Over the Thanksgiving break we chatted with some parents of newborn twins. They had that pleading, deranged look of people who had not experienced a real shower in four months.
Diana and I tried to commiserate, but Elijah and Luca have been fully functioning people for years so we threw out a few lame bits of advice like, “Oh, well, you definitely don’t want to drop them in the street.” Or, “Babies like milk.”
The subject changed to the fact they haven’t slept in the same bed since the twins were born. They were playing man-to-man defense. It dawned on me that I had not slept a full night in my bed in months.
Here is the routine: I lay down with Luca at bedtime and tell him a story. Usually involving him saving Santa from terrorists. When he falls asleep, I go lay down with Eli. We talk briefly about farts and then he falls asleep. If I am still awake (usually not), I go into our bed and get under the covers.
Then at 3am on the dot, Luca will pad into our room and poke me in the eye. That is not an exaggeration. He literally pokes me in the eye. Occasionally he will add, “Sleep wif me,” but it’s usually just an eye poke. I then go back to Luca’s bed and sleep until morning.
This is not good for my back or my marriage. However, I am worried about the clock ticking on my sons liking me, so I keep doing it.
Last night, Diana put her foot down. She summoned Luca to the little plastic table that serves as our dining room while we renovate the house. She said Luca was no longer allowed in our room after bedtime. No more Dad be withs. If you are thirsty, water will be provided.
Luca nodded. I could hear the clock of him liking me tick down.
I told stories and talked farts and went to my bed. It was warm and soft and was built for people over 4 feet tall. Grover the dog even bestowed us the honor of sleeping with us.
At 3am sharp, I was wide awake. My body was accustomed to the Luca visit. I waited. And waited. No Luca. I stared at our bedroom hoping and hoping. But no Luca. I didn’t end up sleeping at all and kind of feel like garbage today.
I may secretly tell Luca our 3am “Sleep wif me” is unofficially back on.