It's been a long while since Winton came to sleep with me. I've always loved having Winton sleep in my bed. He's a snuggly boy. Soft and huggy. Affectionate. He's getting older; I am often not at the House overnight: the end is nigh for this pleasure. Perhaps the end is already past. The boy is, after all, very nearly five. (Five! But they still snuggle until at least twenty-five, right? I'm going to want to snuggle with that child when he's forty, paunchy and balding. He's going to have to deal with it.)
Anyway, last night I was at the House overnight, and Winton arrived at the side of my (small, single) bed hopping with agitation about a nightmare involving being scratched by our affectionately feral cat Pepita (possibly that had actually just happened and wasn't a nightmare at all-- Pepita does like to curl up with her boy, kinda aggressively).
Into bed the boy hopped, as if it were a year ago (when such nocturnal visits to my bed were pretty typical). In the dark I could see him smile, the apples of his cheeks plump with pleasure. For about ten minutes we were both very happy. Then we both tried to fall asleep, and there were too many elbows/knees/feet in the bed and sleep was uneasy at best and that cat of his followed him and tried to sleep perching on my head so as to be close to him.
He's big now, that boy. He's also strong. While asleep, he repeatedly checked that I was still in bed with him (sweet), which he did by slapping the pillow, and/or my face, with his palm flat and hard (not so sweet).
At 6AM we had a conversation:
Me: "It was nice to snuggle with you, Winton. Did you get any sleep?"
Winton: "A little bit, but not a lot."
Me: "Maybe you sleep better in your own bed."
Winton: [Nodding, while shifting position to better nudge Pepita off the bed with his hip]