8:20pm – “Good night, sweet dreams.”
9:00pm – “DADA!” she calls. She attempts to yell out her message but we don’t understand. Max visits her in her room. She was frightened by the sound of the rain/snow tapping against her window.
11:00pm – I finally drag myself to bed. I think I’m asleep within two minutes of hitting the pillow. It’s been a long stretch of busy days and late nights.
12:30am – Clara is calling “Mama! Dada!” Max checks on her. The CD on repeat is stuck skipping. "Good night, sweet dreams."
3:30am – I hear her door click shut behind her and wonder if it is 6:30 already. “Mama?” she whispers. “I’m frightened. I want to sleep in here with you.” She’s never slept in here with me. We’ve attempted it once or twice but she never settles down and after a few kicks to the stomach, tugs on my hair, fingers to the eyes, I sit up and gruffly say, “That’s enough! Back to your room!” But this time, she climbs in and stays still. I look at the clock: 3:30. “Oh, this is a long night,” I grumble. She takes over my pillow; I scoot over towards Max’s pillow but run into the cat Eolus who is snuggled between us and heavy as a rock. I stay uncomfortably on my side with no good place to put my right arm or my head.
The other cat, Pip, rises from my feet and comes up to her favorite spot next to my pillow. This is Clara’s favorite cat. Here we go, I think. Now she’ll be up petting Pip and the restlessness will begin. But no—this time she stays down (still!) and rubs Pip's back. Pip’s tail swats us both for a while. This bed isn’t big enough for the five of us, I think. When Clara stops petting her, she jumps off the bed. Ahhh, a little more room! Clara slides off my pillow and I spread out into my space.
4:00am – Her “sleep position” is to have her right index finger twirling her hair and her left index finger in her mouth. But when she’s near me, she often twirls my hair. She twirls it tightly around her finger right up against my scalp. It tugs. “Ouch! Please stop!”
4:15am – We are both almost asleep when Clara says, “Dada, please try not to snore.” Amazingly, he stops; and not just for a breath or two, but for what feels like five minutes. Twice more she makes this polite request. And twice more it works. "Good night, sweet dreams."
5:45am – My alarm beeps. Clara is sound asleep. I reach over her to turn it off. I crawl over her to get out of bed. I tiptoe downstairs and start making oatmeal.
6:00am – Clara appears in the kitchen. “I couldn’t sleep without you,” she says. I'm already looking forward to nap time!