Sleep is incredibly important in this house, let me tell you. Things go a whole lot smoother when baby takes two naps every day and then proceeds to sleep his usual 11 hours at night. I love the schedule we have worked so hard to build and maintain. It helps me feel like I have a real good handle on this whole mom thing. I mean, yay, I am doing one thing right!
Then weird stuff starts happening. Two naps turn to one for a couple days in a row. Long hours zonked out at night get suddenly broken up with fits and crying. I sit there in his little room with the lamp on, rocking my Littleman, wondering where it had all gone. Seriously, where are all those good times? Where are my 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep? I had this thing down. I was an expert at getting my kid to sleep. Why, oh why, oh why?
Then I remember, oh yeah, we are making changes. For my Littleman it is kind of a big change. We are trying to wean him off of bedtime nursing. I still nurse him every morning, but have been slowly, painstakingly slowly, getting rid of it right before bed. And guess what, change is hard, and in this case it is hard and sad for both of us. I never thought I would grow to love nursing as much as I have and I will certainly miss it when we are through. So at night I hold him a little closer. I rock him a little more gently. I sing to him. I sit bewildered at this beautiful boy who just wont stop growing. Together we mourn the loss of this phase in our relationship. The past week has been kinda sad, a bit melancholy. The lack of sleep can be hard, I won't lie. I am totally getting the song now, because this whole growing up thing is killing me softly. But we are getting through it together. Struggling, together. It is sad, but beautiful in its own way.
Despite the fact that we are giving up bedtime nursing, I am still desperately clutching to a few baby rituals. Here they are, the things I am not yet willing to give up:
Holding my boy while he naps.
The sleep-sack. Never!
Three bedtime stories.
Sitting in the back seat with him.
Reaching back every time he puts out his hand out for mine.
Sitting on the floor to play "beep beep" or "choo choo"