Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Big boys sleeping in big boy beds

I wrote this last night, on my cell phone, in the dark of Eli's room, putting him to bed in his own crib beginning the transition out of my bed into his own crib.  

I started co-sleeping with my babies almost right away. Nursing in bed with my baby at my side while we both drifted off to sleep felt like the most natural thing to me. I bonded very strongly with my babies and I feel like co-sleeping was at least a part of that. Sometimes we thought that the kids would never want to sleep in their own beds but eventually they all have. Bit by bit. At one time we would have as many as three kids in the bed with us, snuggled next to Daniel and me and one at the end of the bed. But as they've grown they have wanted to sleep with us less and less. The girls all sleep in their own beds now and haven't tried to get in bed with us for at least a couple years.

Co-sleeping with Eli was, I felt, an act of necessity. I would wake up with Eli on my chest and no recollection of how he got there. I was massively sleep-deprived during those first few months and I was worried about dropping him or sleep walking with him and so he slept, safe and snug, with me in my bed. 

Most nights we fall asleep together. Lately we have been watching music videos in bed on my phone. Eli's favorite has been Ingrid Michaelson's "Maybe" he says "Maybe Future Phone?" Because the lyric of the song is "maybe in the future" and he wants to watch it on my phone. We also watch Landon Pigg's "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" over and over.  It's very relaxing. He snuggled in the crook of my body all snuggly and soft. On the nights that he falls asleep early and I lay him in bed, I usually can't sleep until he wakes up and cries for me to come get him. It feels like I need him just about as much as he needs me. 

However, the bigger Eli has grown the more he has been - wiggly, decidedly un-cuddly and difficult to sleep with. This morning, after a particularly difficult night, I said to the Hubs "that was the last night Eli is going to sleep on our bed" I am pretty sure he did a mini-victory-dance while I wasn't looking. I know he is supportive either way but the bed has felt pretty crowded lately...

So tonight I put our big bean bag chair next to Eli's crib and we watched our music videos together, side by side. He in his crib, I sitting next to him. I held his hand. He said "holdjyou me?" I said "no, buddy. I'll hold your hand." "Not holdjyou mine hand." He pouted,  but when I started to trace the shape of his eyebrows gently with one finger on his face and stroke his hair and neck he gave up. 

Once I push past the exhaustion of this moment and the twinge of annoyance at having to sit here instead of in my bed, I feel something deep, deep inside is breaking a little bit. Weaning Eli probably would have felt this way except that at the time I was SO sick I couldn't feel much of anything emotionally. So here I sit in the dark of Eli's bedroom. Letting go. I want to grab him up and hold him tight, will him to stay little and on my hip forever. Sleep in the crook of my arm, smell his hair first thing in the morning. But here I sit, willing myself to let go, little by little.

I'm greedy for the sweet love of my baby. The way he wants me more than anyone else. The way he looks at me when I walk into the room and cries when I leave. I am proud of him when he can kiss me goodbye and let me walk away but I'll be sad when he runs off with just a wave behind him. The way he kisses me and hugs me and wants do do everything I do.

I'm one hundred percent sure that he and I are ready for this next step into big boy-ness. If I weren't I would not have been able to get through tonight, with things like this I think you have to be unwavering, but I'm already looking forward to when he wakes up, sleepy-eyes and sloppy-smile so I can hold him some more, while I can.

It felt so strange climbing into bed on my own. I think I fell asleep in ten seconds flat. Of course he didn't sleep in his own bed all night. He woke up in the middle of the night and I brought him back into my bed and we had a nice cuddle. I'll start putting him back to bed very soon. It's an exhausting process though - and I'm not looking forward to it. So if you see me, ask me how it's going!  Also you are not going to want to miss my next Worship Song of the Week - it is my favorite song ever!

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