The Nugget is three-and-a-half now.
Last Saturday night, her parents were going to a party, and I had agreed to babysit. Daughter asked how late they could stay out, and I said as late as you like, I have my book, and there's the couch, don't worry about time. But Daughter still fussed, so I had a Great Idea - how 'bout Nugget just stays overnight at my house? We asked Nugget, and she was all for it.
By Saturday morning I was having second thoughts. Nugget has stayed in hotels and various relatives' homes many times, but always with her Mommy. As far as I know, she'd never slept away from her Mommy. I had visions of her waking at 3 am with "I want my Mommy!", and nothing ever cures that but the production of her mommy, immediately. Daughter said that Nugget was excited about staying over at Gramma's, and there's no turning back now.
So, she came over at 7 pm. Bedtime was supposed to be 9 pm. I think she finally fell asleep at 11 pm. We had a good time, arranging hair, telling stories (I do a really good job with The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the ogre) and generally giggling.
I think there's a particular time when kids start sleeping with their head at the top of the bed and their feet pointing toward the foot of the bed. She's not there yet. Several times during the night I had to move her legs off my back. And among the eight stuffed animals and dolls in the bed with us was a bear that talked when squeezed, and he happened to be between us and I kept leaning on him ("I looooove when you hug meeeee"). And then there was the usual checking every half hour to make sure she was still breathing. I got no sleep at all, but she slept very well --- until 3 am.
She woke me, near tears. "Gramma, I had a monster dream."
"Oooo. I bet it was scary."
"Yes. It was berry scary."
"But you know it was a dream, right?"
"And you're not dreaming now?"
"Are there any monsters around now?"
"No. There's no monsters now."
"Monster dreams are very scary. But they're just dreams. They're not real. They go poof when you wake up."
"Yeah. Ok." And she was back to sleep almost immediately. No "I want my mommy".
I was so proud of her, and so grateful.
We got up about 9 am, two hours later than usual for her. She said, "Mommy says wake up, go potty, brush teeth, take a bath, get dressed, then eat breakfast." Only Mommy had forgotten to pack her toothbrush and I had no extras, so she decided to skip the whole routine and just get dressed so breakfast would happen sooner. After breakfast, her Daddy noticed we were up and came to get her.
And I went back to bed for two hours.
Later, Daughter says she asked Nugget if she liked staying at Gramma's. Nugget said no. Then she threw her arms up in the air and said, "I don't like it, I LOVE IT!"