Friday, May 3, 2013

Sleep can wait

It’s after 2 a.m. I’m yanked from a deep sleep by familiar unhappy baby noises at the other end of the monitor. When will he outgrow this? I wonder, as I zombie-walk past the dark kitchen and down the hall to his bedroom.

Brian has been trying to comfort him to no avail. “I’ll take over, you get back to sleep,” I say to my husband who does more than his fair share of dawn patrol duty.

Wee one and I snuggle up in the rocking chair and I feed him a sippy cup of water, which he chugs enthusiastically before slipping back into calmness. I don’t even know how I knew that’s what he needed, but somehow I’ve earned A Mother’s Instinct in the past 17 months. In reciprocity, he recently learned to say Mama. He now asks for me, reaches for me, and responds to me automatically. My heart is butter.

I put him back in his bed and try to leave, but he cries for me as soon as I reach the door. I lay next to his bed and put my hand upon his chest, which he covers with his own and firmly presses against him. He’s not letting Mama go anywhere.

It’s after 2 a.m. and I’m longing to get back to sleep. But this 1-year-old with the iron grip wants me to stay just a little longer. It won’t always be this way. Before I know it, he won’t need me or want me around so much. There will be school and friends and Xbox and soccer practice, and full nights of uninterrupted sleep for both of us.

Tonight, though, the world still revolves around Mama. When will he outgrow this? I wonder. 

Sleep can wait just a little longer.

Megan Brooks is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and sleep-deprived Stepmom and Mom.

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