I had just sat down after finishing the dishes and sweeping up the remains of Baby E’s dinner that had mysteriously congregated on the floor beneath his high chair. The dishwasher was running in the background and a show was playing on my iPad. I was settling in to meet you here when I first heard and felt it… a banging sound and a slight shaking feeling. At first I thought it was the neighbors, but after a moment I realized it was coming from upstairs.
I jumped out of my chair and ran towards the stairs only to hear utter wailing from the big kids’ bedroom. I hurried up the stairs, convinced they were seconds away from waking up Baby E, and as I flew into their room C was standing next to her bed, stomping her feet, tears streaming down her face, her whole body trembling. Big E was lying in bed, covers up to his eyes, tears also soaking his sheets, loud cries barely muffled by his blanket.
What could possibly have caused this ghastly scene?!?
I shushed them as quickly as possible, still worried about the sleeping kid in the room next door, let alone our poor neighbors, and asked them what could possibly be so bad.
Big E woke me up, C cried as she crawled back into bed, pulling the covers up around her. It scared me!!
As I turned to Big E, I expected to hear about some harrowing dream he had just woken up from, or perhaps a strange noise he had heard, or maybe he had seen a bug. He looked at me, eyes peeking over his blanket, I have to use the potty.
Wait? Come again?
I just qualified for the Olympic sprinting team because you have to go to the potty?!?
I teetered between being mad and feeling sorry for him as I explained that even though he isn’t allowed to come out of his bedroom at night (even though he already had about a half hour previously and nearly gave me a heart attack when he snuck up on me and poked me in the bum), he is allowed to leave his room to use the bathroom. I got him out of bed, still trying to shush his whimpering as I pointed him toward the bathroom.
When he finished and got back into bed C asked me why I hadn’t heard them calling me. I explained about the very loud dishwasher. Then Big E proceeded to demonstrate how they had been calling for me (i.e once again screaming Mommy!!! at the top of his lungs while I’m sitting on the edge of his bed.) Seriously kid, I did not need an instant replay (remember the sleeping baby?!?!)
I tucked them in bed again and explained away all the things Big E was suddenly afraid of- The window in C’s dollhouse (that he can’t actually see from his bed, that he decided looked like a scary outline of a man) and the cut out construction paper flower that has been hanging on their window for weeks and weeks. Eventually I agreed to leave their door open if they promised to be quiet.
Finally the house is silent, bar the moth that keeps ramming itself against the kitchen window. I’ve had my share of adrenaline rushes this evening so I guess I should head to bed soon too!