Henry winked at me over the night-night book he was reading to our grandson Barrett, then nodded towards the clock. Eight p.m. – the witching hour for 5 year-olds. Thank goodness. I let out a sigh of relief. After all, it had been a long… but fun… but long… long… l-o-n-g… week.
You see, Barrett’s parents were on vacation and since we were fabulous grandparents, we had volunteered to babysit. Which had turned out great… Except for one little thing. Our precious grandson refused to sleep in his own bed or, for that matter, without me.
So, he slept in our bed – sideways – with his little feet digging and kicking me all night long.
When I complained, Henry informed me that Barrett’s little pounding feet had to be more delightful than Barrett’s big, butting head or his floppy, face-smacking hands.
I wasn’t sure.
But, either way, after five nights of this, Henry and I were desperate to sleep.
A few seconds later, when Henry finished reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” he snapped it shut and said, “It’s time for bed.”
Barrett scrambled off of my lap and raced into our bedroom. Henry and I followed; close enough to see Barrett pull down the covers and jump into our bed… completely ignoring the cute little Teepee we’d bought, that very day, as an enticement.
“Barrett, don’t you want to sleep in the teepee? See, it has flaps that work as the windows and doors. You can crawl inside and close them. Then it becomes your own private room.” I sounded like a game show host.
“We purchased a brand new sleeping bag too. It’s double padded with cowboys stamped on it.” Henry said. “I think you’ll really like it.”
“But I want to sleep in your bed, with Grandma.” Barrett whined. “The pillows are so soft.”
“You can take them into the teepee.” Henry said, grabbing a pillow and holding it out.
“But I want to sleep here, in the bed, with Grandma.”
“This is way cooler than sleeping with Grandma.” Henry smirked at me, then dropped to his knees and crawled into the teepee. “Wow! I wish I could sleep here.”
Henry stretched out on the bedroll. “This is so comfortable. Barrett, you should try this.”
The lower half of his pajama clad body stuck out of the teepee. (Oh my… I’d never noticed… Henry had the cutest toes!)
I glanced at Barrett. He wasn’t moving. So I knelt down by the flap, “Wow PopE, that looks like fun. Is there room for me?”
“Sure.” Henry grinned and patted the tiny bit of space beside him. Then he whispered, “We’ll wait until he’s asleep and then move him in here.”
I glanced back at Barrett.
His jaw was locked and he was hunkered down with the sheet pulled up to his nose. He wasn’t going anywhere.
Not knowing what else to do, I crawled into the teepee.
“Good plan Mr. Savage Indian Man,” I whispered to my husband, and then snuggled down beside him.
A minute passed, then two. I was so tired… And Henry was so comfortable… And, the fog of sleep was rolling in…
“Grandma,” Barrett whined louder. “I want you to sleep up here with me.”
“Barrett,” I yawned. “I have to sleep with PopE…”
“Why?” Barrett’s little forehead scrunched.
I groaned. “Because we’re married and married people sleep together.”
“Well,” Barrett said, sounding exasperated, “if that’s all it takes to sleep with you, then I’ll marry you too.”