I’ve watched enough episodes of The Nanny to appreciate that when Sean goes to bed at night he falls asleep and stays there in his bed where we left him until morning.
That he sleeps all night in his own bed has worked out well for everyone here at the House of Antique, especially for me, she who requires a fair measure of uninterrupted beauty sleep. Or maybe it works out for those who live in this house with me. It’s open for debate.
AD can take some credit for Sean’s good sleeping habits; he established a good bedtime routine early on and God can take the rest of the credit because that’s just the way he made him – a mostly compliant little guy who is pooped at the end of the day.
Sean started sleeping through the night around three months but probably would have started sooner had it not for his clueless mother. The hospital sent us home saying we had to wake him up every two hours to feed him and I didn’t want to get in trouble from the hospital so I did. Although I recall that he gave me dirty looks leaving me with the distinct impression that he might prefer I not wake him.
Then later, when we didn’t have to wake him up to feed him, I hadn’t yet noticed that he had grown so much that every time he stretched he bumped his head on one end of the bassinet and his feet on the other, thusly waking himself up about every two hours.
Around three months, I got so desperate for a good night’s sleep that one night I put him in his crib in his own room where he looked like a minnow in a mighty ocean. My heart broke just a little as I headed off to my own bed to sleep the night through, but the need for sleep is a powerful thing that will trump just about any other desire of the heart.
But from there on out, he slept through the night, as did I. And that was good. Very very good.
However, there was a season of his childhood before he learned to pull up the covers that he would sometimes make his way through the dark house in the wee hours of the night to get in bed with us. Sometime after midnight, he would toddle down from his room in his footsie pajamas, scramble over the mountain that is his father and then burrow under the blankets between us. And although co-sleeping has never been right for our family, I can certainly see why some people choose it. Falling asleep with that little boy all snuggled into me made for some sweet dreams. I felt like I was robbing time, stealing back something I had misplaced.
But for the past year, since he’s had his big bed, we’ve had no night visitors. AD and I took notice recently and lamented it. But then one chilly night last week, our night visitor showed up again, just like in days gone by. He’s too big now to tuck into the hollow of my tummy, so I made space for him on my pillow, pulled him into me and drifted off to sleep smelling his hair.
The next morning I got up early leaving the two boys to dream their boy dreams while went off to have some coffee and gather myself for the day. But it wasn’t long before the little boy showed up and climbed into my lap.
“Hey Mom,” he yawned. “Did you notice I got in your bed last night?”
“Yes, I did notice,” I said. “I loved having you snuggle with me. You haven’t done that for a long time.”
“Will you pay me a twenty five for that?”
“You want me to pay you for sleeping with me?”
“Yes. A twenty five.”
I felt cheap and tawdry, but I opened my desk drawer, pulled out a quarter and gave it to him.
It was worth it.