It's been a dream come true to have my brother Mario, sister in law Lili and niece Mariana in town for Thanksgiving. Amelia sees them often on Skype from Puerto Rico but her face lit up when she saw them in person inside her Chicago home. I think it's going to be a nightmare for her when they leave, literally.
You see, the second and third night of their visit my daughter woke up at 2AM. Oddly enough, my husband and I didn't hear her but her doting Aunt and Uncle insist that she was screaming for her Mami and they were at her service immediately. Titi Lili took her to the bathroom and had her climb in bed with them. At this point, I should tell you that my 8 year old niece was also in the sofa bed with her parents.
Suddenly around 3:30AM I woke up to check the video monitor and freaked out when I didn't see my baby.
"Steve, Amelia is not in her bed."
We ran out of our bedroom fearing the worst and in the darkness an exhausted voice said "Ana, she is in here with us. Go back to bed." And there she was, my three year old girl sleeping peacefully, holding on to her Titi and cousin.
I went back to sleep so happy for us and for Amelia. She was experiencing the love and care of immediate family for the first time in her life. My sister in law told me that Amelia just climbed into bed and started rubbing her cousin's face and went straight to sleep. My poor brother ended up in the inflatable mattress originally intended for his daughter to sleep in.
Same thing happened the next night even though I tried to play interference. Amelia woke up and I put her back in her bed. Ten minutes later she by passed me and called her Titi Lili directly, obviously knowing my sister in law wasn't going to resist.
By the third night, Mariana had enough of sharing her parents with her little cousin plus she had a fever so Amelia's mission was aborted.
I had to break it to her when I was getting her ready for bed:
"I'm going to hang out with Tio Mario, Titi Lili and Mariana. I'm going to sleep with them."
"No sweetie, you are going to sleep in your own bed because Mariana is sick."
Thankfully she slept in her bed all night probably comforted by the thought that her Aunt and Uncle would still be here in the morning. My family leaves today and I'm really dreading tonight. I have a feeling Amelia will be going through withdrawal and Steve and I will pay the price with a few sleepless nights. It doesn't matter; Amelia's memories of these days with her Titi, Tio and cousin are well worth it. Ay mama!