Archives for the month of: March, 2012

Two unfinished posts. Seven out of eight nights of  post-ten p.m. bedtimes for the girl. One tired me. One tired husband. One toddler, instantly distraught, at bedtime.

The struggle begins, lingers, ends.

Tonight, though, she was sleeping by 9:30. Unfortunately, this was preceded by forty painful minutes of crying, longer than I’ve ever heard (or let) her cry, with one brief entry of mine into the room. “Mama, hold baby!” didn’t make any of this any easier. She wasn’t the only teary one. Being at your wit’s end doesn’t leave you with much, though. I had lain down with her on the bed, eye level to eye level, and she still managed to kick me in the chin, then sang “Rock-a-bye baby” and part of “Hush Little Baby” and other songs instead of being quiet (charming AND infuriating!), then swung Glowworm like a mace and conked me in the head. I’d had enough. Too many nights rocking and singing and dancing and soothing and patting and – I couldn’t take it anymore. Matthew couldn’t take it anymore. She was wearing herself out, too.

And she did. She did wear herself all the way out and to – what? Sleep? To be sure we hadn’t permanently scarred our dear, sweet, churning-brained daughter, we crept in, hoping that this wasn’t some trick (as she pops out of her crib: “You thought I was sleeping! Ha!”) or that she wasn’t in some position that required we spend the rest of our lives repenting for making her cry (stuck between the bars? Huddled in the corner so she wouldn’t feel so alone?). It wasn’t. She wasn’t. She was asleep. ¬†Everything was thrown out of her crib (thin blanket and small quilt, Glowworm, Panda, her pillow), but she, miraculously, was fully clothed. (On two different nights this week, she stripped herself naked – and one night, it was twice within an hour. “I take off undies!” she proclaimed.)

Tonight, she is sleeping in her jammies and undies, chest and knees down, butt up. She’s done battle with sleep, and she’s won and is getting the victor’s well-earned rest; I just hope that, for all of our sakes, the battle is not part of a long, drawn-out war. I’m not sure I believe in it, anyways.

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Tonight, her hands cradled my jaw, wrapping around the curve of face to chin, of above to below, as we lay facing each other on the bed. The darkness was winding around us, but she was still wound up. “What do you need to do to go to sleep?” I asked, as she continued chanting songs and nursery rhymes, eyes wide open.

“Close eyes,” she said. And she did. I wrapped an arm around her. Her hands remained on my face. Her breathing slowed and her eyelids stopped fluttering.

My arm cradled her, warm and solid and gentle, but she’s the one who completed a circuit as she fell asleep, with innocence and trust sparking through her fingers like a downed power line and jolting through me, a conductor of love, a conductor of dreams.