When my sister-in-law had her baby who is now 17 months, she and her husband were one of the lucky ones who were able to put that baby down at night with rarely any issues, and that baby slept through the night from Day 1. I’m not going to lie, I was a little envious. I’d often joke with her that my both my girls didn’t sleep through the night until they were 3. In all honestly, it wasn’t a joke. It was a nightmare. For my in-laws, it seemed magical, almost to good to be true. Perposterous!
From the moment my girls were infants, they never allowed me to put them down at night without a good hour minimum of rocking them to sleep and deceiving me to believe that they were in full slumber. I didn’t understand what was so special about me that they needed to cling to my every move. As most parents wish for, I just wanted them to go to sleep. Tired and withdrawn after a long day of work while juggling infants and toddlers, I just wanted them to go to sleep. “Go to sleep!” I’d scream in my head while rocking back in forth in the most uncomfortable glider I could have registered for. A few nights, I think I screamed it aloud. Other nights, I found the rocking motion made me doze off before them, waking instantly inspecting to see if they rolled out of my arms. Once it seemed like the coast was clear, I’d lay them in the crib like I was handling a granade. I’d creep out of their room like Mommy Ninja, hoping not to step on that one floor board that would undo all that hard work and set off the granade.
The tradition lasts til this day. I tuck my girls in every night, smelling their sweetness as I lay next to them. They still beg me, “Can you sleep with me?” And even though most nights I’m tired AF, I still do it. I do it because they are growing like weeds. I do it because they still cling to my every move. I do it because I know they love me. I do it because I love them. I will continue to tuck them in, until I get the signal that I’m no longer needed.