Sunday, February 28, 2010

Parenting 1315

As an infant she nursed every fourteen seconds; dozing at the breast. Just enough watery mama milk to get a bit of a snooze in. Mama was raw with exhaustion.

She didn't nap well until one, and by two outgrew her naps entirely.
She had a colicky sister by then.

She was hard to settle at night, her mind and body wouldn't quiet. In my own state of weariness, I crawled into bed beside her to comfort her into quiet and rest. We read stories and sang songs, and I insisted she stop moving. After she fell asleep, I would tiptoe out and head to my own nest for some much-needed rest. Eventually, she would find me.

A double bed can hold a surprising amount of bodies but it doesn't ensure a refreshing sleep.

But somewhere between grade one and grade ten, she figured it out.
She lost interest in the family bed.
She slept.
I slept.

I've heard say that the toddler years are a foreshadowing for the teen years and it's true that my daughter needs me again. She tells me things at bedtime. Can't fall asleep. Needs a backrub. Doesn't settle. Won't stop moving.

We're beyond the story books and singing now, and she hasn't crawled into bed beside me for years. But she tells me I have magical powers, and she can fall asleep with me in her bed. And I do. I'm insanely grateful that she trusts me. Needs me.

And I'm really, really, really tired.

*If I had the chance to do the toddler years all over again- I'd do it the same way. I'd sacrifice my rest. Almost my sanity. When my kid needs me and I can come through, there's nothing I'd rather do. Except, of course, I'd rather be sleeping.... but I'm not, am I. I really believe that she heard what she needed to hear. That I'm here for her. That her needs matter. Every day, and every night.


Michelle said...

This is inspiring for those of us in the toddler years! I almost never turn down a request for cuddles, knowing that they won't last forever. I trust that sleep will come later... one day. :)

Valerie Ruth said...

you mean, one day my toddler will sleep through the night? i've recently hopped on the "cuddle while you can" train and working on changing my attitude when i'm up time after time after time. AND i have to go to work the next day. i will never NOT get up.

Mary KG said...

warms my heart. schwester

Karla said...

And you will never regret it. AND she will never forget it.

jb said...

that is beautiful joyce... a mother's heart is beautiful.

gophercheeks said...

This is nice.

And the reason God made coffee.

Roo said...

amen and amen and amen and amen.

svea said...

sooo sweet, what a mama you are..inspiring...

Candy said...

Hey cousin!

Wow, your post helped me last night as I was lying in bed with my 3 year old, holding his little hand long enough so that his little body would calm dowen and sleep. Zeke has asthma and so many many night are spent up with him calming him down sleeping next to him in his tiny little bed. You encouraged me that it is all worth it, and this too shall pass.

Love ya