My daughter V’s bedtime in our house usually involves pj’s, flossing and brushing, two stories, and snuggling until she falls asleep. Depending on the night, the whole process can last from an hour to an hour and a half. Bless her sweet heart, she has never been an easy sleeper. I told my husband M the other day, that if I were ever to walk in and see her asleep in her bed without fanfare, music, and nature sounds, I might cry or have a heart attack. In fact, the only time she has ever fallen asleep independently was pre-crawling, when I had her on her little tummy time mat, went upstairs in our then-townhouse to get a basket of laundry and carried it down to find her laying still on the mat. Thinking she had died, I rushed her, screaming, only to wake her up and match her volume to my own. I’m still kicking myself for that one.
Needless to say, it is hard for V to quiet her active mind at bedtime. Today’s bedtime gems were as follows…
When in the bathroom, post-tantrum, getting ready for bed: “I’m having issues with my nose.” (She has a cold and her nose was pouring snot.)
Each evening, either at dinner or bedtime, we all review our happy moments of the day together and say one thing for which we are thankful. I keep intending to write these down as they range from amusing to precious, but haven’t gotten my act together to do so. Tonight, after telling me her happy moment today was seeing a movie with me at the theatre (we went for the first time to a free summer movie) she told me “I love you forever.” Following aforementioned tantrum, this wrenched my heart back from a frustrated place and melted it into a puddle. Seriously, I was mush. And she knew it, little stinker, so she said it again.
While snuggling up with her daddy and I, V said to M, “You have dreams in your head?” M said yes, and we both went on to explain what dreams were, that they were thoughts you have while you are sleeping, that some are good and some are bad, that they go away when you wake up, and that they aren’t real. M remarked on the fact that we heard V having a dream last night and asked if she had a bad dream. She said yes, and we asked her to tell us about it. She tells us: “Well, it’s a long story.” We reassured her it was ok; we were interested in hearing about her dream and she followed with “Why don’t we talk about it in the morning?” Sometimes, I swear she’s an old soul trapped in the body of a two year old.
After tossing and turning and fidgeting, and playing with her stuffed animals, and pulling covers on and pushing them off, V finally quieted her mind and fell asleep. But not before giving me a conspiratorial smile, reaching her arms around my neck to pull my head into her tiny armed nook and patting my cheek.
I lay next to her for a minute tonight, watching her sleep, thinking how quickly these moments are all going to pass, knowing that she won’t want to snuggle her face right into mine forever, knowing that she may someday have happy moments that are shared with someone else at the end of the day. For now, these moments are all ours to amuse and cherish. I’m trying to remember that when I start counting the minutes until my “free time” after she falls asleep; I know one day I’ll have far too much of it, and I’ll long for those tiny hands reaching for my own and the smell of toddler hair against my nose.