Thursday, February 16, 2006

Night of wonders

Old things are passed away (*) . . .

Last night, when I returned from my new, weekly, leave-the-house event (which involves neither cards, nor dice, nor beer), I heard voices. Not those kinds of voices; children's voices.

This is common here at 4 Boy House, even after 9:30, as Stephen and Jonah keep each other awake. They alternate playing with and complaining about the other, yet each adds to the chaotic energy in their room in a kind of crazy insomniac harmonic. It's a fragile insanity (like anarchy), and usually breaks down as soon as one boy stops responding to the goading of the other. Once this happens, both are asleep within a minute. (Many nights, my wife has instructed me, "Go spank them," and I have replied, "Next commercial," only to find it unnecessary to leave the couch thanks to this rapid decline.)

And so, on most nights, the voices I hear are Stephen's and Jonah's. Timothy wakes up early and goes to sleep quickly. Sometimes Sam will stay awake (especially if he's had a nap) and call out from his crib, either yelling at the other two ("Be kiet!"), at Timothy ("Timfy! Wake up!"), or at my wife and me ("Kiss me!" or "Unh wahuh!"). Such is bedtime.

But last night, the voices I heard were Jonah's and Sam's, and it sounded like they were playing together. My wife looked over from the couch, smiled, and explained, "Stephen's in with Timothy, and Sam's in with Jonah. You need to head up and restore order." I smiled, nodded, and, with task in hand, headed up the stairs.

I expected the worst. Timothy is very protective of his own space, especially his own bed and his right to exist solely therein, surrounded on 3-4 sides by pillows. Jonah and Sam are insane together during the daytime, when they have the opportunity to bounce freely throughout the house. In a confined space, under new circumstances, I expected them to be like squirrels in a cage.

I was wrong. Timothy was asleep (normal) in the top bunk (not normal). Stephen was up there with him (expected) and still awake (normal). Seeing his head turn toward me as I walked in, I said to him, "Wow. In the big bed, huh?" He replied, "Shhh. Timothy's asleep." I said ok, kissed him, checked the pillow/blanket sitation, and left the room.

Jonah and Sam were awake (normal) and loud (expected), but horizontal (not expected). No jumping on the bed, no falling off the bed, no doctor, etc. Furniture intact, pictures still on the walls, toys (mostly) put away, they were making animal noises at each other and laughing. Jonah saw me and said,excitedly, "Sam's in here with me in the big boy bed!" Sam, our little repeater, said, "I seep heeuh. Bi-boy bed."

We talked for a few minutes. I asked if this arrangement was okay, and both assured me that it was. I asked if they could keep the noise down, and both assured me that they could. Jonah asked me to put his night-night on him, and I did. Sam asked me to kiss him, and I did. Things had calmed down, so I headed back downstairs. Voices continued for a bit more and then ended without fanfare.

How did it go? Fine. Sam did not fall out of bed. Nobody cried during the night (not that I heard). Timothy woke up at 6 but managed to get out of bed without waking Stephen. At 7:30, Jonah awoke and yelled "HEY! Sam's in here!" Amazingly, that did not wake Sam, and I hustled Jonah downstairs before he could give it another try. Stephen was up before 8, and Sam (miraculously) stayed in bed until after 8:20.

This morning my wife told me the other half of the Night of Miracles. She had been reading to Timothy (Harry Potter 4, btw) when Sam came in, still in his daytime clothes and asking to be read to ("Polah bayuh"). My wife called to Stephen and asked if he could read Sam a little book. Stephen, now apparently a big boy and old enough to "help out," said yes.

By the time my wife had finished reading to Timothy, she went upstairs to find that Sam was in his pajamas and that his teeth were brushed. Stephen had done these things in addition to reading Sam two stories. Quite a helper.

Quite a night.


At 10:29 AM, Blogger Becki said...

Wow! Amazing! Before you know it - that crib will come down! We have an extra bed rail if you need it :) Mom

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Becki said...

P.S. I always knew Stephen would make an excellent helper :)


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