Noah hasn't been sleeping well since we got home from Connecticut. He's insistent that we lay down with him until he falls asleep. We're not sure why or where he got the idea that laying down with him is part of the bedtime routine. We don't lay down with him and it requires a little more effort at bed time but why play into it and have more problems later.
I've been sleeping in the guest room because I go to bed so much later than Dave. I'm afraid if I sneak in to bed, he'll wake up and be too tired for work the next day.
Noah comes into "my room" a few nights ago at 4:30 and all he can say as he runs across the floor and buries himself into my shoulder is, "I'm so scared! I'm so scared! I'm so scared!"
"Buddy! What are you so scared of?"
I pull him into bed with me and he says, "That man. I'm so scared!"
"That man. That man over there."
"What man? There's no man."
"That man over there."
He points to the chair in the corner of the room. As I pull him closer to me to calm him down, I feel that he's a little wet and needs a diaper. I tell him that I have to go downstairs to get him a diaper. He looks at me, begging with his eyes, and asks if he can come with me.
Every part of me wants to tell him yes but I know that if I take him downstairs with me, I'll never get him back to sleep. I tell him that I'll turn the bedside light on and leave the door open. He agrees that leaving the light on and the door open will work for him in my 15 seconds of absense.
I head downstairs, knowing how scared he is, almost swearing there's a man in the house. I'm such a chicken that now, he has me convinced that there must be someone in the house; he's seen someone in his room. I reason with myself: the gate was closed and no one could get upstairs without opening the gate which would wake me and Dave much less all the way to Noah's room without me hearing the floors creak. Okay - I'm good! I head back upstairs with the diaper.
I go into the room and Noah is really staring hard at the chair in the corner of the room. I ask him if he's okay. He tells me no and is insistent that there is a man behind the chair. (You have to understand, we're not talking about a small rocker. It's a large, oversized, chair that is almost as big as a small loveseat. It's at an angle in the corner so someone could very easily hide behind it and we would never know). Okay - now I'm freaked out but I continue to reason with myself on the same logic. "No one could get upstairs without opening the gate which would wake me and Dave" I know that if Noah sense me being scared that we're really screwed.
I calmly, in the most loving maternal voice I can muster, say, "Noah. There's noone over there." He is looking at the chair and would burn holes through it if he could because he's staring so hard. Okay - reasoning with myself is starting fail - "Stay calm! Stay calm!"
I want to run down the hall and wake up Dave but it's a "school night" and I know there isn't really anyone behind the chair. He'll think we're both crazy but I'm really starting to get scared. I decide, before running down the hall, waking up Dave and defeating the purpose of me sleeping in the guest room, is to go "look" for myself. If there is really someone there, I'll scream, it'll wake up Dave, it'll send Noah running down the hall to "Dave's room" and then Dave will save us all. I'd say my logic is running pretty good for what is now 5 am. "Stay calm! Stay calm!"
"Noah, there's noone over there. Do you want me to go look?"
Thumb in his mouth, clutching dog, near tears, he looks at me with puppy dog eyes and nods.
Okay - here goes nothing. "Please God!! Do not let anyone be behind that chair!!"
Whew!!! It's clear!!!! Relief!!!!
I tell Noah that there is noone back there but I can tell by how he is looking at me and the chair that he's still not sure. "Noah. If I move the chair will that be better?"
Again - thumb in his mouth, clutching dog, near tears, he looks at me with puppy dog eyes and nods.
I push the chair all the way into the corner so it is completely flush with the wall. I climb back in bed hoping that now, we'll be able to go back to sleep. I know that there is no way he'll go back in his room alone and I'm too tired to care so I let him sleep with me. I turn the light off and see that we've been up for a little more than an hour. Oh - I'm gonna hate life tomorrow and I'm gonna need an extra large Starbucks!
It's a cool night and the window is open in my room. A car drives by and Noah rolls over, gets inches from my face to be sure he can see me in the dark and says, "Did the cow go back in the barn?"
Um - okay?!?! "Yes buddy! The cow went back into the barn."
He rolled over and I didn't hear anything else from him until 8:30. Dave has already left for work so I didn't get my morning run to Starbucks (refernce posting "Mom Brain") but I got an extra hour of sleep to make up for the hour and a half I was up in the middle of night. I can't go without completely so I load the kids in the car and we head to Starbucks.
The chair is still pushed all the way against the wall and will probably remain that way indefinitely. After that night, I don't think I would ever stop wondering if someone were hiding behind that chair if I moved it back to where it was.