"Ain't nothin' cute at 2 a.m."
Actually, that was a paraphrase of what one of my best, oldest friends said to me at one point in her beginning days of motherhood.
I happened to have had experiences last night that made those words - the very words that made me laugh like a hyena in my car as I navigated traffic while listening to my voice mail- pertinent again. What she really said was "Between the hours of midnight and 6 am, the word cute does not exist in my vocabulary"
Last night, at 2 am, with my daughter howling in her bedroom and my husband howling from the couch and me - half asleep- wishing we had a much bigger house where I could escape from them both, I recalled that phrase.
The battle lines had been drawn earlier in the evening. Daddy, once again, leveled some threat regarding the door being shut and her staying in her bed. "You're seven years Old! You are too old to be sleeping with us every night." and then it went on - as usual- to involve some thing that would be taken away if she didn't stay in her bed.
So at 10:20 p.m., my husband of 9 years and partner of 14, attempted to claim his rightful place in bed next to me. He also had some high hopes for a little love being sent his way, so he shut our bedroom door and sidled in next to me. Four minutes later -no lie- I heard a tiny thump in the area of my door. P-A-U-S-E. Knock, knock, knock- "Dada?"
Now, this is actually my husbands WORST nightmare - having our child walk in on us during any kind of intimate moment. So he leaps up like he has been electrocuted, scrambling for a towel or something he can put over himself. I yell "Emily - go back to bed!" and start to laugh ( very very quietly) because he now has his shorts on inside out and is making for the door to see what her issue may be. I know what her issue is......She telepathically picked up that our door has closed and we must be touching and that none of this involves her nosy ass.
Now she knows something is up. Her solution is to stay awake to prevent any more shenanigans from occurring on her watch. Now, I fell asleep before the Daily Show, and awoke again at 2 a.m. to hear them yelling at one another from their respective corners. She had been awake all that time, waiting for him to fall asleep so she can run into my room and get into bed with me. But he keeps intercepting her and sending her back to her room.
I get up - go to her room and say "It is Two in the Morning! Why on Gods Green Earth are you awake with your lights on?"
Emily: "Oh, it's two o clock? I stayed up a really long time."
Me: "Go to sleep!"
Emily: "OK Mama, good night"
seven minutes later, I open my eyes and she is standing in front of me, trying to get into my bed. Me: "Emily what are you doing?"
Em: "I had a bad dream"
Me: You couldn't have had a bad dream, you haven't gone back to sleep."
Em: "I haven't?"
Emily retains her crown as the master. She is betting that I am groggy enough to have forgotten I spoke with her a few minutes ago. Maybe if she sells this hard enough, she'll make it into my bed.
Terrance: "Dawn, is Emily in there with you?"
Emily: "Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" This is accompanied by her running back into her room and throwing herself on her bed.
Terrance: "I swear to god child, I will beat your ass if you get out of that bed again"
@ 4 minutes later... I hear the quiet foot falls of her trying to see if he is asleep on the couch from her bedroom. I think "This kid has the biggest, brass cojones EVER" In a weird way, I am proud of her tenacity.
She appears like a ninja.
Me: "Em, you are about to get in a whole world of trouble that I can't protect you from. Daddy warned you."
Em: Sigh. "Ok, I'll go back to my bed"
And where was she this morning? Tucked under my arm - fast asleep.
The master retains her crown.