I know what you’re thinking… there’s no time for sleep. That’s why we’re all walking around with matchsticks propping our eyes open, delirious from a combination of multiple night wakings and a third coffee before 9am, but hear me out…
The past few weeks have been reminiscent of the newborn days in terms of how utterly exhausted I feel. Henry’s changed so much in the last few months with teething, weaning, becoming mobile, there’s no wonder he’s up in the night, he’s adjusting to life as he’s never experienced before, which must be overwhelming, and he wants to explore.
While I can’t pretend I’m not finding spending the night in and out of bed difficult, it has occurred to me that one day I’ll long to be needed by him in the same way he needs me now, to be the one he wants when he’s upset, for him to be happiest when he’s being cuddled to sleep and when he spends everyday learning something new right before my eyes.
Rather than wish away the days, I’m trying to embrace these moments, some of my favourites being:
- How he puts his hand in my mouth when he’s having a feed, he likes to flap my lips, he likes it when I suck his fingers and pretend to bite his little hand. I love to see his little mouth curl into a smile and take a break from sucking to let out a little giggle.
- When he cries* out in the night and breaks into a smile, immediately consoled by a cuddle from his Mama.
- How keen he is to be off, but how he’s always looking back to see if I’m still there, and how much he smiles when I ask him where he’s going.
- How singing ‘five little ducks’ (almost!) always remedies crankiness.
- When he’s exploring, gets a little carried away and smacks himself in the nose with one of his toys. He pauses, a little confused, then his bottom lip pops out* and he looks at me for a cuddle which obviously I’m always happy to oblige, and then he’s back on his way and I’m close behind.
- We go for a walk, but he’s eager to be as close to the action as possible so wants to be carried, making the it tougher on my arms than my legs. Obviously the only time he’s happy in the pushchair is the one time I remember the baby carrier….
- When he’s been dodging sleep all day, then when it all gets too much he falls asleep nestled into my neck.
- When he grabs my cheeks with his whole hands, smiles, then bites my chin.
- How hilarious he finds it to be thrown in the air, even better if we sing ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ to him at the same time.
- How even when I’m at my tiredest, when I feel like I could sleep for a week and when I can feel myself becoming ratty, hearing his giggle or seeing him smile makes me feel a million times better.
So I’m embracing these moments, they’ll be over too quickly. There will always be time to sleep.
*Obviously I don’t like it when he cries, I’m not a sicko, but it’s just nice to be able to make him feel better.