At bedtime, we ‘deactivate’ Jacob’s room. Turn his television off at a power strip. Put his MP3 player in his closet. Roll his keyboard out into the hallway. Check under the bed for miscellaneous toys and video tapes. Turn his overhead light off at the fixture. Lock his closet door. All of this is because we learned a long time ago that he might very well play all night if he had something to entertain him.
One night recently, after Jacob had gone to bed, I heard him playing with a toy. This particular night, we both had failed to check under the bed. As lights went out and we said, ‘good-night’, I imagine he probably waited until he thought we couldn’t hear and then happily pulled two toys out from under the bed. Both made by Leap Frog, a tree house with various singing creatures and a musical spinning ball.
Hearing a song, ‘Hey, I’m Lily, let’s sing!’, I eased his door open and there he was, sitting on the bed having a great time with a favorite toy. The tree house.
The ball was laying at the foot of the bed away from Jacob. I grabbed it and put it in the closet. One down, one to go. I reached for the tree house toy. It has a handle making it perfect to grasp tightly and hold on. Which he did with deceiving strength. For too long, I would reach for it and he’d quickly move it away from me. This went on for a few minutes. I was amused at how determined he was for me NOT to take it away from him. I was tempted to let him keep it but knew if I did, we would both pay for that mistake come morning.
Finally I got a good hold on it and was able to loosen his grip. While I moved toward the closet, he jumped off the bed and put both arms around me trying to keep me from opening the closet door. He had a bear hug squeeze on me for sure. I got to the closet, opened the door, dropped the toy in and locked the door.
All this time, Jacob has a death grip on me. Both of his arms around me squeezing with all his might. I was telling Jacob he needed to go to bed. And, trying to move toward his bedroom door. He continued to hold me with everything he had. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t want me to leave the room or he was hoping I’d give in and let him have the toy back.
Jacob isn’t a big fella but he is a strong one!! I felt like he was never, ever going to let me go. While I was wondering how long he’d hold me hostage, it was one of the best hugs I’ve ever gotten from him. Even if it felt like ’til death grip do us part.