The witching hour. That’s when the baby would wake up every night. Every night for what felt like eons but was actually only a couple of years. The witching hour in this case was 5.30am. He’d wake, have milk and a diaper change and go back to sleep till 8. So lucky, people would say, you get to sleep till eight with a baby! I didn’t feel all that lucky, never sleeping more than five hours in a row, interrupted, night after night after night. But that day, I think, I got really lucky.
The baby cried and I woke up, I stumbled down the hall to his room in the dark. I heard a noise and thought it was the cat. Damn cat.
I fed the baby, and changed him, and made my sleepy way back to bed. At seven a.m. the housekeeper burst into my room: I think someone was in the house, she said. I don’t remember how, but in the next instant I was standing in front of the baby’s room, not yet having really processed the information just given. I had my hand on the door and couldn’t go in, my husband, behind me, stepped in front and went in. The baby was fine, sleeping peacefully in his crib, and I regained the ability to breathe. Someone had, indeed been in the house; they’d come in for the car. Stupid car. They searched the house for the keys, they came upstairs and went through the husband’s pockets. Thankfully he left his clothes outside our room, they most likely heard the baby crying and went downstairs. That was the noise I heard. They took the spare, opened the gate, and left with the car and a watch that was just lying around. The police told us they were probably specialized thieves, they had targeted that car, the husband’s car had signaled a flat a few days earlier and that apparently is another method they use to take cars, create a slow flat, or the appearance of one, wait for the car to pull over and then they jack it. That didn’t work so they came looking at home.
I was lucky that day, because they chose to come searching at the witching hour. I’m a very light sleeper, had they come at any other time I would have heard them and woken up, I would have gone downstairs to kick the cat out for waking me and I would have run into the two guys searching for the keys instead. The police had an idea who they were, and they’re not known for being very nice. Efficient, yes, but not nice. I pretty much stopped complaining about the baby waking me every night after that. And we installed an alarm system.
Linking up with MamaKat’s pretty much world-famous writer’s workshop today, with the prompt “this time I was sleeping and…”