One more gray hair on my head...
Oh, you might be assuming it was the tiny little newborn son. Nooooo... the child that kept me awake and staring at the ceiling for several hours with eyes as big as saucers would be my eldest son... the one who is nearly 12 years old.
Yes, TSJr. added one more gray hair to my increasingly graying coiffure. I'm sure you'd love to hear the story...
My itty bitty son decided to go to sleep - one of those nice deep sleeps where you can move him around, make all sorts of noise and generally do anything you want to him and he will not even stir - around 8pm last night. This is a little unusual but, not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I decided to go with it and take full advantage of some rest myself. Mr. P and I turned in early and waited to see how long the baby would go before letting us know it was time for a late night meal.
Around 11pm... I'm not quite sure because I was in such a deep and much needed sleep... I heard a small creaking of a door somewhere in the distance. Have you ever been startled awake by an unidentifiable sound and you just weren't sure if you dreamed it or if it was truly real? That was the situation I was facing. Hmmm, did I hear a door creak or did I dream it. I decided Mr. P needed to investigate. Now, Mr. P just LOVES it when I wake him up from a sound sleep and say, "Did you hear that?!" (In case you were wondering, this has happened before.) I told him what I heard. He grumbled at me that I must have dreamed it. I asked him to go check the doors. He grumbled a little louder and staggered from the bed to the doorway of our bedroom. From the doorway of our bedroom you can see the door going downstairs to the garage and you can see the front door. He grumbled that the doors were closed and locked and told me I must have imagined it. Well, I wasn't perfectly satisfied with that answer but I assumed that if the doors are closed and locked, they certainly couldn't be creaking. I turned over intending to go back to sleep.
Just then, I heard the storm door on the deck moving?... rattling?... just not being still. I again gave Mr. P a poke in the ribs and told him it was the back door I was hearing and he needed to go see about it. He told me it was probably just the wind but he climbed out of bed anyway knowing I would not rest until he checked. He came back to bed a little perplexed and said that the back door was ajar. This is unusual because I would never go to bed with the back door open... air conditioning if nothing else! He told me he had secured the storm door and closed and locked the main door. I was staring at the ceiling wondering how that could have happened ...when we heard it.
What was it? It was the very quiet and light rattle of the doorknob. Mr. P was now wide awake and on his feet out of bed. A cold chill ran down my spine as I realized someone was on our deck and that someone was trying to get into my house! Mr. P sneaked out into the hall slowly making his way toward the kitchen. I was trying to think of every plausible explanation. The dogs? No, they were inside. The wind? There hasn't been a breeze in our 100 degree weather in over a month. A moth hitting the glass? Moths can't turn doorknobs!
Then I heard Mr. P in a booming and extremely deep voice yell, "WHO'S OUT THERE?" At that point I knew that he saw someone outside trying to get in. Someone was trying to break into our house!! In that split second I was coming up with some sort of idea of how I was going to protect my children. I grabbed the phone knowing I needed to call 911 and decided I would take the baby, run upstairs, get all the other children in one room... and then from there I would have to decide later. Great plan, huh? I had the phone in my hand and literally only five seconds or so went by until I heard Mr. P yell our oldest son's name along with a "What in the WORLD are you doing out there?!!"
Yes, my son was outside. The first creak I heard was him quietly trying to sneak out the back door. He was being very sweet in trying his best not to wake us up. He was taking the puppies outside. They were whining and he was taking them out for a potty break while trying not to disturb us. I didn't hear him or the two dogs coming down the stairs. I didn't hear the click, click of their toenails on the wood floor as they walked past our open bedroom door. I didn't hear my son walking around. But, I did hear the faint creak of the back door being opened! Explain that!
Imagine his surprise when he tried to come back in the house only to find that someone had closed and locked the backdoor! He never realized - until later, of course - that we didn't know it was him. He knows now!
That is a terrible feeling! Knowing that someone is outside and trying to come in your house in the middle of the night presumably to do you and your family harm is a terrifying experience... one which I never want to experience again... even though it was only TSJr. in the end!
After I started breathing again, we sent the perplexed TSJr. (who couldn't think for a minute why we would have been scared by HIM!) and the puppies to bed. Needless to say, Mr. P and I were no longer sleepy. We discussed all the ways our house is unsafe and all the things we need to do to make it more safe. I think by the time we finally went back to sleep, we decided on four inch steel doors, alarm systems, a few rifles in the house, motion sensor flood lights, barbed wire and a good attack dog.
As we finally settled down and decided we might be able to sleep again, you guessed it.... Waaaahhhh! from the cradle next to me. Noah's lovely long nap was over and he was waiting for a little late night dinner and a show.
It was a long night.