On The Right Track

This morning Emma’s scooter could be heard shooshing through the hallway toward our bedroom. “Hi Mommy!” she said as cheerful as ever, despite the fact it was 4:20AM. I groaned inwardly but managed to meet her cheerfulness with a somewhat less convincing, “Hi Em.” I looked over at her, “It’s too early. You have to go back to your bed.”
Without missing a beat she made a u-turn on her scooter and could be heard to say as she retreated, “You have to go back to sleep now. You have to wait til it’s light out. Then you can see Mommy!”
I literally held my breath, waiting for the screams to shatter the early morning quiet. “Do you think this will really work?” I asked Richard who appeared unconscious.
“Yeah,” he muttered, not moving a muscle.
I watched him for a few seconds for any sign of movement, any sign, which could be taken as encouragement for more conversation. When none came I stared at the ceiling marveling at the silence. Was it really possible? Could it be that she had returned to her room and was lying in her own bed quietly waiting for it to be “light out”? It seemed impossible. This was the last thought I had before surrendering to a fitful sleep. Every 20 minutes or so I woke up, listening for the cries, which never came.
At 6:30AM I rose. As I went into Nic’s room to wake him, I peered around the corner into Emma’s room. It was still quite dark so I didn’t trust what I was seeing at first. There she was, sound asleep in her own bed. I was astonished. So much so that I stood there for several seconds. By the time I’d woken Nic, turned on the lights in the kitchen and dining room, Emma shot out of her room on her scooter looking groggy, but pleased with herself. “Now you can see Mommy! Good job waiting til it’s light out,” she said, congratulating herself.
“That was really terrific Em,” I told her. “Not only did you go back to your own bed without crying, you went back to sleep!” I knelt down to give her a hug. She wriggled away from me, but I caught the smile on her face. “I’m proud of you, Em.”
This is the FIRST time Emma has gone back to bed without –
a) insisting one of us accompany her,
b) screaming when one of us dared not accompany her
c) coming back to our bedroom repeatedly.
“Did you notice she didn’t have Cokie with her when she came into our bedroom?”
“I didn’t think you were even awake, let alone noticing things,” I said.
“Of course I was awake.”
“She’s never done this before. It’s really incredible!”
“We’re on the right track,” Richard said.

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