The Bedtime Battle

The Bedtime Battle

I miss these days…

9 PM. 

I sit on the couch and I mindlessly scroll on my phone. I have Slack, Trello and Toggl opened on my laptop. I should log in, but I wait. I check the time. I look behind me. I listen for the creak. I look across the couch at my husband. We both sigh. And then we both wait.

“I have to take the dog out before the curfew,” my husband announces. “Yep,” I reply. I look behind me once more. He walks out the door and I see a puff of brown fur stepping out the door. I pause the TV show. I listen closely. I hear the dogs. The shades rattle lightly as a light wind breezes through the open window. I take a deep breath and turn off the lights and switch on the lamp. Then I look across the hallway. Still listening.

I sit back down on the couch. I enjoy the stillness, even if only for a moment. This is nice. I close my eyes. I enjoy the stillness. 

I hear the keys jingle as the door unlocks. The puff of brown hops onto the couch and snuggles close to me. “Anything?” My husband asks. “No,” I replied quietly, hopeful that I haven’t just lied to my husband. He sits down next to me and he unpauses the TV show. We breathe a sigh of relief. 

9:30 PM.

We hear a noise. I turn my head towards the hallway and there she is. Just standing there, thick strands of hair cascading toward her hips. Big, brown eyes, wide open. She walks towards us. I want to turn away but I’m trapped in her gaze.

“Mama, I’m hungry.”

I sigh. “Go back to bed, Charlie.” 

“I want a cuddle!”

I’m frustrated, “Go back to bed, Charlie.”

“I’m scared of the dark.”

Stay strong. I tell myself. “Go back to bed, Charlie.”

“Daddy, I’m really hungry.”

“Go back to bed, Charlie,” my husband frustrated.

“Fine, I’ll get you some milk,” I caved.

9:45 PM.

“Maybe the milk will be tonight’s phlebotinum,” I say to my husband a little jokingly, mostly hopeful. “A what?” He looks at me confused. “You know, something an author creates to aid the protagonists in their journey. A magic tool, kind of like pixie dust in Peter Pan. Think of the milk as a less potent, magic sleep potion taken from Maleficent’s stash. And it puts her to sleep until 9:00 am tomorrow.” I amused myself, taking delight in knowing a literary term before he did. “Ha!” he laughs out loud. “Let’s hope so!”

It would be delightful to say that the milk was indeed a magic sleep potion…but alas—this was real life, and there was no such fantastical, magical pixie dust. 

Charlie was up three more times that night, and thus, the bedtime battle waged on.


A quick P.S

Day 2 of Shut Up and Write February Challenge.

Prompt: Phlebotinum

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