Bedtimes for Miles have become more time-consuming in recent months, as he finds more ways to push all the right buttons. “Please stay Daddy. I love you, and I miss you so much when you’re at work.” Cripes, what are you going to say to that? So I lie with him, tell another story… eventually try to leave the room and “the arm” reaches out, hooks me by the shoulder. “Please… please… stay.” Get firm about it and either he wails or gets up and walks into the living room. Bedtime has become a nightly two-hour ritual.
Then, last week, I brought a CD player into his room and put on Brian Eno’s “Thursday Afternoon.” Suddenly, things were different. He drifted off within minutes. Totally at peace with bedtime. Burned copies of Apollo, Compact Forest Proposal, and Plateaux of Mirrors for him (summary review). Not always perfect, but even when it doesn’t work, few things could compare to the absolutely peaceful feeling of napping at the end of a long day, listening to Eno by night-light with your three-year-old son’s arm wrapped around you.
Then, tonight, halfway through Apollo, he suddenly sat up and asked, “Daddy, what is this? Sad music for a doctor’s office?”