A Few Moments with My Sleepy Daughters

10:30 p.m.

Vivi moans in her bed. “Woofy! I need Woofy!” She’s dropped the tiny plastic toy dog that she keeps clenched in her left hand (almost) all night. This happened just a few minutes ago, so I run upstairs and go into the nursery, hoping to get to her before the moaning wakes up Julia.

“Did you drop Woofy Woofy, honey?” I whisper. She immediately shrieks back, “NO! I DI’N’T DWOP WOOFY WOOFY!” I roll my eyes (it’s dark, so she can’t see me and get annoyed at this) and ask, “What’s wrong, then?” “I NEED MY BWANKETS TIGHTER!” I crouch down to tuck her more tightly into the heavy winter quilt that she insists on sleeping under every night.

After cinching it down to the near-suffocating levels that she prefers, I whisper, “There: is that okay now?” She exhales angrily and yells, “YETH, BUT I NEED WOOFY WOOFY!” I laugh a little bit and whisper, “I thought you had him in your hand, honey.” “NO! I DON HAVE HIM! HE’S ON DA FWOOR!”

On my hands and knees, I hurriedly pat all around her bed, trying to find the the elusive toy, which falls out of her hand two or three times a night – on a good night. “I can’t find him, honey. Are you sure you don’t he’s not in your blankets?” I ask, just as I finally find him stuck between two rails of her headboard, not on the floor. I hand him back to Vivi, who clutches him in a hot, sweaty little hand. “WHY DID YOU YOU COULND’T FIND HIM, DADDY!” she yells. I can hear the sneering in her voice.

I chuckle a little more and whisper, “Let’s try to be really quiet so we don’t wake up Julia, okay?” She raises her head and shouts even louder, “SHE NOT SLEEPING, DADDY. SHE AWAKE!!” Hitting her cue, Julia groans from across the room. “Too loud!” she says.

“Okay, honey,” I tell Vivi, “now you are tucked in and you have Woofy. Time to go back to sleep, okay?” She yells again, “OKAY, I WILL!” and recites the little mantra that must must must be said every time you leave a room in which she’s sleeping: “NIGHT-NIGHT LOVE YOU SEE YOU IN THE MORNING!” I whisper it back, kiss her and Julia, and sneak out. As I reach the door, she shouts one more time, “I SAID, ‘NIGHT-NIGHT LOVE YOU SEE YOU IN THE MORNING!'” I whisper it again, a bit louder so she can hear me, and shut the door. She’s immediately quiet.

3 thoughts on “A Few Moments with My Sleepy Daughters”

  1. One of ours demanded that we spread out a funky homemade quite JUST RIGHT when that was impossible because it was, well, homemade.

    She also went a straight month wanting firefighters to tuck her in.

    Another used to sleep walk often, stark naked.

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