Last night I woke up because Nora was making some noise. She was in bed with me because she'd been feeling a little ill (or at least acting that way). I calmed her down. Then I realized I had to pee, so I got up, made sure she was securely in the middle of the bed, put the covers over her with her little head sticking out as I have several times before, and went to the bathroom.
Bladder comfortably empty, I returned to the bedroom and... SHE WAS GONE! I looked under the covers. I checked under the pillows. When I had the covers off, I thought she still might be under them, so I ruffled through them carefully. I was certain that Marga hadn't walked by the bathroom and taken her. She had to be in here somewhere! I was pretty sure that I would have heard her thump to the floor and the ensuing screaming, but that didn't stop me from lying flat on the floor and looking under the bed.1 Not there either! Panicked, my thoughts became clouded with guilt as I dreaded having to tell Marga that I'd lost our baby girl.
At some point my left brain jumped back in and I started reasoning about what could have happened. Let's go back to the base assumption. She was clearly there with me to begin with, right? Well, wait a second. I was sleeping in the second bedroom where the person not keeping watch on Nora sleeps. In fact Nora has never slept in that bedroom at all. I had no option but to conclude that I had never had her with me in the first place, that I had dreamed being roused by her and tucking her into the covers.
Just as I had finally calmed myself down, I heard Nora scream from the other bedroom where she had been all along, safe and sound with her mother.
Later that night, after the bedroom switch, Marga was sleeping while clutching a hot water bottle and having a panicky nightmare that Nora had a fever. This parenting fear thing is hard enough without the hallucinogenic sleep deprivation.
1My parents have a story about me, when I was older and using a bar-less "big boy" bed where one night they couldn't find me for a while. Eventually it turned out that I had rolled out of bed onto the floor, and then rolled under the bed, dusty but safe.