Last night, my closing-on-five-year-old slept through the night for the first time in his whole entire life.
I wish I were kidding about that. But I'm not. As a newborn, this kid was ginormous and growing faster than anyone should at that age. He simply could not get through the night without nursing. Then he got older, and apparently he stayed hungry. Or thirsty. Or he had night terrors. Or the wind blew. And he woke up. He woke up, and he came looking for me.
This puzzles me. I've raised two kids who have been champion sleepers practically since birth. In their own beds and everything.
Not this guy.
Eventually, after a year or two of disrupted sleep, I simply gave up. I stopped sleeping and started waiting for him to come find me. See, if he caught me sleeping, I'd wind up with an overnight companion who believes that sleep happens best when he is glued to my side and holding firmly to my belly button. And that's just weird. So I stayed awake in order to put him back in his own bed and keep him out of mine.
Now he waits me out. He's figured out that I get so little sleep I'll eventually crash like a meteorite, and if he waits until 4 or 5 a.m., he'll win. Thanks to the sleeplessness that is single motherhood, he wins every single night.
Only last night, he didn't. Last night, he slept. In his own bed. All night long.
That's because last night, I wasn't at home. Last night, a really truly wonderful and amazing friend stayed at my house with my kids. My redhead knew I wouldn't be there when he came looking for me. So he didn't come.
Tonight I asked him why. I was tucking him in, and I said, "Hey, I'm really proud of you for staying in your bed all night last night. I'll bet you can do that again tonight."
"No. I can't."
Which is when he looks up at me with these great, big, lost puppy dog eyes and says, "Because I love you, mom."
Well, crap. I couldn't argue with that one if I tried.