“I want you to sleep on the floor with me!”
Naturally, Captain Daddy, who might actually dig sleeping on the floor, wasn’t home.
“Baby, the floor’s hard and cold. Come climb in bed with mommy.”
She would not be deterred. The hollering and protesting continued at full volume. For a five year old, she’s pretty darn loud. She threw her arms and legs around for added affect.
Finally, I caved. I lay down on the floor and cuddled her, waiting for her to fall asleep. She was still sniffing in a wounded way despite the fact that she ostensibly got what she wanted. Maybe she knew what was coming.
“You won’t leave, will you, mama?”
“No, baby.” Lying to my children. One of my favorite pastimes. Because guess what? I left. Of course I did. The floor is cold and hard.
Naturally, Noodle woke up at 1 a.m. And boy was she pissed off. The first sign of this was when an object sailed through the air and whammed into the headboard over my pillow.
“Moooommmmm!” she hollered, appearing at the side of the bed. It was a tiger. The thing she’d thrown. Not her. But she was a tiger, metaphorically.
The wailing and flailing began again, full throttle. “Climb in bed, baby, c’mon,” I cajoled, dreaming of dreams. But no. Kawomp! Her ducky blankie crashed into my face. Then came her little body, all knees and elbows and fists, thrashing about. I made some placating noises and tried to pet her.
“I! Want! To! Sleep! On! The! Floor!”
“Baby, sleeping time,” I said, still trying to be nice mommy. “In a bed.”
“Waaaa!” She continued to holler like I was beating her with a stick. Kawomp! Ducky blankie to the face, take two.
Nice mommy went bye-bye.
“Baby, you’re going to have to get it together,” I said forcefully. “It is the middle of the night.”
That really enraged her. She stomped out of the room. From the dining room, I heard clumping and slamming—the sounds of some mysterious industry taking place, overshot by her continuous miserable sobbing.
After a good long while, she returned. Another object sailed over my head.
“What is it, baby?”
“Turn on the light,” she demanded
I did. She held a drawing. A lovely, Warholian series of sad faces, drawn in purple. The center one was shaped like a heart. A sad heart.
“Baby, I know you are sad. I’m sorry.” I looked closer at the drawing. One face was smiling. “What’s up with this one happy face?”
“It was an accident,” she said morosely.
Then without a word she crawled into bed next to me, tucked in under my arm, and fell asleep.