Tuesday, December 6, 2011

giggles and chuckles

Last night, as per my usual routine at Henry's bedtime I went in to lie down with him.  I plied his book out of his hands ("It's way past your bedtime buddy..."), put the CD player on (a playlist of some favorite pop tunes given as a party favor from one of his friends) and hit the lights.

After he finally settled in and scooted over, I tucked his big, blue blankie all over him and lay down for snuggle time.  Often I am conflicted during this time.  Usually it's a long day and I still have things to do, or I just need my down time.  But not last night.  Last night I was keenly aware how short-lived this time will be.  Part of this is simply a function of his age.  Of course, the other part is knowing that there soon will be many nights when he will not be in my house and I won't be able.

We knocked heads as I laid down, my glasses cracking against my nose.  We both agreed that I should take them off which, of course, I did.  And then the conversation ensued.

Henry: So can you not see without your glasses?

Me:  No, I can see, just everything is a little bit fuzzy.

Henry:  Can you see my hand?

Me:  Yes, I can see your hand?

Henry:  What am I touching?

Me:  You're touching the wall.

Henry:  Okay what am I touching now?

Me:  You're still touching the wall.

Henry:  Okay what am I touching now?

Me:  You're not touching anything.

Henry:  Okay, what about now? 

Me:  Ssshhhhhh sweetie.  I can see okay - it's things like, see the clock on your wall?  I can't read the time.

Henry:  What am I touching now?

Me: Ssshhhhh.  You should be looking at the back of your eyelids. 

Henry:  What am I looking at now?

Me:  The back of your eyelids.

There is a pause.  No response - I must have got it right.

Henry:  What am I looking at now?

Me:  Ssshhhhh.  Come on now - you need to settle down.  You should be looking at the back of your eyelids.

He laughs and tries to talk more.  Slowly I start scratching his back, still my baby I'm trying to soothe with the essence of touch. 

Henry:   Giggle, giggle...

I continue scratching - and the giggles continue.  At some point there's a nice hearty chuckle.  Then two.  Then more.

Henry:  Giggle, giggle, chuckle, chuckle...

Henry:  Giggle, giggle, chuckle, chuckle...

Henry:  Okay now mama can you give me a ma-sausage? 

Me:  A what?

Henry:  A ma-sausage.

Me:  Oh, you mean massage?

Henry:  Yeah, a massage.

Me:  Okay.

And so I do.  First the shoulders, then the neck, across the arms.  Gently trying to coax him into relaxation.

Henry:  Did you get trained on how to give a massage?

Me:  Oh - nope.  Sure didn't.

Henry:  Then how do you know how to do it?

Me:  Um, I don't know.  I just do.

Henry:  Well, you're good at it.  Now, can you go back to doing what you were doing before when you were dragging your nails on my back?

Me:   Sure sweetie pie.

And I do for a few minutes more but it's clear that this could go on forever and he needs to get to sleep.  He senses my departure and wraps his arms tightly around my neck.

Henry:  No mama - don't leave!

Increasing his grip tighter and tighter he starts cackling with laughter.  The challenge is on.

I wiggle and squirm managing to get my legs over the edge of the bed.  I struggle trying to break free of the long limbs and sharp elbows but he is holding on strong.  Like a game of chicken, as I'm pulling free, away from the bed dragging him with me, he finally releases knowing that if he doesn't, he might just land on the floor.  Of course I wouldn't let that happen but he doesn't need to know that.

I turn and give a quick kiss goodnight and a final tuck-in careful to not become ensnared again.  Until the next night.

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