating. I never want my boys to be sick. It's the saddest sight in the world - especially at this stage where he still can't even figure out how to say what's bothering him, thus making him not only sick but also frustrated. BUT. I do love how much Christopher loves me when he's not feeling well. Lately, he seems like he can take me or leave me. With Daddy (his BFF) home these days, he really has very little use for me. I can be standing right in front of him with the juice that he has just requested (okay, demanded) and he will PUSH ME OUT OF THE WAY and say "Daddy! Dee!"
For the uninitiated, "dee" means juice. Can't BELIEVE you didn't know that.
So I went in there for a snuggle with my boy who, for some reason, actually WANTED ME there. His latest favorite place to snuggle is inside of his crib, so you can guess who had to stack some pillows outside of the crib because her legs are too short to straddle the wall. At any rate, we snuggled there together for some time. I told him I would stay with him, but it was not play time. It was sleepy time. I closed my eyes.
Then I heard, in a little sleepy voice, "Mom?"
It sounded like he was about to ask me a deep philosophical question, the kind that develops out of late-night conversations with old friends.
"Night-night, Christopher. Time for night-night," I replied with my eyes closed. It was only a few seconds later that I felt his warm little fingers poking me in the face. Opening one eye, I saw my little one holding his pretend camera up to his face.
"Mom! Dee!" (Translation: Cheese! Ha. And YOU thought it meant "juice.")
Cute as it was, I did my best to continue urging him to sleep. It didn't take long before I was ready to remove myself from the baby crib and snuggle up in my own warm bed. The fact that my child had already used his blankie ("meemee") to cover me up and keep me warm did leave me with a bit of guilt when I LIED TO MY CHILD and told him "Mommy has to go potty, okay?" This is my typical escape plan from Christopher's room. He seems to deal with that better than with the prospect of me leaving him alone for the whole night. I realize that it won't take long before he figures out that, gee, Mommy has been in the potty for a really long time now. Is she having potty problems? And it will probably be around that time when his vocabulary has developed enough to be able to tell the checker at the store, or the librarian, or all of the people at Mass on any given Sunday that "Mommy spends a lot of time in the potty!" But it works for now, and so that's what we do.
As I was hauling myself out of his bed, I said to him, "Christopher. Mommy loves you."
"Yeah." He replied.
"Do you love mommy?"
"Do you love Daddy?"
We continued in this fashion until we'd gone through every family member. Most of the time his "yeah" was definitive. Sometimes, though, he's squish up the right side of his face and say "Ummmmm....yeah?" And sometimes I'd say, "Do you love so-and-so?" And he'd reply, "ummmm....someone-else." To be honest, every time I tell this story, I have to change the names at that point so that no one gets their feelings hurt.
I said I loved him one more time and then he looked at me and gave me the thumbs-up sign. And it was then I knew that even though I wasn't going to come back from the potty until the sun came up, it was okay. We were cool.