I always knew the day would come—a crashing sound that causes the dreaded feeling of being startled awake in the night. A sleep-filled stupor slowing my ability to make sense of my surroundings . . . until I turn on the light ready to take on the burglar invading my home at such an ungodly hour . . . when what to my eyes did appear but a small little toddler standing in the dark hallway with no fear!
While the first incident was several weeks ago now, I’ve since broken every sleep rule I promised myself I wouldn’t when I started this mom thing, just to get a little shut-eye.
When the crib escapes started, we took preventative measures with foam mats laid out on the floor.
We tried crying it out.
At one point, we thought we had her fooled.
And truthfully, after removing the bed springs and moving the crib mattress to the floor, we were shocked when yet again, there she was. I envy the core strength.
After a few weeks, she was a pro and it was now a stealthy routine: a sweet face showing up next to my bed, scaring the living daylights out of me, saying, “Mama, I want milk,” and proceeding to walk herself to the fridge. Me stumbling my way there, pouring a glass and in my haze, just putting her back in bed—with me.
Broken sleep rule #1.
We are co-sleepers (for now) and I am secretly loving every disrupted-sleep minute of it. Despite a swift kick to the kidney every now and then from an ever-rotating toddler there are benefits to this temporary arrangement:
There’s security for me and for her. There is nothing quite as unsettling as waking up knowing your toddler might be wandering around the living room in the dark! I can sleep with at least one and a half eyes closed for now. For her, it’s a matter of realizing I’m there– her rock, her safety blanket, her reassurance.
There’s comfort in knowing the cuddles won’t last forever and in hearing her sweet breath as she sleeps soundly inches from my face, even though she’s got a king-size bed to spread out in, but heck, why not share a pillow, too!
Oh, and there is a sweet, sweet peace in watching a strong-willed toddler sleep soundly.
As the crib rails come down and her big-girl bed is being set up, a fluffy new comforter ordered in just the right shade of pink, and with plenty of sleep challenges ahead, I’m thankful for our time spent sleeping together. I hope she finds our bed a refuge from monsters in the closet, thunderstorms, and cozy movie nights under the covers for years to come.
So tonight, I’ll brace myself for a midnight visitor, broken sleep, and a few kidney jabs because you and I both know, babies don’t keep.
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