Bedtime used to be 7:30 in our house, leaving 2.5 gloriously quiet hours before Matt and I would call it a day. Now, somewhere between Matt’s longer work hours, the longer summer days, and Kaden’s wacked-out nap schedule, we’re now more often pushing 9:00. Or at least Gage and Cooper are. Kaden is a bit more challenging and my nights with him go something like this…
Bath … chase him back and forth between his room and his brothers’ room, trying to put on his diaper and jammies while he’s on the run. 10 good-nights and hugs to his brothers later, we’re in his room, nursing. Uh-huh. Still. Then reading, then cuddling and rocking with the light off. I am pretty sure he’s drifting off to sleep and on a really good night, he’s zonked out and transfers easily to his bed.
But on most nights, he’s half asleep, and as I use my foot to move back his covers, he is jolted back awake when I nearly fall into his bed with him because my back kinks every time I bend over with him in my arms. “Pillow, Mama” … he insists I lay my head on his pillow and I have to oblige or Lord only knows how long bedtime will take. So I kneel next to his 1 foot high bed, exacerbating the kink in my back, but the pillow is welcoming all the same. I pray for him aloud, and when I finish he lays still. Still enough to make me have to fight drifting off to sleep … fighting fighting … I’m out. For probably 5 seconds before he’s flubbering my lips with his little finger, saying “Mama, sleeping??” “Yes, mama sleeping. Tado, go to sleep, too.” “No, I not sleeping.”
I try to keep myself awake by thinking about all the things I need to do once I finally escape his room, but y’all know that just makes me even more tired and we therefore repeat the above situation and conversation a few more times.
Eventually, he either falls asleep or I have to fib to my sweet little nugget and tell him I’m going to get some water and I’ll be right back. Sometimes he believes me and that is enough for him to comfortably fall asleep.
But,most nights, he’s not so patient. I’ll creep downstairs, quickly begin the tasks I sleepily laid out in my mind … literally still half-asleep … when I hear his door creek open. He says nothing, but scratches the carpet, taps the railing, or kicks his feet … enough to let me know that he’s up there. I let him be and continue to type, or fold laundry, or clean the kitchen, or whatever.
And eventually I creep back upstairs and see the likes of this …
It is insane how much I adore this kid.
So much so that I forget about the stuff waiting for me downstairs, and I lay on the floor next to him and just watch him sleep. Listen to him breath and watch his fingers instinctively grip and re-grip his blankie. I’m pulled right back into his preciousness.
He makes for a long, tired day, but gosh is he ever worth it.