I’ve been crafting this in my head over the last month around 4am in the morning, when I can no longer sleep because my darling boy’s sleeping on my chest and I wake up gasping for air. This may have been influenced by Jennifer Garner’s Go the F*&! To Sleep reading. I am also clearly not a poet, but….
Enjoy! I know we’ve all been there.
STOP MOVING! – An Ode to My Sleeping Toddler
It’s 8:30 pm, sweet child and you have fallen asleep. Daddy will put you in your bed with no peep. The nightlight is on, Fallout Boy plays softly. Your humidifier is humming and you are dressed as IronMan. Sweet dreams, my love! Stay in your bed. Momma needs rest so don’t raise your head.
It’s 10:30 pm, so dark and quiet. You and your siblings are snoring and sighing. It’s our favorite time – your Daddy and I – as we fall into bed with Fallon or Family Guy, enjoying the space of our nice king-size bed. Then slumber takes hold as we prepare for another busy day of being grown ups, at least in some way.
At midnight, I wake with a jolt! The cat comes in the room like a lightening bolt.
I hear the first creak and moan “Oh no!” The door handle is turning, and you are on your way. Down the stairs, across the landing, then up the stairs you come. “Momma, I’m here” you mumble quietly. Then you step on the bed frame, jump and roll over me like a 40-lb bowling ball. With blind faith, you know that I’ll give you a push so you can’t fall off mid-jump in your sleepy trip up.
You snuggle into me smelling of syrup and pee and fall fast asleep. I need to remember to give you a bath tomorrow morning I think sleepily, then out like a light I fall, ready to dream happily. This happens almost nightly! I should know better, I should. But I can always hope, right? Maybe this time you will sleep immobily.
The first kick comes around one hour in, a swift jab to the ribs, as you stretch out and grin. You just kicked your mom, but you are still sound asleep, dreaming happily with smiles but fully sideways. “Wake up! Wake up, Craig!” I think silently, but to no avail, as your daddy just keeps snoring. I can’t lift you up, at such an awkward angle, so I give up and try to fall back asleep with 8 inches of space.
It’s 2:30 am – my Fitbit says so – when I hear the dog growl sadly. You’ve managed to to turn completely upside down and your head is on her feet. She looks at me forlornly. Her eyes asking “What’s up with this kid??” “I know! I know! Poor Taffy, I know!” But, I still can’t reach him to move him in the middle of the bed. Tough luck, Ms. Taffy, go back to bed.
Your dad is still sleeping, I stand up and look at the bed. Between Dad, you, the dog and the cat, our king-size bed is full, with no room for me. I crawl in to the small rectangular space between you and the cat, then close my eyes once more knowing my back will be shot.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” I wake up in fear! Then, hit my mouth on your wet Pull-up, which is right in front of me. You’ve managed to move from Ms. Taffy to me. Your head towards my feet, your wet diaper on top. It’s 4:30 am. Forty pounds of toddler on your chest, and I know it is time to give up.
So, I finally can reach you to move you and slide you off. Then rotate you around, so you can snuggle up. Your dad is still asleep but he reaches out. Two of my boys are nestled in bed, snoring softly, and dreaming of whatever floats through their heads.
I trudge down the stairs to turn on the coffee, then start my day early, like many moms before me. Enjoy your sleep, little one. I love you so! And tomorrow, I am traveling for work. A king-size bed to myself! Please, please, say it is so.