Monday, May 25, 2009

reading under the covers redux

My Mother, never one to miss an opportunity to rub her hands together in glee, must be seriously in need of some new skin on her palms these days.

I, you see, was a rubbish sleeper as a child. Up all night if I could manage it. Certainly, the moment I could read I was being busted for reading under the covers after lights out; something I gather my mother was busted for when SHE was young, hence her preternatural ability to detect my own nefarious bookishness. In she would come quiet as a mouse, sneaking over to my bed and ripping off the covers leaving me completely exposed, Doctor Doolittle clutched in one hand, torch in the other.

My solution from a fairly early age was to wait until everyone was quiet and then get dressed - knickers, vest, school uniform, socks the works. Extra 10 minutes in the morning you see. And then I would read under the covers some more.

Now, Charlie is only two and a half and therefore I have laboured under the impression that I have a few more years left before I in my turn am creeping into his room to the vision of torchlight leaking out from under the bedclothes. Wrong.

Two nights ago, nearly two hours after the spud had kissed me goodnight and lain peacefully down on his sofa, we heard a soft cry from his room, followed by a little bump. Fell out of bed? Bad dream? The frog went opened the door expecting a little sleepy pile of toddler tangled up in a blanket... wrong.

The noise we had heard was the spud dropping a pile of books and then, I expect, swearing. The lights were on and a puzzle book was in pieces all over the floor, amidst various scattered toys. He himself was crouched guiltily over said books and the moment he saw his Father he started chanting 'no no no no no!'. He zoomed back onto the sofa and tried to wriggle under the knotted blankets; all the while one could see his panic levels rising.

We nearly wet ourselves; it still makes me cry laughing just thinking about him in there for two hours being ferociously quiet with the lights on. He must have thought he was getting away with the moon and the stars at the same time. I mean, a two year old playing quietly for two hours - how badly must he have wanted to stay up?

Poor little bear, he really thought he was for the high-jump. He was so upset when I made him get into bed that he bawled his eyes out but I suspect it was more about his first ever bust than anything else. I kissed him, cuddled him, told him I loved him despite him being a bit naughty and closed the door. A minute later I checked back and he was already sleeping the sleep of the wicked.

Better just go and check on him now...

10 comments:

Jennie said...

HA! We're not the only ones! Thank God. Little Halfdan has gotten the knack too, now that he has a big boy bed. Doesn't hide though - on no. Just stands smack dab in the middle of his room, turning the pages of his book ever so relaxed. Dad comes in - he merely looks up to see who it is, and goes back to it. Cluck cluck. Well, not the worst bedtime habit to have!

Maternal Tales said...

little award for you over at mine. x

Mum said...

Well, you got me there - I never knew that you got dressed for the morning before you went to sleep at night! At least it all meant that you were a reader and so shall Charlie be. But Mum's believe that kids have to get their sleep......
Mum

Michelle said...

This story just makes me smile! I love the multigenerational slant that connects you three, and the thought of a two year old quiet for 2 hours--beautiful!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

they do say that your children are your parents revenge.

Damn! I'm in trouble now.

DJ Kirkby said...

When I was 9 I decided I wanted to read ahead in the book my Mom was reading for my bedtime story, Anne of Green Gables. So I did. And then let it slip the very next night that I knew what happened next. That was the last time she ever read me a bedtrime story.

Bev said...

my mum is so happy that mine are growing up as she can now bathe in the joy that my eldest is now at the 'finding boys' age and at 15 is all too eager to please them, i am full of stress, constantly checking were she is and what she is up to. My mum just says that i was like that ( well yes but not till i was 18 not just turned 15 a big diference in my opinion)oh the joys of parenthood and how they start younger each year, i wish i was still at the stage your now, the sulking, temper tantrums in a packed supermarket, having to check the pushchair before we left every shop in case the little sods had took their eye to something that clearly belonged on the shelf and not with them, oh yes the fond memories lol. love your blog, you have a blog award waiting for you at mine

Raz said...

Funnily enough I never read under the covers, but I still have to put books down and pretend to be doing work when my mum comes in now.

Loving to read is so important, it must be lovely to see it (even if it does mean you have to be on patrol).

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

I used to do the same thing with books late at night. I was, and remain, a night owl, paying for it the net day with heavy eyelids and a slow working brain.

I can just pictured Charlie's little face when he was caught! Oh what a hilarious story!

Jen said...

What a fantastic story! I love it! It would be so hard to keep a straight face. He can't even read yet, and he has such a love for books!