We had just been away from home for about 2 months and Gabe had been asking and asking to bake cookies with me. Between staying in hotels and being in places with kitchen for only brief amounts of time, and not wanting to buy baking ingredients and then either throw them away or carry them around with us for weeks, I’d been putting it off.
We finally got home late, late one night and as soon as Gabe walked into the kitchen, he asked if we could make cookies. I reminded him that it was after his bedtime and promised that we’d bake cookies tomorrow. Gabe burst into tears, heartbroken, but we managed to console him enough to get him to fall asleep in his room.The next day, I woke up a little after 5 am. I couldn’t figure out what had awaken me. Sometimes Gabe would wake in the middle of the night and come in our room to snuggle, but he hadn’t last night. Occasionally sirens or someone driving by with loud music will wake me, but all was quiet. I rolled over, trying to keep myself from waking so much that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again.
Nick heard me stirring and woke up needing to use the bathroom. He stepped across the hallway and stopped suddenly by Gabe’s door.
“Is Gabe in our bed?” (Nick is a heavy sleeper and often has no idea when Gabe has gotten in the bed with us).
“Is he not in his bed?”
I jumped out of the bed, nervous and puzzled. I could never think of a time that he hadn’t come into our room when he first woke up and I couldn’t think of why he would leave his room so early.
A manhunt quickly ensued. We went into mission mode, checking under all the bed, in all the closets, and the bathtub before making our way downstairs.
I walked down the stairs slowly, the stairs creaking with each step. My imagination tends to go into overdrive and of course my mind went to all the worst scenarios. What if someone = broke into our house and took Gabe without us somehow hearing? what if Gabe got up and got out of the house somehow?
As soon as my foot hit the bottom stair, Gabe came sprinting out of the kitchen in his rumpled pajamas, wide awake but with huge bags under his eyes and some crazy bed head.
“Bake cookies with Mommy!” He screamed as he launched into my arms. I looked into the kitchen and saw a chair pulled up to the counter by the mixing machine.
“Gabe, buddy, it is way too early! It’s only 5 am!”
Gabe immediately burst into tears, the type of tears a kid only cries when they haven’t gotten enough sleep and they’re deeply disappointed. I held him to me, still so tired but trying not to laugh from relief.
We carried him back up into bed with us, but he stayed wide awake talking about baking cookies until finally at 6:30 I gave in and we went downstairs and baked cookies.
We have no idea why he woke up, or when, and how he got downstairs without either of us hearing him, but we do know that we’ve got one cute kid.