He must think he is being pretty sneaky. The room is dark and I am sure he believes no one is watching. But I am.
Watching and listening. And loving every minute.
He is playing with two Little People and they are carrying on a conversation that seems to be a little heated at the moment.
He gets so animated and colorful that I find it difficult to stifle every chuckle.
I press my hand harder against my mouth to keep a full blown laugh from escaping. I don’t want him to know I hear him. I don’t want him to know I can see him. But this kind of joy just sorta bubbles up and runs over.
Little Josh is supposed to be asleep. I am supposed to be writing. Neither of us are doing much of either.
Little four month old dozing Becca Brownie rounds out our trio tonight. The older kids are in the kitchen with Mom getting all crafty-like for Sam’s 16th birthday party this weekend. The Littles are snoozing in their beyond messy room.
Wait. That belly laugh busting down the hallway tells me they have not quite drifted off.
At his age, Little Josh’s vocabulary is certainly limited. He just can’t force most words out like he wants to. They get stuck somewhere around the back of his throat and often sound like a cross between Sylvester the Cat and Adolf Hitler. Scary.
He is getting better though. Everyday he learns to correctly form another word or two. Every day he mimics what he hears from his brothers and sisters.
Every day, a little older and a little taller and a little more well spoken.
Either way, the Little People are having quite a lively conversation. Grrr. Wish I could understand what they are saying.
Hmmm. This would be the perfect time to take a video. Not to post on the blog or on Facebook or YouTube.
No, just to remember. To somehow capture this moment, freeze it in time and show it to him long after he has stopped hogging my bed and has moved past playing with Little People.
I want to preserve this “now”, and enjoy it later when “now” has sadly become “back then”.
But, the room is too dark. Can’t see anything. Or maybe I am just a horrible cameraman. Probably the latter.
Oh well. I’ll just put down the phone and keep working. Making sure to turn every now and again to watch him.
Oops, I’ve been caught.
“Dad, Dad, Dad.”
He realizes he has my attention.
“Dad, Dad, Dad.”
“Yes, Joshie. It’s late. Time to lie down and go to sleep.”
“Dad, Dad, Dad.”
He is pointing at some coloring books his oldest brother brought over this afternoon.
“Look. Dad, Dad, Dad.”
I guess he has grown tired of the Little People. I pick up the stack and lay them on the bed next to him.
“Look at the books, Joshie. And go to sleep.”
He seems to settle in. Flipping the pages and keeping himself entertained. Good.
Now back to writing…
“BB8. BB8.” Comes from somewhere in the darkness behind my right shoulder. I have to stifle another chuckle.
“Look at your books and go to sleep, Joshie.”
Then silence. I guess he finally gave in and fell asleep. Back to the blank screen.
A few minutes pass…still quiet back there. I better turn and check, one last time…
And there he is.
Not on his pillow like he should be, but perched right on the edge of the bed about 18 inches from my nose.
It is late. Really late! He should be asleep like every other two year old at this hour.
He just gazes at me with his gigantic beautiful brown eyes then flashes his adorable toothy grin.
I try to be mad at him. I try to be upset that he isn’t listening.
But, I can feel all of the Daddy barricades begin to melt to a mushy Daddy mess. My arsenal of “Go to sleeps” has been pilfered away by an adorable little thief in a size four diaper.
My steely resolve is stolen once again by the little one who bears my first name and holds my heart. (Actually, he isn’t the only one who can melt this Daddy’s heart. I have a house full, remember? I am sooo outnumbered!)
I can no longer resist. I stretch my open hand across the short distance to where he is lying. He gently dips his little paw in the center and my fingers wrap around his. A perfect fit.
I sweep him off the bed and cradle him into my arms like I have for all 24+ months of his life. Gently patting him while humming him his special song. Joshie is like his daddy and loves to snuggle, especially when he is tired.
The moments sweetly pass and his long dark eyelashes finally flutter shut. All is still. All is quiet. I make sure he has slipped into a deep sleep before laying his head on his pillow.
Not so fast. The crafty people are done with their craftiness and here comes the crowd, parading through the darkened room like it is the 4th of July.
Joshie shoots out of the bed like a laser beam. Wide eyed and wanting to join the party.
I give up. This dad is done. You have conquered me, oh miniature man of mine. Defeated by a little dude in Spider Man pajamas.
Looks like we are going to have to call in the big guns…Mom with a capital “M”.
This time he is down and out for the night.
Good night, Joshie.
As you can tell, even after so many kids, our night time routine is far from perfect. Got any pointers? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.
Stay Encouraged, Dads!