Khalid, who is laying under my desk and pulling on my toes as I type this, is overdue for his nap. He would have been asleep already, had it not been for his iron determination to be awake. Half an hour ago we did the whole nap thing- we had lunch and then went to the bedroom, where I told him to lay down and he started rolling around in bed and protesting.
Normally he protests for about ten minutes before he winds down and falls asleep, but today things went a little differently.
3:00- I lay Khalid down in the bed and then take position in the rocking chair. As per tradition, I pick up a book and start reading.
Khalid whines a bit and rolls around.
3:15- Khalid goes quiet. I assume he’s asleep and continue reading. It’s Going Solo, by Roald Dahl, and as I get to the part where Dahl describes the incidence of the cook’s wife being carried away by a lion, I look up and realize that I can’t see Khalid. I can, however, see a pile of pillows in Khalid’s bed. Khalid doesn’t have pillows in his bed. In order for him to be hiding under a pile of them, he must first have crawled out of his bed into mine, grabbed all three of them, and then carried them back, all without me noticing.
Also, pillows don’t normally have feet.
I lift one of the pillows and see Khalid, grinning excitedly at me. I try not to laugh (which is one of the harder parts of parenting that those books never tell you about) and I take the pillows and put them back on my bed. Khalid protests and starts whining again.
I sit down on the bed, which is closer than the rocking chair, to prevent further such secretive escapes. I resume reading. The cook’s wife is put down by the lion unharmed. She is wearing a red dress with white dots on it, and now she must wash it because there is lion saliva on it. Roald Dahl watches as the cook and his wife do a joyful dance on the immense brown plain and suddenly Khalid has gone quiet again. I look up from my book and see the top of Khalid’s head and his wide, unsleepy eyes watching me from just over the top of the bed. Then he ducks down and they disappear.
A few seconds pass. Roald Dahl marvels at the strangeness of the situation- an old lion came out of the jungle, picked the cook’s wife up in its mouth and was carrying her back, gently and unharmed, to the jungle. Dahl is paid five pounds to write his account for the newspaper. Other hunters write to the paper and offer theories on the strange incidence. Khalid’s head comes up slowly again. I attempt to look stern.
I cave and burst out laughing. Khalid realizes that he’s off the hook, and he jumps into my bed and we have a good laugh a roll-around.
So that was the end of round one. Round two will begin as son as soon as I finish typing this blog. It’s 4:10 now, and Khalid is starting to rub his eyes and pull at his ears. I’m going to pick him up and put him in bed again. I wonder what happens to Roald Dahl next.