Sleeping beauty

We all make mistakes as parents, well, sometimes they are not mistakes, but wrong decisions.  Maybe wrong decisions is not even the right way to describe them, but having two children, I can tell you that most were corrected by the time the second arrived.  My mistake started when my daughter was first born, I put her to bed every night.  At first, when she was under 6 months, this was relatively easy.  After that, it wasn't really that difficult either, I would turn the lights off in the living room and dance to music until her head lay gently on my shoulder at which point I would lay her down to sleep.  This progressed to the big girl bed at about 3 years old and I continued to put her to bed every night, sitting at the edge of the bed rubbing her back until she would finally fall asleep.  Some nights, this was a 10 or 15 minute commitment, other nights it was hours.  The habit that I caused was that she was unable to fall asleep on her own and lasted until right around her 5th birthday, and this was my mistake. Breaking her habit of needing me to put her to sleep every night was a progressive endeavor.  Every few nights, I would sit bedside 1 foot further away, sometimes listening to crying, sometimes screaming.  When I finally made it out to the hallway at approximately 10 feet from her bed, I felt a world of accomplishment.  A couple of weeks later and we took a huge step back and I was returned to 2 feet from the bed.  "Never give up," I said, and I was finally back in the hallway. After a good 6 month investment, I got it right.  We go to bed, hugs and kisses, and turn the lights off.  What a relief! When my son was born, I also was the one to put him to bed every night.  I believe I was lucky as he is the type that is in deep sleep 10 microseconds after his head hits the pillow. Tonight, I'm sitting bedside (albeit with a laptop).  My poor little lady has a low grade fever and a horrible cough.  My mind has wandered back to the time I have spent with her, the moments we have shared and the countless hours I have watched her fall into slumber.  I cannot help but to feel bad for her, aside from some simple medicine and a humidifier, there's not a lot I can do to help her feel better and fall asleep, except to rub her back. Tonight is just another random list of 10, but inspired by the simplistic beauty of children.
  1. My son left the porch light on so that the first tree frog of the season could see
  2. My kids regularly invite their neighborhood friends over for dinner
  3. My son is convinced that the new racing lawnmower I'm building is "his"
  4. My daughter sweeps the "shop" because it is "hers"
  5. "I will clean my room after school tomorrow" (I love not having to ask!)
  6. They answer "What do you love most about the beach,  taking walks, playing in the sand, swimming?" with  "The beach!"
  7. They sleep in the strangest positions (I might as well, but never watched myself sleep)
  8. My son drinks orange juice with every meal, loves the stuff!
  9. My daughter's favorite thing to do is to play school, she wants to be a teacher
  10. I love them both... "to the moon"
 

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