“Are You Standing In the Kitchen?!”
Daddy, sitting in living room, replies to slumbering child: "Yes."
A holdover from the sleepless months of last year, “Are you standing in the kitchen” is a reminder of the slow retreat from Kina’s bedside, conducted over nine days, in which I agreed to stand first in Kina’s doorway, then by the refrigerator, then by the stove, and finally “in the kitchen”—shorthand for “in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room”. In recent weeks, Kina has started to ask again if I am standing in the kitchen while she falls asleep, and I’ve started to take serious liberties with my position when I answer “yes”, because I am not going to stand sentry in a doorway over my child’s unconsciousness for the rest of her childhood. I mean, Kina must know that I am actually sitting on the couch when I tell her that I am standing in the kitchen, because it is considerably farther from her room, and my voice is muffled by the snuggly cushion. I find that I have to basically scream “yes!!!” in order for her to hear me clearly, and still she does not emerge from her bed to confirm that I am hovering by the stove. Kina and I have agreed to maintain this shared delusion in order to lull her to sleep every night. Nobody is kidding themselves, but the comfort is real.
I will always stand in the kitchen for you, my little one, no matter where I actually am. Good night, sleep tight.