It used to go something like this ...
He calls out to me "Mum"
I go in and he says "can I hop out of bed?"
If its after 5 I tell him its not morning yet, to come in Mum and Dads bed for a little while. ( Sometimes I tell him its the middle of the night go back to sleep.)
On Wednesday morning as we snuggled, for a very rare these days early morning wake up cuddle. At about 5.30 am he said "Mum one night I want to have my lamp off " I smile and say OK.
Then ... "and one night no 5 short minutes" I'm still smiling but wistfully and feeling teary. My baby is growing up.
"Five short minutes, not too long" has been the last thing we say to each other every night for so long.
Sometimes I make a joke about it and mix up the times and say 10 or 7 and we laugh.
Sometimes Dad gets to do the 5 short minutes.
Sometimes he's still awake after 5 short minutes, but not too often.
He doesn't know this but often now I don't even go in the required time frame.
Five short minutes is the length of time in which I am to pop back in and check on him ... Not too long, just 5 short minutes. His own words and idea such a very long time ago.
It was only Wednesday morning as I typed this that I realised that those words are actually our very own special Good night.
I should be happy that he is exploring his independence in this way but oh it pulls on my heartstrings and makes me feel so very unexpectedly Sad.