Jingle Bells

Yesterday was the first day of Christmas vacation. Will remembered our promise to let Liam sleep in his bedroom during this break. Both were excited, so out came the trundle. Anticipating the giddiness, I knew it would be a late night. At 9:15, I turned my light out to the sounds of them chatting and giggling. Then there was a patter in the hall, followed by Liam tugging the covers on Bill’s side, “I’m scared!” I replied, “You’re sleeping with your big brother; there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Tears. Not a lot of confidence in the big brother theory. I led him back to Will’s room and retucked him into the trundle. He was asleep by 9:30. At 9:45 Will was standing in the doorway. “Mom, you didn’t turn the temperature down. It’s loud in my room, and I need my heating bag warmed up.” Yes, I turned the thermostat down and put his corn bag in the microwave. At least one of us will go to bed toasty warm. By 10:15 Will was asleep.

Somewhere between 10:30 and midnight, Bill came to bed. At midnight, my alarm went off. It’s a new alarm clock and I had just plugged it in last night. Fumbling in the dark, I finally got it off. Ten minutes later the alarm went off. Good to know it has a snooze button. Again I managed to get it turned off. Ten minutes later… Obviously, I didn’t know how to turn the thing off. I whispered to Bill, “I need to turn the light on.” In a fully awake assertive voice, he said, “Do whatever you need to do.”

A couple of times in the night I heard the heat come on. It wasn’t a clanking sound like in Will’s room. It sounded like Santa’s sleigh bells. My first thought was to call the plumber in the morning and make an appointment to get the air blown out of the pipes so they would be quieter. My second thought was to listen for tiny reindeer hooves on the roof.

After I heard the sleigh bells two or three times, Will came into our room with a tummy ache. Probably too much popcorn. Bill got up as Will came into our bed. He reached up and grabbed thirty odd metal hangers off of our metal bed frame. I thought this was a strange chore for the middle of the night. “What are you doing?” I asked. In an annoyed and very awake voice, he said, “Every time the bed moves, these wire hangers that you left hanging on the bed clang together.” So much for the anticipation of reindeer hooves. I had finally taken summer clothes out of my closet yesterday, together with wire hangers to return to the cleaners.

A couple hours later, around 5:30 a.m. according to my clock, Liam cried out. Bill went to see him. He took him to the bathroom then found new pj bottoms for him. I figured he probably missed the toilet as he sometimes does. Then the “you’re-not-my-friend” screeching routine started. Quickly doing the math, I knew if this escalated, I would have a little boy awake for the day with way too little sleep.

Bill was in Will’s bed and Liam was screeching at him. I stepped on the trundle to get Liam and my barefoot felt dampness. “Did Liam wet the bed?” Exasperated, Bill replied, “Yes…” I got Liam into our bed with Will. Sitting in the dark and rubbing Liam’s back, I thought I could happily get up at 5:30 if the boys slept until 7:30. Then I glanced at Bill’s alarm clock it was only 4:30 a.m. In the turmoil to turn the midnight alarm off, I had moved my clock time ahead an hour.

Gentle, loud snores came from Will’s room. Slow breathing and teeth grinding arose from our bed. I could just make out two little heads joined at the top such that I knew their bodies were sprawled in a V over the whole bed. So here I sit on the couch, reminiscing about that magical sound of sleigh bells in the night and how nice it will be to have the boys keep one another company in the same room. This morning that happens to be in our bedroom.



P.S. Bill, up and dressed at 7:20 a.m., just walked by me and said, "Well, they ended up sleeping together."