It had been a nightmare on Ellie's way home with Charlie. They got caught up in a traffic jam right away. The wind was kicking in. It was getting colder. Charlie started crying. She'd never remembered him crying quite like that. She felt so bad. He was in the back seat. She was in the front seat. It didn't help that it took a good twenty minutes to get to the off ramp.
She called her Mom. Luckily, there was relief in store about an hour later when she got to her Mom's place.
"I don't think you should drive back tonight." Her Mom told her.
"Why?" She didn't like her mother thinking she was that fragile. She could do it. It wasn't that far.
"But it might snow." Her mother started this worst case scenario.
"Mom." Ellie just glared at her wanting her to shut up. "I can handle it." No way did she want her mother calling Lon to come pick them up.
"We'll have dinner. He'll play. He'll sleep the rest of the way home." Ellie told her.
"And what if he doesn't?"
"I'll keep driving." She shrugged.
"And even if he does, then he'll be up all night." Her mother reminded her.
"I'll take my chances." So she did. She wasn't going to let a little crying annoy her. And as it was, he was sacked out the rest of the way home. Of course, after they got home, that was another story. Charlie was wide awake and ready for fun.
"But don't you have an 8 a.m. class in the morning?" Lon wondered about. It was going on close to midnight.
"Yes." She watched him get ready for bed while Charlie did his little workout on his activity quilt.
"Shouldn't you go to bed."
"He's not ready to go to bed."
"But he should be put in his crib." He picked him up and went to change his pamper.
"I'll stay up with him." She promised. "I'm just glad we made it home." She hated to admit she didn't like that traffic jam. She wasn't so sure she was ready to go anywhere else with him other than McDonalds or Wal-Mart.
"You just let him decide. He can entertain himself." Lon told her. He gave him a bottle then and read him a story. Naturally, Charlie was wide awake. The wind was getting up. Ellie could feel a chill in the air. She could even see Charlie's startled look.
"Go to bed." She took Charlie from Lon. They got in the rocking chair and she read to him more. Really, she hated to leave him alone, but finally she put him in his crib. The night light was on. She sat in the rocking chair. He laid their listening to the music from his mobile. The next thing she knew she was asleep. The sudden awareness hit her that she hadn't stayed awake. She went to check on him. It was two in the morning. He was playing with his feet.
Ellie yawned. What had she done? How in the world would they ever get back on a schedule again. But he just cooed as if he was in no hurry. He started to suck on his fist. Slowly he was dropping off to sleep. Ellie closed her eyes and thought she might be asleep before she got in bed.