M’s first cousin and one of my very favorite people on the entire planet was in town for 22 short hours.
Before she arrived last night, I told the boys: “Listen guys, let me tell you something about the ladies. We like to make our friends jealous. We like it a lot. And what I really want more than anything else is for cousin H to go back to London and say to her own little boys, ‘You won’t believe how well behaved Bennett and Efram are. If only you two would behave half as well as your American cousins. I’m well and truly ashamed of you.'”
I let this thought sit with them for a minute. And then Efram piped up: “But she’ll know better. She’ll know the truth about us. She reads your blog.”
No amount of cajoling or begging could get Sidney to behave for our visiting dignitary. She, like 3/4 of our other kids, has climbed out of her crib and has started to wreak havoc at bedtime. Last night, forty-five minutes after bedtime, I found her hiding underneath Fiona’s bed. I half expected to find a bottle of vodka in the hand that wasn’t clutching her blanky and bunny. I wish I had the kind of kids that stayed in cribs, kids that saw the crib walls as legitimate boundaries. (I remember finding a two year old Efram perched on the top edge of the crib, his toes curled over the side, arms outstretched, like a wild-eyed surfer.) I thought longingly about those chickens and wished that I could do what I did with them each night to keep out predators, and close a top over her crib, with a carabiner to seal the deal. Instead, I find myself keeping her up until she can barely stand, and then putting her to sleep when she’s too tired to mount a defense and scale a wall.
What this means is that when the crib goes this weekend, and is replaced by a bed, that we will be crib-less for the first time in over eleven years. Not only have we always had a crib, but there were times when we even had two cribs going on. The crazy thing is that it’s all been so unceremonious. When Bennett moved out of our bed at four months and into a crib in our bedroom, I cried. When he moved into his own room a few months later, I climbed into the crib with him to keep him company. I knew it was crazy at the time, I knew I was behaving like some whacked-out attachment freak, but I think I may have actually been one. And now, little Sidney who goes on playdates without me, is moving into a bed, and none of us even really notice.
When I tried to get her out from under Fi’s bed last night, she looked out at me, her eyes shining like a cat’s in the dark, and said (as she likes to do): “Get your butt out of here right now.” (She says that so much we have set it to music. Sing it to the last line of “You Are My Sunshine.”)
And so I did. I got my butt right out of there and let her make her own way to bed. Blanky, bunny, vodka, and all.
PS: I am still compiling a list of people favorite’s blog entries. If you have any favorites, please let me know!