On more than one occasion during my pregnancy with Adriana, I woke up and immediately panicked because she wasn't there, so real had been my dreams that I already had the baby and she was there in bed with me. "Where's the baby?" I ask, startling Brian awake. Then she was born and there were a couple of times when I opened my eyes, saw the empty cosleeper and felt the panic well in my chest again for the second before I realized that the baby was in my arms.
Shortly after eight on Saturday morning, I opened my eyes and saw that it was already after eight. I'd stayed up too late reading, so after nursing the baby and feeding the cat at 6, I'd gone back to sleep for much longer than usual. Surprised that Adriana hadn't woken me up yet, I rolled to face her bed. It was empty.
"Where's the baby?" Brian sprang out of bed almost instantly. He was only gone a few seconds, but in that time I was able to reassure myself that Adriana hadn't manage to climb up onto the window sill and fall out (which I actually do worry about with this little monkey), nor was it likely that someone had entered our apartment, come into our room, gone around our bed to get to Adriana, and carried her away. For one thing, I probably hadn't been sleeping very deeply for the past couple of hours. And the thought of Adriana not shrieking when picked up by a stranger? She won't even let Brian pick her up out of bed if I'm still there.
Brian came back to report that she was playing around our desk and was fine. As we snuggled back into bed, I thought it was nice that our apartment was safe enough that she could wander around without us paying too much attention. In fact, just last weekend, I dozed off while nursing Adriana when she woke up from her nap, and after she'd finished, she got up and played by herself for a fair amount of time before Brian realized that someone ought to be paying attention, so that she didn't continue to strew Cheerios from her snack trap around the house. Finally, I heard Adriana leave the office and close the baby gate behind her. The house was quiet again. Until she began shrieking. This time I jumped out of bed. She was standing on the kitchen table. She saw me and smiled, and then requested a diaper change.