Saturday night, J went out with a few friends and I had a low key night at home with some laundry.
You should know that I pushed J out the door to spend time with friends and I did laundry of my own free will. Miracles do happen sometimes.
I was folding a few things of G’s and around midnight and decided to sneak into her room to put them away & to check on her. I’ve gotten pretty good at this stealth move and can usually pop in & out unnoticed and with no one awaking from their slumber.
Welp. That failed Saturday evening. The second I stepped foot in her room she stirred. I froze, naturally, but the damage was done. Before I knew it, she was standing up in her crib, arms outstretched.
I scooped her up and settled into the rocking chair, like I’ve done so many times before. But these times are increasingly precious, as G loves her bed these days. I’ve written about our sleep style and the gist of it is – she reaches out for her bed the second we zip up her footie pajamas (all hail the footie pajama, may she never be too old for footie pajamas). Basically – she doesn’t love being rocked to sleep anymore.
So we settled in and she instantly conked out on my chest. These moments just rocket me back to 2 am feedings in infancy. I remember how her little body fit perfectly on my chest, knees tucked up under her tummy, head on my right shoulder, hands tucked underneath her chin. She was 3 weeks early and so teeny when we brought her home. In fact, I could lay her down on the rocker’s foot stool and – head to toe – she didn’t take up the entire width of the stool.
But then you have nights like Saturday – and her head is on my right shoulder, but that is all that is similar to infancy. Her arms rest where they landed, one flung around my side and the other draped over my left shoulder. Her legs are sprawled, nearly hanging off the side of the chair and the weight of her makes my shoulder twinge, just a little.
But this moment, for this little girl who is loving her independence, feels like I’m on borrowed time. I’m getting this extra cuddle time on accident – and maybe because I was a little dumb in going into her room at midnight.
And as with stolen things, this moment had to go back, because after just a couple minutes of snoozing, she lifted her head back up, looked around, and pointed back to her bed.
So I gave her back, begrudgingly, and helped her settle in to her crib. I smiled as she tucked her legs up to her belly, because at least that hasn’t changed, and helped her find Bop to curl up with. I draped a blanket over her, even though I knew that by morning it would be cast into a corner, and snuck back out of her room.
And hey, if late night laundry on a Saturday night earns me a few minutes of rocking my daughter to sleep, I’ll burn the midnight oil more often.