Snips And Snails

The Night Visitor

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.

27 thoughts on “The Night Visitor

  1. Sean’s asking to be paid a “twenty five” for that certainly made me think of my teenagers, who often asked to be paid for the simplest of tasks. I never comply to their requests but their requests are never as sweet as cuddling with their mama.

    My grown up son was sick last week and I actually cherished the times I stood on my tippy toes to feel his forehead with my lips. Every night last week before he went to bed he folded himself over my shoulders and hugged me and said “thanks for taking care of me, Mom.” My stars, did I ever love it. Between that and nursing him through his wisdom teeth extraction the previous week, I’ve been able to baby him a lot lately and I’ve loved every minute of it.

    Another great post from you. I love reading about how you cherish your little boy.

  2. My 10 year old is in a fix of crawling in bed with us lately. I loved it at first. The sweet snuggly rest. But then it continued night after night. I feel super mean when at bedtime I have to tell her “unless she has a scary dream she needs to stay in her own bed” but beauty sleep for mama is important for EVERYONE in the house!

  3. Hahaha! That is too funny.
    You’ll be surprised too…it had been a very long time since any of our kids had crawled in with us, but just this winter both twins, separately, arrived to snuggle in within weeks of each other. And they were 12.

  4. Oh, I loved this! We adopted our kindergartner when she was a year old… and she struggled mightily with sleep issues for a long time. We haven’t had a night visitor in a long time. It seems funny to me that – after spending six months praying for her to sleep on her own, not suctioned to my side – I would pay big money to have her snuggle with me again. I might even pay her TWO twenty-fives for that.

  5. I wonder if it’s the age…mine seem to be in a more cuddly mood of late, and I’m also treasuring it immensely. I know these moments will be fewer, as they should I guess. I really related to Heidi’s comment about standing on her tippy toes to reach her son’s forehead – sometimes I’m awash with thoughts of sending them off on some grownup adventure from a different vantage point (height-wise and heart-wise, likely) – my two fit right under my arm pits now….ew, but it reminds me we need to make armpit fudge 😉 Continue to enjoy your Spring – thanx for the post smiles!

  6. We had a middle of the night visitor a few nights ago. Gabe climbed into our bed because “something in my room keeps talking to me.” Upon further investigation, we found one of those books that “talk” was stuck, and was indeed talking all night. But it was really nice snuggling.

  7. That is too adorable! Sweet post! I have, again, a pre-teen girl in the house who thinks it an affrontery to be touched or hugged, god forbid, kissed. I miss those cuddly days!

  8. Thanks for this post it made me laugh a bit and smile–
    We haven’t had any night vistitors for a while- but that’s fine with me~
    both of my kids are the type to burrow underneth– and then end up dialgnly(sp? — they take up the whole bed!)
    But this week they both have head colds, I think I might get some snuggling in…in between sneezing and coughing–Oh Joy!

  9. Haha – love it. Sean is a cutie. I have a little 6 month old boy and so, needless to say, we do not have night visitors yet. I am looking forward to my first one. 🙂

  10. Oh, this makes me cry. And laugh.

    My 2 1/2 year old has been a good independent sleep for awhile now. So this past week when he’s had a bad dream or two, I’m loving having him in my bed, sleeping next to me.

    My 9 month old, on the other hand is NOT a good independent sleeper. But I’ve learned my lesson from the first time. While I’m exhausted beyond belief most days, I know Baby’s phase of waking constantly to nurse will soon be a thing of the past. So I let him wake, nurse, and push his sweaty curls to the side. Knowing that someday all too soon, he’ll be sleeping through the night, not needing to nurse or cuddle.

    I’m not rushing it.

    I’d love one good night’s rest, but I’m not rushing it. 🙂

    * * *
    That is the great paradox of parenthood — wanting to hang on and let go all at the same time.

  11. I almost died from laughing when you said you “felt cheap and tawdry”! What a hoot. There was a time I didn’t think my son would ever spend the entire night in his own bed. He is 14 now and I’m proud to say he manages on his own just fine.

  12. Money well spent! My youngest, the 7 year old will still occasionally crawl into bed with us too, and I cherish those moments as they will be gone all too soon. Snuggle time = twenty five cents, i love it!!

  13. LOL. I’m getting images in my mind of a young little (clean cut) David Lee Roth gleefully singing “Just a Gigolo,” as he trots along a winding path holding your hand. You two have sumpm special there, ma’am. Twenty five, indeed. I’d pay about a million, wouldn’t you?

  14. Oh, that’s funny. My little one didn’t start sleeping through the night until he was 7 or 8 months, mostly because of my own resistance to letting him cry it out. He’s 9 months now, so it wasn’t that long ago. He usually sleeps for 11 or 12 hours, and I miss him while he’s sleeping! So, before going to bed, I’ll sneak into his room to check on my sleeping angel. I’ll look at him and think about how much I love him and how I can’t wait for the next opportunity to hold him. But if he moves at all I run out of there like I’m being chased. Mama needs her sleep.

  15. I do enjoy the few times mine wants to snuggle (nightmars or power outages are about the only times now). Except she doesn’t fall asleep, she gets so excited at the novelty that she wiggles and giggles and whispers, until after 45 minutes or so I tuck her back into her own bed. Mama does indeed need her sleep!

  16. I so enjoyed this post. I must say, a deal at only 25cents! My eight year old is a bit more pricey. After an evening of league volleyball, my tired (over 40) body came home and went to sleep. The next morning, I couldn’t lift more sore arms over my head to change my pajamas. I considered cutting them off and in desperation asked my daughter to pull them over my head. She suggested “a buck” for her troubles!

  17. I love that every now and then my boys climb into bed with Hubs and I and want to snuggle. I love to breathe them in. I know the day is coming all to quick when they won’t want to snuggle with me.

  18. I am 35 weeks pregnant and as big as a dinosaur who just ate a mastodon.

    For the past three months, my two-year-old has been leaving her crib in the middle of the night — a jail that was easy to escape for my miniature Houdini — crawling into bed with me.

    I would lay in the dark, being kicked by little ones both inside and out, and wonder:
    a. Will I ever have 5 minutes when someone isn’t touching Mom?
    b. Can I bottle up these moments and savor them again in 10 years?

  19. My sweet baby boy sleeps through the night in his giant crib. I miss having him so near in the bassinet, but he too was hitting his little head and feet on the walls and so it was time to move him to a larger bed. He was sleeping through the night anyway. I am glad God made him a boy who loves sleep, like his parents.

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