I was at my writers group last night when Kelly texted me to let me know that the Little Man did not go to bed as easily as usual. It had started raining after I left and some pretty strong thunderstorms passed through town, and between that and the break in the usual routine (I’m normally the one who puts the Little Man to bed), he was very, very upset.
So, as we were wrapping up, I gathered my things and headed home. And it was pouring out. You couldn’t tell from deep inside the school where we meet but even the small open distance I had to cross to get to my car left me soaked. The drive home was lit by brilliant flashes of lightning–the kind where you can actually see lightning as opposed to just the flash.
We don’t live far from where the writers group meets and when I got home, the Little Man had calmed down and was sitting in bed with Kelly. I took him onto this extra mattress we keep in our room for just such emergencies, and laid down with him there. He insisted on having his monkey and a “tow truck” with him, but he actually fell asleep pretty fast once I laid down next to him. Once he was asleep, I headed downstairs to have some dinner.
I finally got to sleep around 10pm. I was awakened sometime later when the Little Man grew slightly alarmed at finding himself on the mattress with no Daddy and started expressing that alarm by whining “Daddy! Daddy!” I went to lay with him again until he fell asleep. We both ended up dozing off there and when I woke up I returned to bed. Sometime later it happened again only this time, Kelly went to lay with him for a while. She eventually came back to bed, too.
I’ve been coming into work early all week because I have so much to do. My alarm went off at 5:30 and I felt as if I’d barely slept. I got ready for work as quietly as I could and I was almost out the bedroom door when a very soft voice said, “Daddy?”
I looked over and the Little Man was sitting up, looking up at me in the dark.
I picked him up and hugged him, put him into bed with Kelly and got him some milk. I finally headed out of the room. However, as I made my way down the hall, I could hear his soft pleas: “Daddy? Daddy?”
And I could hear Kelly respond, “Daddy had to go to work. It’s still nighttime, buddy, let’s go back to sleep.”
I felt terrible.
Nevertheless, I made it into the office by 6am. But already I am counting the hours when I can head home and see the Little Man and hang out with him for more than just a few minutes. And hopefully the routine tonight will be back to normal.