Not just for a short time but for a long time

This week Thalia has been reverting back to her old bedtime routine. And by routine I mean total lack of interest in sleeping in her own bed whatsoever and generally driving me crazy ape sh*t bonkers.

Unfortunately Sage is currently enjoying the same routine. So after much fuss and debate and whining and cajoling tonight, I carried Thalia back to her own bed with the promise to stay “not just for a short time but for a long time.”

I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to get back to the post I was working on. I wanted to watch a movie or grab some wine or chat with Nate or wash a dish. I wanted to do pretty much anything besides lie in a toddler bed for ten minutes with my knees up to my chest thinking about what else I could be doing besides lying in a toddler bed for ten minutes with my knees up to my chest.

As I held Thalia’s held her hand and stroked her back, I watched her facial muscles relax. I studied her plump cheeks and the curve of her lip and the way her hair curled over her ears. I examined her perfect, rosy skin and the shape of her nose. I thought about how much her eyebrows looked just like Nate’s and how the puffy part under her eyes looked just like mine.

I found myself watching her like I did when I was a nervous new mom, captivated by the unfamiliar being in front of me, taking in every detail as if I’d be quizzed on it. As if I might never see it again.

Soon, there was that extra deep double inhale, the one that tells you that sleep has come and you may now creep stealthily out of the room.

Instead, I stayed a little longer.


33 thoughts on “Not just for a short time but for a long time”

  1. That is so sweet. I'm always impressed by your ability to capture a moment so vividly, yet succinctly. Beautiful post, and I can totally relate. (Letting a moment become a memory–somewhere on my blog).

  2. oh man, i can totally relate to this!!! i have the exact same experience almost every night in our house trying to get our two year old to sleep every night. the waiting, anxious to leave, then the relief once she is asleep and the remorse for feeling so selfish and realizing what an angel she is.

  3. Loved this post — I've been there too but couldn't have said it so beautifully. 'Night, Thalia!

  4. “I found myself watching her like I did when I was a nervous new mom, captivated by the unfamiliar being in front of me, taking in every detail as if I'd be quizzed on it. As if I might never see it again.”

    moments like this make it all worth while, do they not? very beautifully put. thanks. 🙂

  5. I did exactly this same thing tonight. I'm solo for a week so I just pulled the needier-than-usual young girl into bed with me, previously a taboo (now a luxury). She's sleeping beside me now. It's delicious.

  6. thank you for saying exactly how I feel. ITs nice to know there are others out there, and that I'm not the only one who squeezes herself into a toddler bed.

  7. Thanks for reminding me to relish those “not a little bit” times when I would rather be anywhere other than waiting for a toddler to fall asleep! My 3yo will thank you!

  8. Great post. They are so apt at keeping us on our toes! Just when we think we have a shot at figuring this parenting thing out — they remind us just how incredible this parenting journey can be! Oh, and my youngest (age 3) is also named Sage. Relevance? Zero, but thought I'd mention it.

  9. And still? I can do the same thing and my daughter is almost 14. And if I look at her from just the right angle, she looks 4. Then I miss my young woman and readjust my eyes.

    You are a good mom. <3

  10. i love watching the sleeping child.

    recently, mine's taken to just putting herself to bed in my bed. so when i finally go to bed, i have to haul her sleeping body across the hall…only to find her back in my bed in the morning.

  11. With how fast they grow and change, I get that 'I might never see this again' feeling a lot.

    Because, you know, I might not.

    It's a good reminder to look, this post.

  12. 0h, just wait until she is almost as tall as you, and weighs 20 lbs less than you, and still wants to sit in your lap. That's where we're at, and I still have to watch and learn and try not to let my melting heart seep down and onto the floor.

    My mom told me you never get past this, even when your child is over 40.

  13. This happened to me just last night. It's such a gift to realize that you're living one of “those moments.”

  14. I've been reading your blog for a while now, but I just felt compelled to leave a comment.

    My baby boy (11 months) has started this new thing where he cries/screams in the middle of the night and he's too squirmy to sleep with us (not to mention too loud). So we take turns rocking him back to sleep. No matter how frustrated and tired I am, I could just stare into his little face until the sun comes up.

    Thank you for posting this. It was simply beautiful.


  15. I can totally relate to the “gotta get back on-line… gotta go pay the bills… gotta whatever…” Then it hits me that they won't be living at home forever and how fast the time has already gone. Just loved this post. And ever notice how much cuter they are when asleep? ha!

  16. Awwww! So sweet! I always remind myself it will be just around the corner that my son(s) will be yelling to me “Going to ____'s house!” and won't be spending as much time with boring old mom and he won't want to cuddle one day, either. It's easy to get wrapped up in all the things we need to do. Thank you for reminding us to take a moment to cherish our “babies” a bit longer.

  17. you made me cry. i love this post! I have many moments like that with my 5 yo dd too. what i love most about your blog is that you blog not only about precious moments like this, but about the mundane inane shit that can drive mother's crazy too! it's all part of the same package. thanks for giving it such an eloquent expression.

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