Marcel Monday: Can you go now?
Me: Tomorrow is your post day. What would you like to talk about?
Marcel: Me and you and Sammy and me and you.
Me: What would you like me to tell all your friends about you?
Marcel: That I run fast.
Me: Anything else?
Marcel: That I like to bounce, karate chop, eat cheese without my hands. Like a pig. Oh and play with this (holding up the box from his Lego World People. The box that he takes to bed, all flattened. He loves looking at the pictures of the little people that came in the box from Lego Education).
After putting this post to bed, it was time for Marcel to go to sleep too. For the last three or so months, this has involved an elongated cuddle. Sam is on the top bunk, and falls asleep in about ten seconds after a song. Marcel has required me to stay, and rub his back for several minutes. I can usually leave before he falls asleep, but to be honest, I usually don’t.
He asked me to leave. “Mommy can you go now? I need some privacy.”
I was startled. Then I said; “Sure” almost abruptly.
I went in the kitchen and just stood there in the dark. So there, I thought. It’s true. Sometimes kids do outgrow things, before we have to outgrow them for them. (Meaning, I thought I’d have to begin a new “sleep training” moment with him soon, to get him to go back to sleep on his own, without me.) I was also very sad. Who likes to be outgrown?
I sat on the edge of my bed, looking over my planner, when I heard his little footy pajamed feet pitter-pattering in.
“Mommy? I didn’t get a kiss.” I was sweetly startled this time.
I knelt down and gave him a kiss. Then he gave me one, and and he walked back into his room and put himself to sleep.
It is the next morning, and I am still in awe of these two kids I have who know what they need, and know how to ask for it.
Today’s job: remind him how proud I am off how he put himself to sleep, and let him go the “little bowl of surprise gifts” (replenished yesterday) for that policeman, or fireman toy he was talking about.