Or The Valium Fairy.
It's 2am. Lying in bed reading. Ready to turn out the light when ...
Heart jumpstarts into angina mode. Who died? Fumble out of bed. (Damn, that's a loud ringer). Answer phone. Small, quiet voice ... "Mommy?" Aw shit, that's right. Daughters at slumber party ... "I can't sleep."
Relief. No, not relief. This will take longer than bad news call. Make a few suggestions and reassurances. Hang up.
Call number two, ten minutes later: Ask if they watched any scary movies ... "Well, yeah." Which one? ... "Disturbia." What's it about? "Something about a serial killer."
Great. (On the family room television? What the hell?) Talk her through deep breathing (searching for soothing therapy voice to replace pissed off voice).
Call number three, fifteen minutes later: Ask if anyone has scared her or done anything to make her uncomfortable (older sibling in the house). "No. Nothing like that. I promise. " More coaching on the deep breathing. Suggest she read until she falls asleep. More soothing encouragement (through gritted teeth).
Call number four: "The lazyboy chair I'm trying to lie down on? It keeps popping back up." (tears). "Can you come get me?"
No, I say. I am not picking you up. (FuckFuckFuck. Should I?) You can read until morning if you have to. Find a spot next to your sister. Keep breathing, honey, and stop thinking about calling me. "Ok. I love you."
I love you, too.
An hour later? I know she is sleeping. But I am not.
Update: As I had hoped, my daughter was asleep by 2:45a.m.
I did not get to sleep until 4:30a.m.