Last night, in the middle of the night all of the power went out in our neighborhood. No big deal, except for my alarm not working, right?
Well, Billy is used to his projector nightlight in his room as well as some glow from the streetlamp outside. So, when the usual light in his room was suddenly gone, he started screaming.
People have asked me today why I didn't just go get one of our camping lanterns. Or, why don't I have those glowing loveys for Billy? Well, he's never been afraid of the dark before. And I have no idea where the camping lanterns are. Finding them in the dark would first require finding a flashlight, then digging through our storage closet, meanwhile dealing with a screaming baby. And it was well past my bedtime, so looking for light wasn't in my thinking. I was attempting to coax my tired lil man back to sleep.
First I tried him in the big bed with us. He spent an hour cataloging the features of my face. Nose! Eye! Hair! Ear! Teeth! After an hour Daddy was fed up and sent him back to his crib. Mind you, Billy didn't catalogue Daddy's face. And each item came with a poke to that part. He also danced a jig on my belly with his feet. But Daddy insisted back to the crib and go to sleep.
Billy only listened to the first part. I could hear him moving his toys around in the crib over Daddy's snores. I was awake from the sounds of the BGE trucks outside and the flashing lights from the truck and the men on foot with flashlights.
The lights came back on and Billy settled down. His room was back to normal. But after about a half hour the lights went out again and he started screaming in fear. Clearly, he'd never fallen back to sleep.
So I tried to bring him into the big bed to get him to calm down and go back to sleep. But he attempted to recatalogue my face. At this point Daddy was pissed and sent us out of the room. I rocked him in the rocker, which soothed him, but he wouldn't go back to sleep. I Slow danced him around his dark room, but it wasn't enough.
I thought about CIO and stuck him in his crib. But he immediately attempted to climb out, and having gotten one leg up onto the crib rail, I think he would have succeeded. I relented and did the only thing I could think to do- grabbed my pillow and blanket from the bed and made a a bed on the floor in his room.
I tried first to sleep on the floor with him in the crib, but that was still too far away for him. He was just too afraid. I I let him snuggle in with me on the floor. He tried briefly to roam around his room, but I explained he either had to come lay down next to Mommy or go back in his crib because it was bedtime. He decided to lay down beside Mommy.
He cuddled up under the blanket and lay his head on the pillow beside me. Then he pulled my arm over him and went to sleep. I woke up when the sun was up and put him back in his crib. There was plenty of light in his room by then and no reason to fear.
Daddy says that I am teaching him bad habits and letting him walk all over me. He thinks Billy should never be allowed in our bed. But I don't think Daddy remembers being small. Late night thunderstorms, blackouts, and other things often sent me scurrying to my parents bed for safety. Especially power outages in winter during snowstorms, where staying warm meant sleeping in my parents bed.
Can you blame a little guy for being afraid when things are suddenly different?