Last night Emma woke Nic up – again.
“No Mom, it was really bad. She woke me up like five times. I swear Mom, FIVE times,” he held up one hand and wiggled all five fingers at me.
“What did you say to her?” I asked, stroking his somewhat greasy hair, while wondering if I should insist he wash it before school, then deciding he would be late for his bus and anyway it wasn’t all that bad.
“I told her she had to leave.” He leaned against me, and said, “I told her – Emma! You have to go back to your own room.”
“What did she do?” I asked.
“She went back to her room. But then she came back. Like at three, then five, then six.” He looked at me and pretended to fall asleep, collapsing in a heap on my lap.
“Hey Emma!” I called. ”You cannot wake up Nic. It’s not okay to wake up Nic.” But if I’m telling the truth, I was just a tiny bit relieved that she woke up Nic and not me. I rationalized this “bad mother” thought with – He’s young and can handle sleep deprivation much better than I can. Meanwhile Nic continued to mime sudden unconsciousness by falling on the ground, back on his bed, then into my arms, like some sort of narcoleptic preteen.
“You cannot wake up Nicky!” Emma parroted, using her stern voice.
“Yeah, Em. That’s just not cool,” Nic said.
I told Emma that since she woke up her brother, she couldn’t bring her beloved “string” (a piece of packing tape) out of her bedroom. She was very upset by this and said, “You cannot wake Nicky. But listen, if you wake Nicky no string.” Then she began to cry.
By the time it was time to go down to wait for her school bus, Emma was calm and said, “It’s okay. Next time you cannot wake Nicky. Then string can come out of the bedroom.”
I gave her a hug. ”That’s right Em. It’ll be okay.”
Emma waiting for her bus this morning wearing a “pretty dress”.