You’ve been up and down since bedtime at 7pm. I’ve rocked you, read to you, sang to you. I’m done. It’s been an incredibly long week. My body aches from exhaustion. I honestly don’t know why you’re refusing to sleep for the fifth night in a row, for more than an hour or two at a time.
Tonight I finally fell asleep at roughly 2:30am, as you’ve been sleeping for three hours, I think you’re finally down for the night. Thirty minutes later the sound of your screaming cry calls to me over the monitor. I kick your sleeping father in the spine, ever so lovingly, and shove the monitor in his face. “Go” There is no argument. He gets up and goes to your room. For the next hour or so your father tries to calm you.
He returns, as he normally does when I force him awake to deal with you in the middle of the night, mantruming ? complaining about the time he’s spent because nothing is wrong with you. He’s decided to let you cry it out. Almost the second he finished his sentence your scream cry begins again. I lay in bed for a few minutes hoping you’ll calm. Hoping that he’ll get up so I can finally sleep, but everyone in the house knows that I won’t be sleeping tonight even if he did get up so it’s pointless.
I push off the covers and up I go. I’m cranky, understatement, as I make my way up the stairs to your room for the fourth time tonight. I pull in a deep breath and compose myself before I push open your door.
Opening your door, I find you, already waiting for me in your rocker. The crying stops immediately once the door is fully open. I feel played. Knowing that I have several options to choose from at this point, weighing all of the pros and cons to each as quickly as possible, I choose to sit on the rocker with you, praying that this will finally be the thing that will get you to sleep.
I stay in your room for longer than I should, I usually do. It has also dawned on me that you won’t be sleeping tonight, or at least not in your room.
The decision has been made for me as I’m not sure I can mentally take anymore crying, and my body hurts from sitting on this rocker holding you. I carry you down the two flights of stairs to the basement couch, you’re welcome. We snuggle in the almost complete darkness. You twist around getting comfortable, sharp tiny elbows digging into my body. Then you place your hand on my face and within minutes you’re asleep. There’s a sudden calm that falls over the house.
Yes, I am fully aware that this is going to make tomorrow night more difficult, I’m sure of it, but here’s the thing…. I don’t care. As we lay here I realized it and fully claimed my defeat. I don’t care because how much longer will you need me in the middle of the night? How much longer will I be able to carry you down the stairs? How much longer will you be this small? As I thought about it I noticed that your toes were now resting on my shins while your head was on my neck. I realized how thin your arms looked. I noticed that when you laid your hand on my face your palm hung off but your fingers were still touching my cheek.
As I look at you I wonder when all of this growth took place. You were so small, your little curled up body could fit on my chest. I’m here with you every day and yet I don’t remember when your thighs thinned, or when your tiny hands tripled in size. I don’t remember when that baby started to fade into this child. I can feel myself wrap my arms around you a little tighter trying to burn this night into my memory. (I guess that’s why I’m typing over your back as you sleep)
The sad fact is that I know that someday soon I’ll blink again and I’ll be wondering where this “small” version of you went. When you’re double the size you are today, when you don’t call out for me because you can’t sleep, and I’ll miss the nights like tonight.
Even though, I’m exhausted. Even if my entire fricken body hurts. Even if I’m damn sure positive that we’re both going to be nightmares tomorrow… I don’t care. I’m not going to let an opportunity to hold onto this version of you for just one more time. Even if that means tomorrow night I’m sitting in your room again.
Goodnight Bubba ?