When your kids start repeating back phrases, you realize what you must sound like to them. Sometimes it is awesome: Ella’s first word was “HEY!” D2 tells me she loves me “so, so, so much.” But sometimes, you realize you say some things so often they have become meaningless. Apparently one of mine is “a little while.” As in, “I’ll be there in” and “I’ll only do it for” and “it will only take.” When my daughters, who seem to have inherited the nervousness and trouble falling asleep that I had as a child, ask if I will stay upstairs by their room until they fall asleep, I respond that I will stay “for a little while.”
So, it wasn’t too long until Ella figured out that my little whiles were sometimes not long at all. And she starting asking for multiple little whiles. (Adorable.) Last night, she asked me to please stay upstairs “six little whiles more than usual.” And reminded me that the last time she’d asked that, it didn’t actually seem any longer. So please could I try harder? Sure–I decided to read in my bed for 20 minutes while they fell right to sleep. I had several books and magazines to choose from and they seemed tired. Probably they’d be out before that.
I propped up both of the fluffy pillows on my side, since MI was gone and I could hoard, and started reading the newest edition of Cooking Light. I generally love this magazine. But right after you finish feeding two children an imaginative dinner of tortellini and sliced apples–one of the four meals they will eat–and wrestle them slowly into their beds, its hard to completely immerse yourself in planning future meals that they won’t eat and will create more dishes than normal. So despite my good intention (and desire to have someone else cook such dishes for me) my interest waned. I decided to read it laying on my side. And then I set the magazine on the bed and read it with my cheek against the pillow. And then… then… it was midnight?
Apparently I drifted off–who could have seen that coming!?–around 8:30 on Friday night. Both children were still awake, probably. Who knows? And MI was gone. Don’t worry about safety, though; Ella is getting pretty responsible and it is not often, anymore, that she does something that I think could have easily killed her. She had things under control until MI came home. Whenever that was. I hear that Ella was still awake and she went downstairs and they played and hung out and had a snack. And they came upstairs and turned off my light and built some IKEA furniture to dance music and hours passed.
So, suffice it to say, I totally delivered on my six little whiles more than usual. I kept my word. Parenting for the win.