Steve used to have to leave an hour earlier for church the year that he worked as a youth intern. Sometimes he would graciously let me sleep in (I was still nursing Benjamin at night) while he helped get the older two boys ready.
With all the boys asleep, I cleaned up the kitchen, picked up the living room, read a few chapters of my book, and then decided to turn in around 10. As promised, I moved Benjamin to his crib (he didn’t wake up), moved Matthew to my bed (he cracked his eyes open briefly and then settled his head down on my shoulder), laid him next to Steven on my bed, then brushed my teeth and went to bed. It was not to be a restful night of sleep for me, though, because Matthew is in a tossing-and-turning-all-over-the-bed phase. His hand would land on my nose, waking me up, or he would kick all the blankets off, and he finally ended up sleeping upside down on the bed for a while. At one point, his face was smashed into my chin, and since his feet were pushing against Steven, Steven ended up angling around so his head was pushing against my cheek, too. After dozing, waking, dozing, waking, I finally woke up for real at 5 am when I heard Benjamin calling me.
We last left Matthew and Benjamin both in Matty’s bed, listening to music. After the music CD ended, Matthew called me into the room, asking me to take Benjamin out of the bed. As he was talking to me, Benjamin kept tapping Matthew’s pillow, telling him to “Come here, Matt-Matt. Lay down, Matt-Matt.” I was able to calm Matthew down and get him to agree to lay more with Benjamin, because my primary concern was getting Benjamin to sleep (at this point it was getting close to 9 pm, an hour and a half past normal bedtime!).
Of course, not two minutes passed before both boys were snuggling together, snoring quietly.
Our church has a parent-paging system connected to the nursery and the main sanctuary. Babies are assigned a number, and if the baby can’t be soothed, the parent is paged with a light-up red number sign in the front corner of the sanctuary. I always felt slightly embarrassed when our number lit up, showing the entire congregation that we our baby was The Crier.
(I think this is Benjamin’s first appearance in a comic! It’s rather atypical – he was really an easy baby.)
After long snuggles with Benjamin, I finally got him settled in his crib, but as I drew the blanket up to his shoulders, his face wrinkled into the saddest looking expression I’ve ever seen him make, and as I put his baby and bunny next to him, tears began rolling down his cheeks and he started sobbing quietly and pathetically. Thinking he would settle down after a minute, I left the room, but his cries just got louder. I went back in, and he clung to me tightly, and then he said sadly, “Yuggle Matt-Matt.” Some nights we all snuggle in Matthew’s bottom bunk together, so I asked Matthew if it was okay for Benjamin to lay down with him, and Matthew gladly scootched over and said sweetly, “Hi, Ben-Ben!” Then he put his arm around Benjamin, which absolutely melted my heart.
(Meanwhile, Steven had gone to lay down in my room because he did NOT want to listen to the music that I had put on for the little boys to listen to.)
This week will be a five-part series of comics detailing “Why I was tired” last Wednesday.
Usually Benjamin is an easy kid to put down (if sometimes high-maintenance) – once he has his bear, blanket, pillow, etc., he joyfully cries “nigh’ nigh’! Wuh yuh! Muh-nee!” and there’s not another peep. But last week, perhaps because Benjamin missed Steve as his primary caretaker, he was especially clingy when it came to bedtime. And by clingy, I mean literally clingy.
Steve has been gone since Monday, and the living room, entryway, kitchen, and bedroom have been unusually clean. With Steve gone, however, the kid (encouragers of entropy) – to – adult (opposers of entropy) ratio is greater.
Kids:Adults = Encouragers of entropy:Opposers of entropy
With Steve: 3:2
Without Steve: 3:1
How are we able to explain this phenomenon? Please choose from the following:
B. Corrie doesn’t have to pick up after Steve, just after the boys.
C. Corrie is lonely and ends up cleaning since she can’t hang out with her best friend.
D. All of the above.
Steve is coming home tomorrow afternoon. I predict that our house will become messier, but that our overall happiness level will be greater.