Last night Kaleb had a rough night, in fact it seems that every night since we came home from the cottage has been a rough night. However, last night he actually wouldn’t settle back down and he managed to convince me that my bed would be better than his crib… mistake? That was Tim’s question when he felt little hands swatting at him trying to see in the dark. I was so tired that to me it was a purely selfish choice, I can sleep if I bring him in bed with me, or I can stand cuddling him by his crib and not sleep. The reality is though, that after lying still for a minute and a half he then began a slow but bouncy discovery of our bed.
“Where is Mummy? Slap, oh, there she is. Where is Daddy? Bang, oops, guess that’s him. Where is the blanket? Yank, ahh, that’s nice. This bed is huge, I can lie sideways and rest my head on Mummy, feet on Daddy, or I could put my head on Daddy and rest my feet on Mummy. This is so fun, I should tell them how great this is…”
This is when he started to chat to us, telling us in his own little language how pleased he was to be in our bed with us. While I normally find his chatter very cute, it’s difficult to be as enthralled at 3:00 in the morning. I rolled over, avoiding a kick to the head, I heard Tim roll over not missing a punch to the head. I lay there, eyes closed, trying desperately to ignore the hands, feet, jabs, left hooks and loud voice of our 21 month old ‘darling’.
Finally, out of desperation I picked him and ‘Tiggy’ up and gathered them in my arms, stood up and took him back down the hall to his room. I quietly laid him in bed and pulled up his blanket to his neck. He rolled over, grabbed ‘Tiggy’s tail’, stuffed it in his mouth, and promptly fell asleep.
I went back to bed, lying there for a while thinking about it and realized that maybe that big bed would have been more fun if the two big lumps of parents hadn’t been there.Is is possible that he was just as uncomfortable as we were? Just as unable to sleep? My ego took a hit, but ultimately I got back to sleep so why am I writing this right? What’s the point? Did you just waste your time reading this?
I guess I just realized last night how we are creatures never satisfied. We want our children to grow up, to sleep through the night, to use the potty, talk in full sentences, but we want them to stay little, to still need us in the night, to still want hugs and cuddles and to still be the only person in the world who can make them feel as special as you do. The goal of parenthood it would seem is to find a way to achieve the right balance, to help your child grow up, showing them all the love that you can, and then when the time comes, allow them to spread their wings and fly, ultimately hoping that they return to the nest for visits and friendship. If I can do that, if my sons want to come home for visits when they are older, if they want to be my friend, then I will have succeeded though I have a feeling it’s a lot harder than it looks or sounds. When Kaleb preferred his own bed to ours last night I had a tiny taste of what the future has in store for us and while I am thankful for the sleep there is a small little part of me that is sad that he has passed the stage of wanting to snuggle in and sleep beside me.