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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Went to Fune last night with some friends to celebrate Jeff's birthday. Scott had a Blackberry, and we tried posting to Blatherchat. Sadly, it seemed to have trouble uploading. I had my usual: salmon sashimi, steamed rice, broiled shiitake mushrooms, tako sushi, hamachi sushi, and tobiko with quail's egg.

I forgot to mention something that happened when we stayed at the Deerhurst Resort with my sister and her family a short while back. Sara asked if she could sleep with me in my bed on the first night (Jeff would be on the pull-out in the living room). She said she preferred me over Uncle Jeff because I would be lighter if I accidentally rolled on top of her. It was one of those moments when our first impulse was to laugh, but she was being so serious that we knew we couldn't.

I had never slept in the same bed as Sara before. I half-expected her to want to stay up really late, playing with me. Instead, she was very business-like and efficient. She got undressed and folded her clothes neatly on an armchair in the room ("I'm very organized, Auntie Debbie"), got her Bunny and Dolly arranged around her in the bed, one on each side of her.

She tossed and turned a bit, mumbled, "Auntie Debbie, could you please not roll on top of me?" and then was asleep. It took me a while to do the same; I was too intrigued by the novelty of sleeping beside my niece. She looked so small, her long hair spread out on the pillow, clutching her stuffed toys. When I finally did doze off, I found that I couldn't fall deeply asleep.

Later, my sister said it was the same with her, when she was a new mother. Every time Sara moved, I woke up. Every time she sighed or coughed, I woke up. I found myself unable to completely relax, terrified that I was going to accidentally roll on top of my niece unawares and smother her. It was as if some part of my brain wouldn't let me sleep ("You must stay on guard! The child must be protected!").

Do all parents go through this in the beginning?

Today's Blatherpic:
Sushi outing at Fune last night.

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