Bedtime, little Rabbit
by little red pen
Our wee one, the Rabbit, thrives on the darkening hours. His sleep pattern — did we not need to factor in school, morning routines, his parents’ desire for some evening time — would be to sleep till 8 or 9 am, have a big nap in the early afternoon, and potter all the way through the evening before falling gently into sleep at 9 or 10 pm. As it is, we muddle through on a bit of a mixture of his patterns and ours, sometimes waking him a little earlier than he would like, sometimes tightening up the day sleep, sometimes settling in for a long evening of storybooks and songs. He gets enough sleep and we do too, most of the time, so it probably works.
But yesterday he had a very short nap (long day, much activity, a car ride after a big morning, a scrambled mother), so I had high hopes that he would go to bed early. I read to him and he had a feed, then he asked to lie down. “This is good,” I thought. He held his rabbit, I held him, we put our heads on the pillow, he put his head up, he put his head down, we had a little chat, his arms tightened round my neck, he put his head up, I thought, “Hmmm, maybe I’m distracting him.”
“Little one,” I said, “I’m just going to pop out of the room for a minute. Why don’t you curl up with rabbit and start to feel sleepy.” I snuck out, I made a cup of tea, I ate a biscuit. I peaked back into the room. The Cat was still sitting up reading, as I had left him, and the Rabbit was lying on his bed, looking beautifully slumberous. I snuck out again.
I returned to my tea, I told Ian the good news, we stood in the kitchen and contemplated our child, his building of daily patterns, his resolve, his firm little spirit. I peaked back in the room.
The Cat was still reading. And sitting up beside him — bright of eye and full of glee, minus a sleeping bag, holding a book — was the Rabbit.