My Nighttime Nomads

If all three of them ever once slept through the night, I'd probably wake up ten times thinking they'd been dragged off by wolves or flown off with Peter Pan. I realize that having three ups the odds of something going wrong on any one night, but they don't even have the decency to take turns.

Lately, Dixie's been getting up and not coming into our room, which I'm finding to be far worse than getting up and coming to our room. In the morning, we'll find little traces of her activity. It's really like being visited by fairies or something. There will be a half-empty cereal bowl in the kitchen, makeup redistributed in the bathroom or toys strewn about.

We've had to put passwords on everything because she passed the time one night by googling things for entertainment. This ended rather badly, as one might imagine. When she found she couldn't get onto the computers anymore, she passed time with my cell phone. I found all sorts of dimly lit pictures and my friend Mindy got a mumbled midnight message.

Our house is fairly spread out and our rooms are completely opposite ends. I guess it's time to break out baby monitors again, because there's no way we can hear her with a play room, dining room, kitchen and hallway between us.

It does come in handy. Charlie often has nightmares and, if we don't get to him quickly enough, he can be up for awhile. Sometimes Dixie gets there first or runs to get us if we don't hear him.

Two weeks ago, I run in there while he's screaming and hold him to calm him down. Part of what makes it hard for him to calm down is that he can't iterate what he just experienced. He cannot tell what his dream was and so we cannot really talk about it. He just knew that it was about a cat and that we need to go outside and cut grass with scissors. If we could cut all the grass with scissors, his bad dream would go away.

Yeah, no idea where that idea came from. Did I mention the blanket of snow covering the sheet of ice covering the grass?

I told him that I could not cut the grass, but that I was a Mommy and Bad Dreams do not like Mommies. As long as I was holding him, he'd be just fine. After many efforts to go outside and cut the grass with scissors, and many reminders that I was his talisman against whatever happens to cats in bad dreams, and promises to get up and cut grass with him first thing in the morning, we got to sleep. I never realized that Dixie was up this whole time, listening.

We were up for over an hour. He'd finally gone to sleep when the cat needed out. I'd almost drifted off when the storm began to howl and wail and dance against my windows. Fortunately, the next day was a late start day and I got to sleep in a bit.

When I woke up, Charlie was still asleep by my feet. Next to the couch was a small basket of freshly scissor-cut grass. Dixie had gone out as soon as the sun rose to cut the grass and keep her brother safe.


Anonymous said...

That is so sweet!

Anonymous said...

That was a great story, Gretch, for so many reasons.

Remember those crazy texts I got from Dixie in the middle of the night? I still have 'em! :-)