Dear Jo: The All Nighter

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July 26, 3 years A.B. (after-baby)

Dear Jo,

In a few hours you’ll be heading to the hospital for Emerson’s EEG. He has been up all night. All of you have been up all night. Paul told you get some sleep, while they went to the store after midnight. You got into bed. You closed your eyes, but sleep didn’t come.

For Emerson, staying up all night is a dream come true. Little does he know that soon he’ll have a bunch of wires hooked to his head to record his brain waves. How is that going to go? How scared will he be? Will he fall asleep like they want him to? What will those little wires record?

Dear Jo: The All Nighter
After staring at the ceiling for a while, you heard Lyla begin to stir and let out a fuss. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was part of her natural sleep cycle that you no longer hear since she has her own room. But you needed something to do, someway to feel useful, so you went to her and nursed her. She fed, but only a little. She didn’t really need you, but you held her and rocked her and listened to her sleep.

Paul met you in the hallway as you left her room.

“Lyla okay?”

“Yeah. Fine. Just nursed her some.”

“Oh. She hasn’t fed in the middle of the night for a while.”

“I know. How was the store?”

“Look what Dad got me!” Emerson proudly held up the newest addition to his train set. “It’s Cranky the Crane!”

You looked at Paul. He shrugged. You couldn’t blame him. You would’ve done the same.

“Remember what we talked about in the car?” Paul said. “It’s time to get ready for bed now.”

“But I’m staying up all night.”

“Not ALL night. Just most of the night. In a few hours we’ll wake you and take you to the doctor.”

“Can I sleep with Cranky?”

“Yes,” you and Paul answered in unison.

The two of you stood in the hallway and watched Emerson walk to his room and close the door.

“I can’t believe he’s almost four,” Paul said as you walked into your room. He continued, “You’re not going to believe what happened at the store. I let him roam the toy aisles for a while. I told him he could choose one thing. You know him. He had to explore all of his options before making a decision. So, we were there for a while. Not that it mattered. We had all night. He finally chose Cranky and as we were walking to the register some woman came up to Emerson and said, ‘It’s a bit past your bedtime, isn’t it?’ Then she gave me a look and walked away.”

“What did Emerson say?”

“Nothing. He was too busy checking out Cranky. Plus you know how he is with strangers. He wasn’t going to say anything.”

“What did you say?”

“What could I say? That, well, yeah, it’s late, but the doctor said we had to keep him up all night so they can run tests in the morning and see if his brain is broken.”

The room to your door flew open and a pajamaed Emerson ran in.

“Dad! Dad! Look what Cranky can do!”

He twisted a nob and Cranky’s arm pivoted.

“That’s awesome. Say goodnight to your mom. It’s time for bed.”

You were still awake when Paul climbed into bed a while later. You waited until you heard him snoring before you got out of bed to write this down. You should be sleeping. But, maybe it’s time to make some coffee.

Dear Jo: A {fictional} Diary of a Modern Mom

“Dear Jo: A Diary of a Modern Mom” is a serial fiction story written by Meagan Church. Stay tuned for the next diary entry of one mom’s attempt to chronicle what she has been told are the days she shouldn’t forget…spit-up, tantrums, milestones and all. Visit the Dear Jo page to catch up on the already-published entries. And, be sure to subscribe today, so you don’t miss a single installment:


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Motherhood Doesn't Come with Sick Days

{Photo credit: ©Bits and Splits –}





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