The girls were so tickled by my retelling of the events that led to their brother charging into their bedroom the other night, that I thought it best to capture the moment here before it’s soon forgotten.
Typically, Rowan falls asleep nursing. Calmly and dependably usually. However, the past few days he’s been like a wild animal at bedtime. It could be due to the fact he’s overtired since we’ve been on vacation time. Or maybe it’s the opposite—he’s getting older and just doesn’t require as much sleep. Or maybe I can just blame it on my usual culprit—teething. Who really knows.
Anyway, the other night, after Rowan had performed several acrobatic feats while somehow miraculously staying latched, he’d decided he was going to be finished with the nursing business, yet remain quite wide awake.
We played a little game of turn-taking, with me asking him to put his head down and him saying a whiny ‘no.’ Then, he’d proceed to roll around on the bed. Following that, he crawled way down under the covers until he disappeared, popped his head out, and then crawled back in again. He also spun around in circles, breakdance style, stopping with his head at the opposite end of the bed and doing a few—nicely executed I might say—rounds of downward dog.
Across the hall, he heard Liam begin reading bedtime stories to the girls and he stilled to listen. Then, he crawled backwards down off the bed and headed for the door, not wanting to miss out on any fun they might be having without him.
“No,” I warned firmly. He disregarded me and walked to the door leading to the connecting bathroom. He jiggled the knob this way and that, unable to maneuver his small wrist the quarter turn necessary to pop open the door.
Not one to give up quickly, he tried the other bedroom door, which led to the hallway. Jiggle jiggle. Jiggle jiggle. No luck.
So, he climbed back into bed, which is generally a real struggle and fun to watch, with the joint effort of hands gripping the sheets and feet kick-climbing up the mattress.
Then, we began again:
“Rowan, put your head down.”
“It’s time for bed. You need to close your eyes.”
Roll around. Under the covers and out again. Spin, spin. Crawl backwards down from the bed. Walk to bathroom door. Jiggle jiggle. Doesn’t budge. Walk to hallway door. Jiggle jiggle. No luck. Climb and scurry back into bed. Repeat, repeat.
After about five rounds of in and out of bed, he finally managed to jiggle jiggle one of the doors open. He took two seconds to look back at me as if asking permission. I gave him a stern look, although how I wasn’t cracking up, I don’t know. He took my lack of words as a go-ahead, and wasted no more time. He headed off in the direction of the girls’ room.
I heard them all squeal when they saw him: “Rowan?! What are you doing in here?”
He was pleased as punch to be there, and did not appreciate at all being removed a minute later. As I had had quite enough of his bedtime shenanigans, I let Liam take over. Of course, he had Rowan to bed in under ten minutes then. “It’s because you don’t walk him around,” he explained when I gave him a disdainful look.
No, I don’t. It’s not the mother’s job to walk the kid around. It’s the mother’s job to nurse if she chooses. And if that doesn’t work, well hell if I’m going to do anything extra.
Anyway, I climbed into bed with the girls and told them all about how Rowan jiggle-jiggled the doors about a hundred times, climbing back into bed between rounds, before opening one and making his great escape. Their giggles were proof they were so genuinely delighted by the imagined actions of their little brother. I couldn’t help but laugh along with them.