Today is a blogging milestone for me. This is my 100th post since beginning my blogging effort last December. Naturally I wanted, and intended, to write something wise and profound this morning after a good night’s sleep. Well, you know the way it goes! “Man proposes, God disposes.” Instead of profound words spilling from my keyboard, this morning my eyes feel like sand is packed under the lids, my brain feels foggy, and all I feel like doing is sleeping.
Daughter #1 is attending an important conference about children in a violent world at the United Nations in New York, and at the same time her husband is also out of town, so Hubby and I stepped in for another several-day, two night babysitting session. An extra perk of the NY trip is that she gets to visit daughter #2 who lives in Queens while she’s there. The kids are in school part of the day, the two-year-old happily in her nursery school program where she loves her “teacher”, Miss Samantha, and her brother in kindergarten at the same private school where Miss Misty has taught him to count to 100, an accomplishment he’s proud of.
Yesterday we picked them both up from school and stopped off at the zoo for a couple of happy hours to wander about enjoying the fall day while looking at the animals and having a train ride. After stopping off for a quick chicken/macaroni dinner at a KFC we came home. By the time baths were done, it was time for the two-year-old to go to bed. She knows she’ll be cared for, but she was awfully concerned about where I was going to go after she got in her bed. I assured her I would be sleeping on the couch “right outside” and “if you need me, you just cry out or call me and I’ll be here.”
Her bedroom is downstairs in the lower part of the house traditionally called a basement, although it looks out over a terraced back yard because of the lay of the land along the lower “benches” of the Wasatch where we live. My grandson’s bedroom is on the main floor. So Grampa took over getting him settled in for the night and will sleep upstairs near him in Mom and Dad’s bedroom.
After reading for awhile, I turned out the lights and settled down to sleep. Sleep in a strange bed, however, is hard to come for me. So I tossed and tossed and tossed. Finally I must have fallen asleep because I soon woke up to a muffled noise, and finally a child’s crying penetrated my sleepy fog. I sprang up and went to check on granddaughter.
She was lying in her crib, covers all pushed aside, crying. She asked for “binky” which she needs less and less these days, but still uses as a crutch when she needs comfort. I felt all over the crib but no binky anywhere. Since the housekeeper had cleaned that day, things were just too organized and I couldn’t find a thing.
Meanwhile, Grampa had awoken and come down to see what was wrong. He’d been reading upstairs and told me it was about midnight. While I settled her in my arms and rocked her, warming her up with my body, he went up to the kitchen to find extra binkies. After she was quite warm, and binky back in place to help her feel secure, she went back to bed and, presumably, to sleep.
Around 3:30 a.m., there’s an almost verbatim repeat of the above scenario. This time, I decided neither of us would get enough sleep unless I took her to bed with me on the fold-out couch. That way I could keep her covered and warm. No child I’ve ever known has been a good bed fellow and she was further proof. She rolled and poked me with her feet for what seemed hours, kept losing her covers, and I kept reaching over to cover her and telling her “I’m pulling your covers up so you won’t get cold.” At 4:30 she asked me if we could go upstairs and get some milk.
Back in bed, after the milk in the sippy cup was drained, she was finally able to settle down reasonably well. I turned with my back toward her and tried to fall asleep myself. At some point I felt a small arm tugging on the extra cover I’d tossed on her side. She was propped on one elbow and pulling the covers over my bare arms. “I putting covers on so you won’t get cold,” she said sweetly. Oh well! I could always sleep tomorrow. So what if I’m not good for much else? Soon, she lay still, breathing more evenly, and I closed my eyes, waiting for morning.
The price for the first of our two-night babysitting session?
Practically no sleep for Gramma.
The price for the sweet little two-year old pulling the covers over me so “you won’t get cold?”
Maybe I’ll be able to write that cogent, well-thought-out milestone post sometime next week . . . after a good night’s sleep. Or maybe never.