Must stay Awake!
He was going to stay awake, he decided.
Ah! So comfortable to lie all bundled up, in his bed, in fleece pajamas, under a fleece blanket, with the warm radiator just a foot away. The dinner had been so delicious, that he’d eaten too much, leaving no room for pudding. He had looked at the pudding in front of him and thought, “I’m too full”, and he had thought, “That looks delicious”, and he had eaten two helpings. Now, all he wanted to do was sleep. “Must stay awake”, he reminded himself.
He could hear Reuben’s breathing, where he lay on the carpet, by the foot of his bed. Deep breathing of peaceful doggy dreams, deep, deep in doggy sleep. Maybe Reuben was dreaming of the special treat he had just eaten at dinner, the yummy meal of roast goose he’d shared with the family. Did dogs dream? Was Spot dreaming of what present he would get? Maybe a new collar? Maybe a new blanket to chew on? Whatever it was, it had made Reuben comfortable, and he was breathing steadily, slowly, deeply, rhythmically, in… out, in… out, like a slow lullaby whispering, “Go to sleep… go to sleep… peace and quiet… go to sleep”. “Got to keep my eyes open”, he reminded himself again.
He could hear the sounds of the house preparing to go to bed. The soft monotonous swish of the dish-washer, swish-swosh, swish-swosh. Clicks, as his mom turned off lights. Then, a few soft creaks of the stairs and his mom came into his room. “Still awake?”, she asked, bending down to kiss his cheek, “go to sleep, sweetheart, tomorrow is going to be a busy day”. She kissed him again and left. He felt his eyelids heavy, but did not close them. He heard some soft footsteps on the carpet, and his dad came in. “Shut those eyes, little man, big day tomorrow.” A kiss on the forehead, a “goodnight”. Comfort, ah comfort. So, very, sleepy now. “Must not sleep”, he said to himself.
A few minutes later, as a Santa-like figure stole some presents down to the tree, she heard the soft breathing of the dog, answered by the soft breathing of her son.