Yesterday (Tuesday) we went to see my sister, who lives in Glasgow. Putting Roman to bed on Tuesday night, in her bedroom, on a little fold-out bed he looked at me with pleading eyes not to leave him so I said I would sit with him until he fell asleep. With this knowledge he hunkered down to sleep, Alexsandr tucked under his arm. A few moments later my sisters dog Chief found his way into the room and an idea struck me.
"Would you like Chief to stay with you until you fall asleep?" I asked Roman. He thought about this for a few seconds and then was waving bye to me - and my sister, who was lying on her bed to see if Roman would settle on the fold out - and making a space where Chief could lie at his feet. "Night, night mummy," Roman said to me while the dog settled in quite nicely beside his toddler companion. Not ten minutes later Chief joined us in the living room and I leapt to my feet...Roman would be sure to be upset that his friend had upped and left him in a dark room but as I approached the bedroom I heard gentle snoring floating out of the crack in the door. I love you Chief, I thought to myself and made a mental note to buy him a nice dog biscuit for his services rendered.
With Roman asleep me and my sister stayed up until goodness knows when talking, laughing and playing catch up with one another. When we decided to head to bed, so did Chief. As we were brushing our teeth he managed to open the bedroom door and try to settle in beside Roman. His settling inadvertently caused Roman to wake and I rushed to be with the boy who was shouting out "I scared! I scared of scaries mummy!". It took me about an hour, moving into the living room, an incident involving my face being mistakenly associated with 'scaries' and then attacked and trying to settle Roman into a variety of sleeping positions on the bed; him sleeping on top of me worked for the most part but he kept jolting awake asking for me, despite you know being right on top of me ;). I'd already taken off his pyjamas because he was very warm sleeping between me and my sister so I decided to put him on my right side, where the cold air could circulate around him and aide his falling asleep.
This worked really well as he fell asleep right away and didn't wake for several hours - me, on the other hand, well I woke every now and then and found myself 'checking' him. I remember doing this when Roman co-slept with me and Bryan as a baby. Looking down on that sleeping toddler in the crook of my arm stirred up some wonderful baby Roman memories for me and reminded me that although he is such a growing boy these days...he needs me, he needs us; his parents, his family and other adults to look after him. He relies on us for his safety, his protection and for us to remind him everything is going to be okay.
Later on, when we woke one after the other, we climbed out of bed and ate cereal. Roman stuck to my side an awful lot and wouldn't eat much until I put him on my lap and we ate together. When I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, he wanted to be there. When I took a shower, he kept running into the bathroom to check on me. Despite him being utterly wiped out he didn't fall asleep until we got home but not before we went to the park, fed the ducks and got on two trains to get home. Before we got home he fell asleep in his buggy, where we left him to sleep until it hit 5.20pm and Bryan lifted our sleeping boy onto the sofa where he slept until 5.40pm!