I woke up this morning and felt an arm on my head. No, it was not the arm of my loving and adoring husband. It was the arm of my nine year old son. You see, my husband is in India for the week so sleeping in our house has suddenly become a free for all. It begins around eight o'clock when it is getting close to bedtime. That is when the anxiety and fear of sleeping alone sets in for my children.
"Mommy I am scared!" One will cry out. "What if a robber comes? Daddy isn't here and I am scared!" The other will finish. I am scared too, I think to myself. Not of the robber but of the swine flu, but that is another story. Because I can understand their fear I listen to their not so convincing arguments. "We can't sleep in our rooms without Daddy. Can we please sleep in your bed?" They will prod and plead. But this is where I do draw the line. "You can't sleep in my bed. You can bring your sleeping bags and sleep on the floor." I reply as firmly as I can. A pushover as always.
So the migration begins. There are pillows and blankets and sleeping bags to be moved. Not to mention the forty or so stuffed animals that each one must surround himself with to sleep. When we have finished setting up the makeshift beds I survey the room. It is just about completely covered from the doorway to the bathroom. Why did we buy a house? I wonder. We could really live in a two bedroom apartment quite comfortably because we are usually within five feet of each other when we are home.
"I will read Bridget a story while you read to yourself." I say to Luke. "But mom I am still scared!" He whines. I ponder my dilemma. His anxiety will soon become my anxiety. "Okay, go downstairs and get a baseball bat and I will put the alarm on before I go to bed." I say, feeling like a brilliant mother. "Can you come down with me mom?" He retorts. "I am afraid of robbers." Groaning, I get up and walk him down the stairs to find the bat. When we have found the bat, we climb back upstairs to try to go to sleep. "We need the alarm on and the door to your room locked mom." Luke informs me. Dutifully I turn on the alarm and put the bat in his sleeping bag.
I actually started to laugh to myself. If a robber ever did get into this room he would probably run the other way just because we look like a bunch of wackos. Is this really how I am raising my children? They can't sleep alone. I let them sleep on my floor with a metal bat. I sing them to sleep because they are afraid.
Yes, I guess that it is how I am raising them. Maybe I don't pass the good(or perhaps strict) mom test. But all that I can think is that it won't be too long before they won't want to sleep in my room when Daddy is gone. I guess it is okay that Luke snuck into my bed in the middle of the night.