I hear the tiny clink, clink, clink of Thomas’ wheels coming from my bedroom. Although the big boy bed was extremely exciting today, and comfortable enough for a nap, it brought on immense sadness when approached for bedtime. We tucked in, we read stories, we tucked in again. I got up to leave, but no. There was no screaming, but sad, slow tears. Tears that know this whole growing up business is not as good as the big people make it out to be.

Our compromise was to sleep in MommyDaddy bed, as it is called, the location of most naps since we moved to VA. I read a little, the “mommybook” that “is not interesting to me,” but the light was too distracting. So we turned of the light and just cuddled, quietly, but there is only so much I can take of this, and the lengthy list of chores I have awaiting me kept me from being able to relax. I realize that I have created this overcomplicated system of caring for Mega, that laying beside him and feigning sleep perhaps isn’t what is best for him, that he should be able to do this on his own, but again, I love him, I want his world to be a small, safe, secure place for him where he feels loved and comfortable. He’s only 2, after all.

He hears his daddy sneeze downstairs and says “bless you, daddy.” He is trying to sleep, trying to be a good boy, to do what he needs to do for us and for himself. I sneak out of the room, but he catches me. “I need to go potty, sweetheart.” The importance of this task is not questioned.

I don’t return. I sneak into my office and begin to type. He near silently spins the wheels of his Thomas train and the Fire Chief’s truck he found buried under a seat cushion right before bed. Yesterday, in the crib, these actions would have occurred silently. I would have been bustling about my business downstairs without a second thought. Tonight, I am mindful. Each precious action is noticed by me, tugs at my heartstrings.

I do none of the chores on my mental list, as it is nearing 10 by the time I get downstairs. Man and I watch part of John Adams (Abigail, you kick some serious ass), and just before the Continental Congress votes to declare independence, I sneak upstairs to move him back into his room. “Mommy?” the sleepy boy asks. “Mommy?” I make sure that Thomas, Fire Chief, and his ever present blankie “bikky” accompany us.

We get into his room and I try to tuck him in again. “No,” he says. “Just leave me.” This isn’t the first time he’s made this request to me and I know it will not be the last. But I’m his mommy. I wait until I know he’s asleep and tuck him in again, in the car and truck patterned sheets that he and I talked about so excitedly, and were elated to buy, wash, and outfit the bed with. He will probably kick them off in the course of the night, but I can go to sleep knowing that at least, I tried.