Harry has always been a good sleeper. It was a little dicey in the beginning (which I would assume in the case with most newborns), and I vividly remember a period of time where he would nap nowhere else but on me, but for the most part it’s been cake. Currently he is a four-year-old who will go to bed at any time you put him to sleep and sleep soundly, never waking, until somewhere between 7 and 9:30am. He also takes a nap from 1 or 2 in the afternoon until about 5:00pm. Please don’t send me hate mail or hit me.
Recently, he’s become a bit manipulative about the bed time routine. He’s figured out that he can claim he’s thirsty, hungry, or needs to pee, and we sometimes fall for it. In my defense, I usually only fall for the hunger complaints. Any calorie I can get in to him, I’ll take! After that was fixed, Harry began to complain to me when I put him to bed that he wanted to snuggle. This I will almost always fall for, or at least pretend it’s not just his manipulation to stay up later. Let me explain – my little guy prefers my big guy over me. I know, I know. I too thought that I was supposed to get a “mama’s boy”, but instead I got a “daddy’s guy”. This is alright we me most of the time, because I just love to see the two of them together. Sometimes, however, I feel sad and jealous because I want that kind of connection, but I know my role for Harry is to be tough with him all the time.
With that being said, if he wants to snuggle with me dammit I’m snuggling with him. This is especially true when I’ve worked or have been at school and I’ve missed his day. We talk about a few things, recapping the day, and I ask him questions, but mostly we truly snuggle. We press our foreheads together and we just breathe. I can remember the exact feeling when we napped so often together, or when he fell asleep after breast feeding. It brings me right back to that squishy baby and it warms my heart. The sound of his breathing has never changed – the WHOOSH of the breath through his nostrils sound exactly the same now as it did when he was a little baby, and that noise is music to my ears. There is a slight whistle to it, and it comes out gently but quickly. I can hear it now in my head and in my heart. It sounds silly to be so attached to a noise, but it’s my lullaby. It allows me to be right there, in the moment, head on his pillow, forehead to forehead, with nothing wrong in the world.
Sometimes when I get stressed I think about being solid in my shoes, feet on the ground. Realizing I am still here and I’m okay really helps, and it gives me a moment to step back and reassess. Sometimes, if that’s not enough, I close my eyes and I hear the WHOOSH, like a gentle metronome guiding me with its rhythm, and all is okay again. One day I’ll be Harry’s mom who loves him a little too much, and talks about these weird things, but I’ll close my eyes and remember the sound of my baby’s breath against my cheek, and I’ll be okay.