The family and I drove down to visit my parents this weekend. It was going to be an unusual trip because we couldn’t stay with them this time, so we were going to stay at a nearby hotel. Lillian and I were pretty apprehensive about staying in one room with a one-year-old and a three-year-old who were used to their own rooms.
When we checked in at the hotel, we had them roll in a crib for the baby. Well, Aaron would have nothing to do with the crib. He saw that all the sleeping action was going on up on the beds, and he insisted on getting a piece of it.
So Lillian slept with Aaron on one bed, and I slept with Maddie on the other. It was a rough night all around, neither kid would stay put. Aaron was especially dangerous, because he was used to being able to roll around unfettered in his crib, and Lillian had to keep one eye on him the whole night to keep him from rolling off.
The next night was my turn with Aaron, and I didn’t do so well. He fell off the bed twice, between the bed and the wall. After the second fall, we padded that space with every spare pillow and the two bed covers.
The third night wasn’t starting much better because the kids didn’t take a nap that day. They spent all of nap time jumping from the bed into the now-cushioned space between the bed and the wall, and climbing back out. Oh, it was great fun. So later, when we tried to put them to bed for the night, they started playing the same game. I warned them that as soon as someone gets hurt, that kind of play would have to come to an immediate stop.
Not two minutes pass before they solidly knock heads with each other. There’s one second of silence before they register the pain. I scooped up Aaron, and set him on the other bed. Then…
Whaaa! Whaaa! Waaa! Waaa!
Whaaaah! Ah, whaaaa! Waahaahahaaah!
We were getting bombarded with stereo cries. Lillian tried to calm Maddie while I inspected Aaron for the inevitable shiner he was going to sprout on his noggin. The two kids were inconsolable, but we couldn’t see where they were hurt. Finally, in a moment of desperation, I let Aaron down to do as he pleased. He climbed back up onto Maddie’s bed and with squeals of joy the two kids were plunging back into crevice.
They weren’t crying because they were hurt, they were crying because I’d threatened to separate them and stop the fun.