Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hurt Feelings

(3 years, 7 months)

Dear Trevor,

Night before last Mommy left us and fell asleep on the couch. Usually we sleep, me, mommy, you, and the barrier. So now it’s just me, you, and the barrier. You are unusually restive, or maybe I just don't know how you usually sleep, as your Mommy is always between us. At least until she sprints for work. Anyway, several times during the night I wake up with your feet kicking me in the side. I moved you over to your side and you don't wake up, or you do briefly and snuggled into the barrier and fall quickly asleep. Then, some time in the middle of the night, you crawled up to me, and in a move typical for you, press your head against mine. I adjusted. Then you rose up off the pillow and in repositioning your head bang your skull into mine. You do not seem to mind these head banging encounters, but I, groggy, and a little surly, am annoyed. I lift you none too gently and heave you over to your side again. This time you don't go right to sleep. You toss around a bit before getting up and going to Mommy in the living room. You tell her, ‘Daddy moved me over and he hurt my feelings.’

She says, ‘You'll have to tell him in the morning.’

You wake me up in the morning by saying, ‘Daddy, are you awake?’

You’re kneeling by my head, sitting on your heels when I open my eyes. I smile at you. You say, ‘You hurt my feelings when you moved me over last night.’

I remember the incident, and I remembered my annoyance. It didn't seem to me that I had been that much rougher than the previous times I had moved you, but there it was. You got it. You'd felt my impatience, and your understanding was dead on. It's not easy to be called to account for irritability first thing in the morning. I say, ‘When I moved you over to your side of the bed, I hurt your feelings.’

You say, ‘Yes.’

I say, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.’

You say, ‘That's okay.’

I say, ‘Come here.’

I lay on my side. You put your head down next to mine, and roll into me, pressing your back against my chest. You grab my upside ear and began to fondle it. You say, ‘I like your ears, all the time.’

Love, Daddy

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