Mario is killin’ Jon and me. He will not go to bed at night; he wants one of us to lay with him until he falls asleep. The hard part is that he is simply not tired. I can lay in bed with him for an hour and a half and he will not go to sleep. He still takes two-hour naps at school and I know that is completely unhelpful. He also is a natural night owl. His energy peaks at 9 pm. His poor sister is worn out by 9:30 and usually asleep in her bed by that time. He turns on her light and plays in her room as she snores the evening away.
This evening was the same as the rest. Jon and I sat downstairs talking and listening to the sound of tiny feet running around the hall upstairs. Suddenly, we heard a whisper. “Mom, mom…. Mom, I need you.” I walked up the stairs to his room and he stood looking concerned. “What is it, Mario?”
“Mom, I went into Maria’s room and I pushed my hands into her stomach and she cried so I ran back into my room so she wouldn’t see me and I just don’t know why I did it, my brain just tells me to do bad things sometimes and I can’t stop it. Breath. What can I do?” It seemed like a perfectly good “dad” question if I had ever heard it (even though I know my brain has gone down that path, too). He ran down to talk to Jon about the situation, got some dad advice, and met me halfway down the stairs.
“Mom, will you come upstairs with me to give Ria a hug?”
At this point, I knew he was stalling bedtime, and I firmly quipped “No, Mario, get to bed!” He looked at me and crossed his arms and ran up the stairs and shut his door. I proceeded down the steps and before I hit the last, he opened the door and whispered “Mom, I will let you apologize for being mean.” All I could do was chuckle.
“Mario, I should not have said that in a mean tone. I am sorry.”
Mario looked at me for a few seconds and quipped “It’s ok, mom, you can just sleep with me to make up for it.” He never misses a beat, or I should say, his brain never misses a beat.