I am making his bed for the first time today. I will make it several times before he actually gets into it tonight; that is, if he gets into it. The ‘latest must haves’ of his bedroom routine are lying in and around the bed. Some fall on to the laminate floor as I pull back the duvet revealing the hollow hole in the mattress where he sat all night. I lift the tear-stained pillow and begin to pull off the cover. The smell of shampoo is reassuring. At least his head was supported on something soft in between the head banging episodes.
Stripping away the torturous emotions of the night before, I shake out a fresh cotton sheet. With unconditional love, I straighten down the edges, making it cosy. Plumping up the pillows and duvet, one last time, I reach for his two soft toys, his comforters perhaps and place them on top of the bed. I replace the string of beads, a long black lead with a hand strap, a half eaten musical book and a meat mallet. I ensure I have left everything in his room exactly as I found it.
It is an easy room to clean. There is hardly anything left in it. I have stopped replacing things, his TV, his music, the keyboard…all the things he has smashed or broken, or left on the landing. It took me a while but I trained myself to accept the fact he mustn’t want them. My gaze falls on his kaleidoscope bedside lamp. It took me a whole year to move it from the landing to his bedside table. I am grateful that he enjoys it now. I am also grateful for the fact that he hasn’t turfed out his bed yet. He has rid his room of pretty much everything else.
I wish I knew what was keeping him awake lately or what causes him to become so upset during the night. Falling to my knees, I check under the bed for dragons. I am almost positive I heard him slaying dragons last night. I find nothing but an odd sock and a few Thomas the Tank books. Leaning against the bed, a whispered prayer escapes my lips. Please help him get a peaceful sleep tonight.