Jonathan woke up last night at midnight, coughing and still about half asleep. He was whimpering like he was sick, but he didn’t have a temperature, so we had to play a guessing game. “What do you want?”
“Mmm, wa?” His eyes almost closed.
“I don’t know what you’re saying.”
“mmmwassumm bweddan waa?”
“You want some bread and water?”
We gave him some bread and water, which took him about 30 minutes to get through, and cheered him up by playing with a stuffed dog (which he named either “You” or “Nyu.” Not sure which.) After the bread and water, the real challenge began.
Tucked him in. Screaming. Held him. Crying, but not screaming. Got him almost asleep, tucked him in. Screaming. Held him. Eventually, screaming turned into soft crying, then calm breathing. Suggested putting him down, and the breathing turned to screaming.
Ethan and I alternated between letting him scream it out and going to his rescue, because we weren’t really sure what to do. Also, he very seldom does this, which made us think he might have actually been sick. Eventually, I went in to hold him and he asked for a story. I devised a cunning plan.
“One time, when I was little,” I began, “I woke up and decided to eat some breakfast. I poured some Cheerios in my bowl, and put a spoonful of sugar in it, and then the milk, and I took one bite. Then I took another bite. Then bite number three. Then bite number four. Then bite number five. Six. Seven. Eight….”
I kept counting, gradually slowing down until I was only counting once per breath. John calmed down and his breath slowed down, too. My counting got gradually quieter, and I scooted down the bed until I was laying down, with John on top of me. Which meant John was laying down. “Eighty-seven…eighty-eight…” I was barely even whispering at this point.
“Mom’s gonna bite all the way to a hundred!” muttered John, clearly impressed.
“Mm-hmm,” I said, then continued counting. After a while, I was pretty sure he was asleep. Then suddenly, around a hundred and thirty, he sat bolt upright and looked at me. “Mom ate a really big breakfast!” This wasn’t working the way I thought it would. I wrapped up the story and changed tactics.
“John, do you want to set a timer?”
“We’ll set a timer for nine hours, and after the microwave beeps, it’s time to wake up. But we have to stay in bed until then, okay?”
“Okay!” (He’s kinda shaky on how long an hour is.)
He helped me set a timer (which I turned off as soon as he wasn’t looking), and we went back to his room. I set up a mat on the floor, got a pillow and blanket, and figured I would be camping out in there all night. Surprisingly, he was thrilled to be in bed, as long as he knew the timer would let him know when to wake up. Also, apparently he’s obsessed with clocks. And the microwave. More on that later.
Anyway, it was about this time that he started telling stories of his own. We usually hear him doing this for about an hour before he falls asleep, but this is the first time I’ve been privy to the details. It started out really creepy.
“Miss Ali had some hands, and then she dropped all the hands on the floor. And then she stepped on the hands. There were eighty hands. (He said this part really slowly. Eiiiiiighty haaaaaands.) … And then Mom said….. ‘Whoa. That’s a lot of hands.'”
This got a little less creepy when he started talking about the hands on the clock and I realized he probably wasn’t thinking about body parts. He went on to describe Sarah and Duck, playing with Clock and Microwave, both of whom had legs and feet and wore slippers. Then the four of them went on an adventure that made The Brave Little Toaster look like a logical sequence of events. At one point, the microwave (I’m pretty sure his name was “Microve,” which he pronounce different from “Microwave.”) went to the microwave store to buy a pink microwave to be friends with.
At this point, he was pretty happy and definitely not screaming, so when he started putting his feet on the floor, I told him if he tried to get out of bed, I was going to go. He thought for a minute, put a foot experimentally on the floor and the other one on my back, and said, “Mom will go now.”
I went. He babbled for another hour or so, but I don’t know whatever became of Microve and his new girlfriend. ♥