Every mom has moments when they feel on top of their game, where they not only respond correctly to the marvel that is in front of them, but they feel appreciated and at one with the world. Hopefully I am not obnoxious in expressing these glorious and fleeting times.
Last night after I'd read to the Jooge and we were snuggling in her bed she started to show signs of panic that I was about to leave her side.
Instead of the usual, "It's okay, don't be scared," response, and in the name of trying to encourage an emotionally intelligent child, I tried something new. She likes to say, "Let's talk," and we talk about Santa Claus or Grandma, faraway happy things. I said something like, "Let's talk. You look like you're getting scared about something."
She seemed to relax. She said, "Mr. Night's not going to come tonight."
Mr. Night is a character in a book that we recently checked out of the library. In the book he was in charge of calming animals and arranging stars in the sky, and in our case, scaring our child half to death. I knew she was always talking about Mr. Night, and according to my husband she was even looking out the window last night claiming to hear his footsteps, but I guess I didn't associate Mr. Night with the bedtime freak-outs. Add him to the list of anxiety provokers. Acknowledge him as SCARY.
Anyway, we talked about Mr. Night, and how he WAS kind of scary. He was black and you didn't always know where he was. She said she didn't want him to come visit her and close her eyes. She said he might scare Buddy, her elephant. After our chat, I reminded her from the doorway that Mr. Night was gone, that I had told him to go away. She seemed assured, and it was the first scream-free night in awhile. HALLeighLUIAH!
Okay, so that's the sickeningly perfect moment of peace after nights of screaming, wherein my child just gave up the fear after it was acknowledged by her mother. Well here's the whipped cream on top part where things get warm and fuzzy. It was time to put Avery down and I was reading to her and my husband was standing in the doorway waiting as though he had something to tell me. I was absorbed in Ten Little Ladybugs and when I was done I turned my attention to him. He was just standing there smiling.
I said, "What?"
He said, "Nothing. I like your momming, " and walked away.
Later, in bed together, we watched Ham on the Street concoct a lovely skillet Smore over the camp fire. Don't hurl, but it really was the cherry on top of the night.