The past few nights it's been humid, and we have had some out of town guest, so The Dude has been pretty keyed up and not in a "yes, it is a good time to go to bed Father, you are always so wise" sort of mood.
There was much crying and thrashing and sounds like the howling of the damned at end of the world.
We settled on a compromise, allowed The Dude to fall asleep in our bed. Downside is he stayed up much too late and had a harder time getting up in the morning, to the point were we had to force him up. We were treated with what I can only presume to be a sign of the future, The Dude saying "just a few more minutes Daaaaad." This from the little guy who used to routinely wake up, and be WIDE AWAKE AND RARING TO GO at 5am. Sometimes earlier. I suck at morning (ask my wife, sorry Honey!!) and I have been up before him three times this week.
The nice side of all this is I got to fall asleep with him next to me, which is pleasant. Wonderful in fact. There are not the words available to the human tongue for me to describe the feeling.
Both my wife and I often fall asleep in his bed with him. It's about once a week for each of us, I think. We read several books to him, turn off the light and lie down for a bit, and if he hasn't fallen asleep by then, quietly extricate ourselves. Sometimes he says "Noooo" in his little voice and throws an arm around us. We can't resist.
Having him fall asleep in our bed with us seemed like a special treat, for some reason.
Tonight, it was cooler, house guests were gone, and we got him into his own bed early. I read, he settled in, mellowed out considerably. I turned out the light. Climbed back into bed with him.
"No Daddy, you go away."
"You don't want me to lie with you honey?"
"No Daddy, go away. Please." Is he really only three? Or is he three already? I am confused and my head is pinning as he makes his request.
"Okay" I say. I stare at him.
"You're not leaving. Go."
I leave, I tell him I love him and good night and kiss him on the forehead. I go downstairs, my wife asks if he's fallen asleep already, I tell her what happened. We wait at the foot of the stairs, thinking he will call out soon.
I'm not sure if I should hope that he does or that he doesn't.