The other day I was putting Leo to bed. He was just not that into it. We had already brushed our teeth, taken a bath, had a snack, read some books. It was so time for him to fall asleep.

I tucked him in, sung him a song, and kissed him good night. The door wasn’t even shut behind me when, “MOM!!!”

Leo wanted a drink. I brought him some milk, he sipped it slowly, then I re-tucked him in and said another good night. Fearing a repeat I slid into the bathroom and locked the door behind me. Listened for a few seconds, was about to sigh with relief, when BANG!!! on the door. “Mama, I have to pee….”

Another tuckage, another drink, another song.

By this point I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The day had been long and stressful, I was tired myself and needed a bit of alone time before collapsing into bed. Gosh darnit, I deserved that alone time. I kissed my son a shaky goodnight, and with more than sternness reminded him that it is time to sleep, that I am tired, and that if he doesn’t want to sleep he can lay in bed and read his books. He nodded sleepily as I made my way towards the door.

I tiptoed to the living room, turned on the computer, and sank into the chair. I gave it one minute – all was quiet, and I finally exhaled. The silence began to work its healing magic, the short circuited nerves began to slowly weave themselves back together, the spinal disks began to realign themselves. But then, “MOM!!!”

He yelled again.

My heart thumped. I was about to beat my head against the table. I was about to choke myself to death with my own hands. I was about to run out the door screaming and never return. Instead, I took a very deep breath, took another one, and squeezed out of my diaphragm a stiffled, “….yes, honey?”

“I love you.” he said.