It was a typical Wednesday night, I was on my own for bedtime as Sean has committee meetings. I was dragging myself through the motions, checking the clock and wondering if it was acceptable for me to go to bed at 8:15.
It's no secret that Alex has what we call, 'emotions'. She's got a temper and at times we find ourselves leaving a room to let her work out her frustrations, to scream ridiculously, or pitch whatever fit she feels necessary to deal with her baggy pant leg, her itchy shirt, or the fact that she left her 'shiny' (sleep blanket) down in the laundry room.
It was one of those nights, emotions mixed with a dose of crazy from some early Easter Candy had her bouncing around on her bed as I tried to tuck her in. I gave up, told her I'd come back in a few minutes after she calmed down and headed to the storage closet to pull out the easter basket she needed for school the next day.
It was when I was deep in the closet and had crawled over suitcases, wrapping paper containers and several bins of tiny baby clothes that I heard the screaming. It was a blood curdling scream which is not unusual when she is REALLY MAD at her untied shoelace or otherwise so I didn't panic.
I took my time gathering what I needed, I even took a few seconds to scoot the suitcases out of the way and slowly crawled out wondering if we ever move out of this house if I could just leave all this stuff here.
The screams continued and I leisurely walked down the hall, head back, eyes rolling wondering if I was ever going to be able to sit down in peace this evening.
I turned the corner into her room and had to stifle with EVERY bit of strength I had from laughing out loud as I found Alex dangling upside down from the foot board of her bed. Her feet were in the air, she was hanging by one arm grasping onto her antique iron bed frame with a look of fear on her face that SHE JUST MIGHT FALL 4 INCHES TO THE FLOOR was priceless.
I lifted her up and asked what happened and she frantically told me her tale that she wasn't jumping around crazily but organizing her pillows. And she somehow, rather than flinging herself off the bed, was SHOT off the bed by the force of nature that is her 'shiny' as she tried to cover herself with it. I nodded, told her I was sorry for what happened and covered her up and left the room and laughed and I have not stopped.
For all the drama we deal with as parents, and for the long nights trying to get them into bed I've learned that sometimes we are returned with just a tiny karmic gift. And next time I find myself exhausted, and frustrated because she has to go to the bathroom for the 3rd time, or needs another drink of water, I am going to remember this moment of her dangling, panic stricken, upside down, by one arm, looking at me as if I am the one person that can save her from death and I'll get through it.