Tonight though, her crying was louder than usual. Probably a bad dream. A selfish part of me is excited when she wakes up in the middle of the night because I really like seeing her. I went in before knowing if it was a crying that needed to be fixed or just a burst of crying that evaporates into nothing. I couldn't stop myself. Those moments of consoling my children in the wake of a bad dream... calming them after crying... are the ones I will miss the most when I am old. Some moments of parenting feel extra important. At night, when all the other sounds of the world are silent, being there to comfort my kids when they wake up scared or sick feels that way.
I brought her a little more milk, but she wasn't interested. She stood up in her crib that has now been converted into a toddler bed, and reached for me. I'm a sucker for people who want to be near me.
I brought her out to the living room, and we sat by the fire. We talked. Well, she talked and I answered.
"Daddy. Wookit. Fire."
That's right. It's hot.
"Yeah iss Hot."
"Oh! Daddy. You hear dat?"
I did. That's the heater.
"Yeah das a heater."
And so on. It was nice. She was silly and excited to be spending time with me at such an unusual hour. I asked her if she was ready to go to bed, and she said no. About a hundred times.
Eventually, we moved back to her room to avoid waking up the rest of the house. I read her a few books a few (dozen) times and I finally convinced her to get back into her bed. She cried. It got to me and I read her another book. I'm sure there are reasons why I'm probably not supposed to do that. Didn't care. She got to me.
After the book, I rubbed her back and told her it was time for sleep. She cried some more when I turned out the IKEA moon light, but she was tired now. She grabbed the bottle and I kissed her good night.
Good night, Emmy. I'm so glad you're here.