Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Once in awhile I have a moment where I see how fast the days can go by. As Ferris Bueller said, I owe it to myself to stop and look around once in awhile.
As I lay Abby down to sleep at night, we list off all the things we did that day together. I smile, seeing her remember things, and she smiles, remembering how fun something was. I love this time, and wish I could drag it out sometimes. I wish I could be right there to watch her fall asleep. It's been a long time since I've seen her transition from wake to sleep, so I thought I'd do something fun one night, and hopefully get to watch her soft, plump eyelids close and take her to the land of nod.
I planned to have a sleepover party with her one night Rich was scheduled to work overnight. We had a shower together, got into our jammies and brushed our teeth. Instead of tucking her in, I asked if she would like to share some hot chocolate and watch a movie. She seemed a little confused, and denied the hot chocolate offer, telling me it was not time for that kind of thing.
I made my own and she stood on a chair at the counter beside me, watching as I air-popped popcorn for us. (She was fascinated, but still held my side tight, because the machine was loud)
We snuggled into the blankets in my bed, closed the blinds (since the sun is now up until about 10 p.m.) and turned on Curious George.

We giggled, and I found myself peacefully accepting her curly-haired head as it nuzzled further into the crook of my arm. When the movie was done, I turned on what I hoped would be a boring TV show to which she could fall asleep, leaving me to watch her little body breathing next to mine, clutching her kitty.
Instead, she found her second wind and got silly. I played along and we both giggled, tickled and licked each other's faces (her version of thumb wars: keep face-licking until someone calls mercy). Then she started getting confused and our sleepover party became a catastrophe. She ran between my room and hers, confused about what was going on. I let her decide where she wanted to sleep, but by then she was too tired, and too far from her routine. She just lost it. Once her hyperventilating cries had decreased to whimpers as I rocked her in my lap, I put her into her bed, sang her songs, reviewed our day, and left her to sleep. She got angry again and, after I left, threw every one of her books off of her shelf onto the floor.
Our sleepover party turned into my feeling guilty for wanting more time with her, for wanting to take away from her comfort in routine. I suppose my intentions weren't askew, but now I know she needs that routine, and finds the predictability reassuring.
But our "late night" movie and cuddles gave me great pause to stop and look around. To look down to my right and see the little lady, the one who has grown from five wee pounds into the beautiful, flourishing girl who loves music and strawberries.

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