One More Thing
The Princess and the Pirate were finally in the bed. Daddy had a quick errand to run, and the dog was nestled next to the heating vent in the kitchen. The house was quiet except for the hum from the furnace. I slowly sipped a glass of water and tried to get my mind to relax long enough to catch the rhythm of nothingness and fall asleep.
A dramatic sigh floated toward my ears followed by the careful steps over an untidy floor filled with toys.
“Last night, when you were sleeping, Daddy told me to go to bed, but I was just trying to tell him something first.”
“What were you trying to tell him?”
“Well, I just wanted to tell him that I wanted pancakes and sausage for breakfast, but he just said, ‘GO TO BED’ to me.” The Princess pointed her finger like a frustrated father for emphasis.
I smiled. She has no idea how difficult it is at night trying to get her and her sister to stop popping out of bed to tell us “one more thing.” We’ve both been working new jobs, learning as we go, and the days away are longer than the nights at home. We’re tired. I mean, really tired, so bedtime for them becomes bedtime for us. We’re the oldest 30-somethings we know.
“But Mommy, guess what?”
“This morning, when Daddy woke us up, he made us pancakes and sausage just like I wanted.” A big, toothy grin stretched across her face.
“What do you think it means when Daddy gives you something you want?” I asked, hoping that she realized how much that annoying night-time routine merely emphasizes how much we both love and sacrifice daily to ensure their safety, security, and happiness.
“I think it means that even when Daddy is really angry, he listens to me.”
I smiled at her five-year-old logic and bent down to give her a kiss.
“You know what else, Mommy?”
“I think Daddy really likes pancakes and sausage, too.”
“Yeah, I think you’re right, Princess.”
“Do you think he’ll like bacon and eggs tomorrow?”
“Maybe. You’ll just have to see. Now, ‘GO TO BED!'”
The comedian Jim Gaffigan refers to bedtime for his kids as a reverse hostage situation. “I’ll give you anything, just STAY in your room.”
That is EXACTLY what it feels like! So true!