A squeal. Thump-thump-thump. A ghostly figure standing in my doorway. I roll over to check the clock; it reads 12:30. Shit. I sit up. With no invitation needed, he shambles across the room and climbs into the bed.
A slight whimper. Did he have a nightmare? A cough. Maybe his allergies are bothering him. I have no idea why he's woken up, nor do I particularly want to at the moment. It is not the appropriate time to ask questions I won't get answers to. My eyes can't possible stay open another second. I snuggle a bit and pray that maybe tonight will be different, and he'll go back to sleep. Mothers seem to have a unique wellspring of hope, or perhaps are just good at denial. In any case, I cross my fingers and toes, and close my eyes.
Humming. Please, no.
Leg shaking. No, please, no!
He starts talking to the darkness. Sorry babe, no sleep for you tonight.
My husband takes Gus back to his room and tries to get him back to sleep in there. I can still hear him, through two closed doors. What can anyone possibly have to talk about at this hour in the pitch blackness?
I remember the advisory letter that came home from school about the child who had a man following her and the white unmarked van he was driving. These thoughts are not helping my cause in the least.
I finally give up trying to sleep, get out of bed, grab my laptop and a book and make a half-hearted attempt at doing something constructive. It is now 1:30 and he's still going strong. Bless my daughter's ability to sleep through the noise. Dear husband isn't faring as well as he usually does, and I feel badly about that.
Only one person is online and not someone I particularly want to chat with, but it's better than thinking about predators and abductions. The laptop gets too hot on my legs, so I switch to reading Wuthering Heights. It's not enough to hold my attention and this is a good thing. Maybe now I can go back to sleep. With a click, the lamp is off and I lay my head down.
I desperately try to ignore the muted voices coming from down the hall. Anger is starting to prickle beneath my skin. Enough is enough. I go to rescue hubby and scold Gus. If he wants to stay up all night, fine, but we need to sleep, so be quiet already. There really isn't much patience to be had at 2:30 in the morning. With a hug and a kiss we leave the room, wondering if he will stay put or follow.
Now neither of us can sleep, and Gus is still delivering his dissertation. Finally somewhere around 3, everyone drops off. But not to worry, one alarm is set for 5:00 - we won't sleep too long. That one is violently silenced. The next one sounds at 5:30. I don't even recall hearing it. I wake to the sounds of Dear Husband showering and preparing for work.
Gus has school today, so I must drag myself out of bed - no voice, no balance, no working brain cells - and then try to rouse the little host with the most. He has the nerve to ask for another 8 minutes. "Sorry, buddy. If you want to sleep, you should try doing it at night with the rest of us."