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Friday, February 15, 2008

“Hello darkness my old friend ……”


With Joseph and Annabel bathed and ready for sleep the other night, they wanted to play by themselves before bed, so I fired up my PC and thought I would quickly finish off a post for your reading pleasure.

I had only been typing for 15minutes when Joseph came into the room.

“Look Dad. Nounours (French for teddy) is wearing my taggy (blanket)”.

“Oh yeah”, I reply, barely looking around.

I carried on typing before he spoke again. This time he had his teddy on his shoulders.

“Look Dad. I’m giving Nounours a piggy back into my room”.

I glance at him, give him a little smile and turn back to the monitor. Without looking at him I say, “go and play then Poops. I won’t be long”.

I continue typing, vaguely aware that he has left the room in silence and as I look, I just catch a glimpse of the end of his comfort blanket trailing out the door.

I type for no more than 3 or 4 minutes before M comes into the room. “Joseph is waiting for a story but he looks very tired”, she says, so I finish my post and check to see it looks and reads ok; I maybe took another couple of minutes.

I walk along the landing to Joseph’s room, subconsciously thinking what book to read and as I round the corner, I look down at him, sound asleep, arm draped over the book he had chosen for us to read.

I was genuinely surprised that he was already asleep.

And ashamed.

Ashamed that I didn’t see his little attempts to get my attention and that I didn’t follow him straight out of the room when he left, dragging his teddy and blanket behind him.

Ashamed that I was so wrapped up in my own “desperately important” writing that I missed out on the chance to read my smashing son a story and have a cuddle as he drifted softly to sleep.

Darn.

I remove the book, pull his covers up over his shoulder and smooth his hair back, quietly whispering “goodnight Poops” , to which he responded by sucking his thumb momentarily, informing me that he’s not entirely in the land of nod just yet.

I make my way back along the landing and into Missy’s room and the contrast is striking. She too is lying in bed but as I enter her room, she sees me, squeals loudly and hides under her cover, giggling out of sight.

We have a little chat about her day, have a cuddle (which is her signal to squeeze my neck as tightly as possible, grimacing with effort) and then we play the “can you blow the light out” game where I stand, arm behind the door and I press the dimmer switch as she puffs.

It goes out, she starts to clap and I release the switch, light filling the room again.

Stops clapping, squeals again at the “naughty light” and we do it all again.

The first few times we played this, when the light finally went out for the final time, no sooner had I stepped out of the room does the complaining start. “I want water, I want a poo, I want mummy” and so on.

I don’t know if she too is particularly tired at the moment but now, the light goes off and I hear nothing but the sound of silence.

Bliss.


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