For the life of me I can’t figure out why my kiddos fight sleep. I want to grab them by the shoulders, shake them and tell them that there will come a day when they won’t be able to sleep. There will be late-night cram sessions, finals, deadlines and, maybe someday, children that will keep them from the glorious thing we call sleep.
I would like to shout in their ears, “Enjoy it now, while you can, before it is too late! Nap, please! Sleep in. Go to bed early for one day you won’t be able to!” But I don’t.
Instead I rock. I sing. I read. I tickle backs and stroke hair. I cuddle. I replace pacifiers. I put Evan’s Taggie Bear in the freezer, because he thinks he’ll sleep better if his bear is cold. I pile the blankets on in just the right order and later, when Tag has gotten lost in the mound of blankets, I dutifully retrieve him and place him back in my little guy’s arms.
I read sleep books, try their tactics and then get to the part that says, “Some children are naturally larks.” That means I start my day in the 6:00 hour, which is an improvement from a year ago when it was in the 5:00 hour.
But in those wee morning hours when the house is dark and the neighborhood is quiet, I remind myself that this too shall pass. There will come a day when my little ones aren’t so little. Before I know it I’ll be nudging teenagers, flipping on bedroom lights and telling them it is time to wake up. One day, the house will be empty and I’ll think back to the late-night cries for mommy and miss having my kids at home. So tonight when I am forced to climb out of my nice warm bed, I’ll try to enjoy the cuddles I’ll be giving and savor the moment. Pretty soon, I’ll be able to look back at this time in my life and laugh. I’m sure I’ll also wonder how I was able to get by on so little sleep.