Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sleep Numbers

We used to tiptoe into Theo's room after he fell asleep so we could watch him. Slumbering children are so beautiful and sweet that it was worth risking that his batlike sense of hearing would detect the turn of the doorknob as we stole into the room. If he stirred, Jeff would crouch below crib level and I hid behind the door before he saw us. If we were lucky, he would snorfle and turn his head away and close his eyes and we would scurry silently out of the room.

If he saw us, however, he immediately began to squeak and howl, begging to be picked up and cuddled and rocked. He pushed up onto his arms and bleated pathetically, and we would scurry from the room, listening for a few seconds until (hopefully) he forgot about us and fell back to sleep. Or else we had to go back in and pat his back and say soothing things and stroke his cheek with his stuffed giraffe and beg him to put his head back down. Which worked most of the time. But he obviously wasn't happy that we were awake and available and watching American Idol and he was missing out on the fun.

But times are changing. When we go in his room now to listen to him breathe and see his peaceful face, he still wakes up sometimes. But he just squints at us and rolls over, as if to say, "Um, did you need something? Because I'm trying to get some sleep over here."

It's just another milestone that makes my brain scurry forward ten years to the day my pre-teenage son just wants to be LEFT ALONE with his iPod (or with the computer chip that has been injected into his inner ear that picks up radio signals or whatever we will be using to listen to music in 2019). I'm pretty sure he's going to be the sort of person who sleeps until noon on Saturday mornings. But I like to think he might keep his special stuffed giraffe under his pillow even then.

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