Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Battle of Wills

I’m still determined to write everyday, but today has been a long day so tonight’s post will be a short one. It’s 8pm and I just came downstairs after checking on J. He has been quite stubborn tonight. He slept late this morning so the whole day was out of sync and by the time he got dinner he wasn’t interested. He wasn’t cranky or complaining but with his little lips firmly closed and his arm waving away the spoon his message was clear. Imagining myself getting up to a starving child in the middle of the night I caved in and fed him two desserts (relax, it was porridge then yoghurt and fruit – I’m not that bad a mother). He had a bath and his bottle and a story then I took him upstairs to bed. This is where the real battle began. He rolled around the cot for a while, calling out every now and then to make sure I was close by. After 15 minutes I went downstairs thinking he must be close to sleep. It was all very quiet upstairs so I crept up, and as soon as he heard me coming he let out his little old man grunt that he makes when he wants attention. It was clear that he wasn’t going to sleep without intervention and his little grunt was his way of letting me know that he wasn’t going down without a fight. I picked him up and he rested his head on my shoulder. His little eyes started to close and he reached up, held onto my neck and let out a very sleepy sigh. He now weighs close to 10 kilos and my arms were aching after a couple of minutes, so when he finally seemed to be drifting off I put him back down in the cot. As soon as he hit the mattress his eyes popped open and he grabbed my finger and wouldn’t let go. He even rolled over with it still in his fist, expecting me to go with him. This is his latest “proof of love” test: we have to let him hold our hands while he goes off to sleep. I’m sure there are books that say this kind of sleep “prop” is a bad idea (blah blah blah) but it’s so damn cute I just don’t care.

There are so many precious moments in a child's life that we take for granted and most nights, I admit, I'm in such a hurry to get dinner on or to collapse in a heap on the sofa in front of the TV that I rush through bedtime and don't stop to appreciate just how lucky I am. A sleepy, freshly bathed baby all snug in his pyjamas is a beautiful thing. One day my son will be a pimply, smelly teenager who grunts as he walks through the door, so for now, if he wants to hold my hand, he can hold my hand. Content that his mummy truly loved him he passed out and I freed my finger from his vice-like grip and closed the door. Now I’m not sure who won that one but, like I said: so cute, don’t care. Goodnight x

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