It’s been 3 months.
3 months since our daughter learned to put herself to sleep.
3 months since she has needed our help to close her eyes.
It’s been even longer since we’ve held her for a nap.
Such a big girl, she sleeps in her crib on her own for naps and bedtime.
We rocked her to sleep every night for 4 months. We bounced, walked, rocked, talked, etc., until she fell asleep in our arms. We did the same for naps for about 3 months. We had a love hate relationship with the bedtime and nap processes. We loved holding her when she was sleeping, and loved to get snuggles. We disliked spending hours pacing around, and having to lay her down ever so gently, as to not disturb her, so we wouldn’t have to start the process all over again.
We miss getting baby time. She’s growing so quickly. It is exciting and fascinating to watch. But we get less and less snuggles as she grows and becomes more independent. I don’t hold her for naps, because she gets better rest without me there. We don’t rock her to sleep, because she puts herself to sleep better than we can.
Last night, however, she was soooooo tired. So tired that she fell asleep in my arms. It’s happened recently when maybe she needed our help getting back to sleep, but it is a rarity now. It is so sweet that we don’t want to put her down. She is so peaceful to watch, and she is so content.
Her face is relaxed, her lips pucker over and over, as she gives in to the tiredness that is consuming her body. She curls up and buries her face into you for comfort. I held on tight, so as not to forget the moment. Daddy lifted her from my lap, her arms limp to the sides as he raised her. He held her and she snuggled right in. He put her down in her crib, put her sleep sack around her, her arms through, and zipped her up for the night. She stayed asleep.
We stood watching her for several minutes. Her long eye lashes dark against her skin are so beautiful. Her smooth, unblemished skin so perfect and soft. Her lips still puckering in her sleep are soft and gentle. Her arms are up over her head. We watched and took it all in. We didn’t have to exchange any words- we just held on to one another and watched our amazing girl together in silence. It was perfect.
About an hour later, we heard her fussing. She was overtired when she fell asleep the first time, so this was to be expected. It’s hard to sleep and stay asleep when you are an overtired baby! She seemed uncomfortable as we watched her on the monitor. So, instead of letting her work through it like we normally would have, we excitedly went in to give her some help and get some more hugs and kisses. She was wide awake.
She had been so tired that we hadn’t even gotten to do storytime before bed. So, we grabbed her and read a book. She sat on Daddy’s lap as he read to her. I sat on the floor nearby, and she smiled at me with delight. She grabbed at the book and held on tight. Then she grabbed another book and lifted it off of the table with her strong arms. She was so proud of her accomplishment. She looked at me to make sure I’d seen it. I smiled and we told her “good job”. She jumped with delight. She laughed and laughed. She reached out so far, and I leaned in for kisses. She grabbed my face and gave me good, wet kisses 🙂 She looked up at Daddy and grabbed at his face. She studied him. She leaned in a gave him a big kiss as well. She’s stingy with her kisses unless it’s for Mama. We cried. Tears came from Daddy’s eyes which caused them to pour from Mama’s eyes. Our daughter is so sweet, and she loves us so much. We are the luckiest people in the world.
We played for 45 minutes. She played with her wooden puzzle, her books, and Lenny the lion. I fed her a small snack, we changed her and put her to bed. She needed more help this time, so we held her until she fell asleep. We took in every second, every moment, every sweet touch, and every sweet kiss.
The best moments are the moments you don’t expect. They are the moments that are unplanned, random events in time. They are the best. They take you by surprise, and they steal your heart. Last night was one of the best family moments we’ve had. She was so excited to be up again after she’d gone to bed, and that smile- that laugh- it’s contagious. Her cuddles, her kisses, and her sleepy snuggles- they are priceless.