Davis and Silas think they own our house. They literally think every part belongs to them, including our bed. Davis has gotten into our bed virtually every night for the past 5 years. Silas has been the opposite, staying in his bed all night and even waiting in his bed in the morning until we come get him. Recently though, Silas started waking up in the middle of the night and quietly making his way into our room and straight into our bed. By the time we all woke up in the morning, there were 4 people in our very unaccomodating queen sized bed. Since both boys have been asking for various things lately, I came up with the seemingly brilliant plan of a bedtime chart. For each night they boys stayed in their beds, they received a sticker on their bedtime chart. After 10 days in a row of stickers, they could get a treat – a trip to the ice cream shot, a pack of their favorite cards, something in the $5 range. The first night was bliss. Both boys stayed in their beds, we woke up refreshed, we celebrated, we praised. I was hopeful. The second night, Davis showed up in our bed. At this point, I realized Day 1 was probably just a fluke for him. The next day, I said, Davis you don’t need to get 10 consecutive stickers, just get 10. We really are desperate for just a few nights of uninterrupted sleep. Nights 2 and 3, Silas, who is motivated by treats and the promise of shopping, stays in his bed. Davis, who is motivated by hugs and touch and who doesn’t care so much about things, returns to our bed. Day 4… a repeat of Days 2 and 3. Day 5, Silas is celebrating because he is halfway to a reward. Day 5, Davis is sleeping soundly, cuddled up to us in our bed. At least my brilliant idea worked for one child.
We don’t have pets. We are not pet people. I am allergic to everything under the sun and fish are doomed to be flushed down the toilet. I don’t want to have to make arrangements for another being if we decide to go out of town. I have often joked with the boys that they could have a pet rock. The boys have often joked that when they grow up they are moving to an apartment in New York and getting a cat. Well, you can imagine their sheer joy when they found out recently that our neighbor got a cat. This cat is not an indoor cat, although if you leave the door of your house open, the cat will dart in without shame. This cat, Eve, is still a kitten and adores children, especially Silas. The instant we get home, Eve runs across the street ready to be entertained. Davis and Silas immediately pull out the toy we have rigged up for the cat, who mind you is not our cat! It’s a wiffle ball with hemp string attached. These boys run around the yard pulling this string behind them, literally squealing with delight. Last night, I walked out into the yard to find them playing a spying game with Eve – who Silas sometimes refers to as Even. They would run behind a bush when the cat wasn’t looking. The cat would sneak up on them and jump out just like she was the seeker in a rivoting game of hide and seek, which of course elicited many high pitched squeals and giggles. Our neighbor eventually realizes that her cat is across the street and comes over fretting that it’s being a nuisance. What she doesn’t realize is that she has given those boys a gift. A pet. One that I don’t have to maintain or worry about, kind of like when you have grandkids I guess. You get to play with them and then send them back home. Perfect.