Go Back to Sleep, Baby

I woke up from my nap and I could tell it must be time to get up. I had slept for so long! I stood and looked happily around my room. The door was still closed, but I could hear Mommy clanking pots and pans. I made some noises, just to hear the sound of my voice. Maybe if I sounded happy enough Mommy would come and get me out of my bed. Suddenly it was quiet outside my room. Now was the time to call. Sure enough, she heard me and I saw the door open slowly.

I grinned when I saw Mommy poke her head around the door and began my happy dance. Mommy smiled, but her voice was firm. “No, baby. You lay down and go back to sleep. It’s not time to get up.”

I stuck my lip out and tried to look very pathetic, but it didn’t work. I didn’t think it would, but it was worth a try. She laid me back down and covered me up. I started crying, but she left me alone.

As soon as the door closed I stood back up. How could she expect me to take a nap when there was so much to see and do? I needed to crawl under the table and look out the window and make sure my toys were still where I left them. I made some more happy noises. She was probably going to try leaving me to myself in the hopes that I would get drowsy again and drift back to sleep.

I picked up one of my soft teddy bears and played with the tag. When I was tired of that I chucked him overboard. I looked for the other bears, but they were all hiding under the covers. I danced a little bit and chewed on the rails. But pretty soon I was bored. I started calling again, only this time she didn’t come right away. I called again, now with a hint of desperation. When the door opened and Mommy peeked in, I used the happy trick for all it was worth. “See? I’m not sleepy! I’m happy! Get me up and play with me!” my big smile and cheerful capers said.

But once more she firmly laid me down. This time I tried relaxing and lying still while she covered me up and patted my back. If I closed my eyes a little maybe she would keep rubbing my back, hoping that her soothing gestures would lull me to sleep sooner. Every time I felt her hand leave my back, I popped my head up and she came back to rub my back some more. But, as usual, she eventually gave up and left saying, “Go night, night.”

This time I was really disappointed that she didn’t get me up. The door closed with such finality, leaving me stuck in my bed in this still, quiet room. The tears welled up and I didn’t stop them. Pretty soon I was wailing. But it was no use. She was going to leave me to cry it out.

But I wasn’t tired, I fumed. I didn’t need any more rest. I thought of all the things I could be doing if only I could climb out of bed myself. I thought of how yummy warm milk would taste, even though I wasn’t hungry. I sat down in the middle of my bed, right on top of one of my bears, but I didn’t bother to move it. I just sat there and cried as the tears streamed down my cheeks. My cries alternated from angry hollers to sobs devoid of hope.

When Mommy finally came back in to lay me down, I was ready to obey. She was right, I wasn’t ready to get up and face the world. The very thought of climbing up on the furniture made me feel worn-out. This time I wasn’t faking it when I closed my eyes as she covered me up and patted my back. I didn’t even see her smile at me as she went out and I didn’t hear her softly whisper, “I love you, baby.”

I was already asleep.