We’ve been having some nap problems at our house. Let me tell you, there is something about nap problems that puts me over the edge—I can handle a lot of trouble, but when naps are missed/shortened/interrupted—I flip a lid. Sometimes I think Tommy’s lack of daytime sleep affects me more than it affects him.
Anyway, like I said, we have been having some nap problems at our house. For a while now, the babe will wake up about an hour into his afternoon nap. I will rush upstairs and hold him for about a minute, after which he will close his bleary eyes and I will put him down to finish up his nap. I know, I know—this is a bad habit. But it is just so easy to hold him for one or two minutes rather than go through a week of listening to him cry for an hour to figure it out.
BUT! I have been thinking about the day that I need to just let him figure out how to go back to sleep on his own. It will be good for him, and good for me. I won’t have to be sure that the cookies aren’t in the oven when he’s about to wake up (etc etc). I was thinking just these thoughts when I heard the familiar cry (right in the middle of making bread, of course) and walked up the stairs thinking that this would be the last time (maybe) and that I needed to put my foot down about this particular nap problem. He needs to get over me holding him every day to help him back to sleep.
And then I held him and rocked him by his crib. He almost immediately closed his eyes in sleep. I looked at his perfect skin. I looked at his pink cheeks, and his lips slightly puckered. I looked at the wrinkle lines on his neck from his toddler chub. I felt his steady breathing in and out. I felt him relax in my arms and lean in to my chest. And I thought, you know? What is the problem with my little boy needing a little extra comfort from his mom to help him sleep peacefully? He will not always want me to cradle him in my arms to make him feel better. In that moment I had a distinct feeling that all too soon I will remember these interrupted nap snuggles with fondness.
So I stood there and held my perfect, sleeping boy and thought about how great it is that he wants his mom to hold him for a few minutes every day.