Year 3, Day 144

I awoke around 4:00 in the morning to the sound of Miles wailing. “MOMMY!” he cried. “MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!”

“Can you go get him?” Jaclyn mumbled. “I’ve already been up with him for a long time.”

Maybe it was my grogginess, but Jaclyn’s semi-conscious statement was met with skepticism. Nevertheless, I got out of bed and staggered down the hallway.

I opened Miles’s door to find him sitting in the middle of the floor, still crying for mommy. To my surprise, he didn’t start screaming, “No! I want MOMMY!” when I entered, so I stepped closer and crouched down. “What’s wrong, buddy?”

He continued crying, so I offered to pick him up. As he sobbed on my shoulder, I tried again. “What’s wrong.”

As he sucked in breath between sobs, he said, “Want to sneak up on mommy.”

We have a game that we play regularly in which Miles solicits one parent to help him “sneak up” on the other. Parent A scoops him up and whispers, “Shhh! Shhh!” to him as he/she steps closer and closer to Parent B. All the while, Miles is audibly giggling, right up to the point that he’s right behind Parent B, when he finally reaches out and tags the parent on the back while shouting, “I got you!!!” It’s fun. In the DAYTIME, it’s fun.

I raised an eyebrow. “What?” I asked. “You want to sneak up on mommy?”

“Yeahhhh!” Miles wailed.

“But Miles, it’s the middle of the night,” I explained. “Mommy’s asleep.”

“Want to sneak up on mommy!” he cried again.

Desperate to console him, I relented. “Okay, okay, we’ll go sneak up on mommy.”

Immediately, the tears ceased and Miles fell quiet. As we stepped into the hallway, his body tensed and he started giggling. We slowly made our way to the bedroom, when Jaclyn was still in bed. I set Miles down in the bed and he just sat there completely still on all fours, like a tiger waiting to pounce, just staring at Jaclyn for about 10 seconds. I’ve honestly never seen him wait so patiently for the perfect moment to strike.

But strike he did. Jaclyn yelped. Miles giggled gleefully. “I got you!”

And then we went back to his bedroom. He crawled back into bed and, aside from asking me to read a book to him, went to sleep without further incident.

Of course children have occasional needs in the middle of the night. Maybe they get hungry, or have to go to the bathroom, or are just scared of the dark. But “want to play a quick prank on Mommy” was not something we were expecting.

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