Daniel had lacrosse tonight so he and Eric weren't getting home until late. I didn't want to keep Markos up after his normal bedtime so he could wait for Daniel, but knew that he'd flip if I tried to put him to bed without Daniel there. In order to settle him down, I laid in his bed with him and we read a few books before we snuggled together for him to go to sleep. I told him that I'd lay with him for a little while, until Daniel got home.
He loves when I'm willing to lay with him when he's going to sleep. He can't get close enough when I lay with him. We were laying face to face and he had his little arm slung around my neck. As he began to relax and close his eyes, I whispered, "I love you" and he responded in a sleepy voice, "I love you." But as he closed his eyes, I couldn't stop looking at his sweet face. A few times, he opened his eyes and caught me staring at him. I'd smile at him, and repeat, "I love you" and he'd say, "I love you", and close his eyes again. Apparently, he was getting really tired and actually wanted to go to sleep because after this happened a few times, he opened his eyes to find me looking at him again; I said, "I love you" and he sighed, gave me a look like 'sheesh - enough is enough', and said (just like his Mommy frequently says to him), "Go to sleep, Mommy." Then we both started laughing. I continued to hold him tight as he went to sleep, but resisted the urge to tell him I loved him again!
I just couldn't help myself. You see, earlier in the evening, we were taking a walk. As we passed a vacant lot with tall over-grown grass, he said, "Markos sleepy there". I sort of chuckled and asked, "What? Markos sleep in the grass?" and he said, "oww" (yes). I jokingly said, "No. Markos won't sleep in the grass. You have a bed, silly." But he repeated, "Markos sleep there." I asked, "do you mean that you have slept in the grass before?" and he said, "oww. Etiopia. Markos sleep there." (as he pointed to the grassy lot).
I asked if he meant when he was with his family there and he said yes. He said he didn't have a bed. He slept in the grass. He said there were "ugly bugs" in the grass. (that's what he calls bugs - "ugly bugs" - thanks to a favorite book of Daniel's, titled, The Ugly Bug.) Recently, Markos has developed a huge fear of bugs. Not sure if it's because I was stung by a wasp over the weekend, or if it's because we keep finding ants in the house, but he's terrified of all bugs. He continued to tell me about all the ugly bugs in the grass when he slept there.
I don't know exactly what he's remembering. I don't know if he spent a lot of nights outside sleeping in the grass, or if it was a one-time thing. I just know it made me sad to think of him, as a toddler, trying to relax and go to sleep in tall grass, with lots of ugly bugs, knowing how terrified he is of them now. So, I just couldn't resist watching him relax and rest his sweet head on his comfy pillow, in his safe bed, free of ugly bugs; and I was more than willing to be chastised by him for telling him that I love him one too many times when he was trying to go to sleep!