Bedtime with Eddie has never been anything remotely what I would consider falling under the definition of “easy”.
I’ve lamented this all over this blog.
When he was a colicky baby, Cort and I would say to each other, “It can’t last forever, right?” And it didn’t. But bedtime didn’t get easier.
When he was sobby and clingy and needed to rock for over an HOUR at bedtime we would argue about whose “turn” it was and how it wouldn’t last forever and that when he was older we wouldn’t put up with this “shit”.
When he moved to a Big Boy Bed and got up one kazillion times we would rub our faces and pull our hair and whine about whose turn it was to bring him down to bed. Whoever wasn’t on the verge of punching a wall “won”.
This week Cort came upstairs after an hour with Eddie. Eddie came upstairs for some ridiculous reason (booger on his finger? fuzzy on his floor? Llama Llama giving him the stink eye? Who knows), and Cort burst out, “THIS IS NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE! BEDTIME ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS!”
Eddie’s thing lately is that he wants us to “lay by me a yiddle bit.” But what that really means is just lay here and I will talk and goof around until you fall asleep in my bed. Then I will fall asleep and daddy will have to come get you at 10pm because it’s time for you to go to bed.
Eddie is three and a half. He knows what is expected at bedtime.
When it’s nap time, he will say, “Mom. Naptime.” And we will go down, he will crawl into bed, I will tuck him in and kiss him and that is that. He knows how to go to sleep.
Bedtime is…different for him.
I don’t really know why, but I think it has to do with the dark and his mind working and how he processes everything.
That boy thinks a LOT.
Anyway, when Cort found the end of his rope, I realized that if I could? I would crawl into bed with Eddie every night and fall asleep next to him until my bedtime.
Tonight, we read two books and then talked about those two books.
Then he had to poop (which is his regular time as of late. He’s like a little old man), but when he came back, he asked me (again) when we could have another baby in our family. (not for a LONG time, little man).
That brought him to asking how God puts babies in a mommy’s tummy anyway, and how does he pick if it’s a boy or a girl? And maybe we should leave God a note on the wall with a cookie and asking him for a baby sister. Also? God doesn’t have a beard because beard’s are weird and God is not weird.
He didn’t stop there. Nope. Then he began questioning why God and Jesus had to live in a barn (the Christmas story is still fresh in his mind) and sleep on hay and was there baby food there for Jesus? And did he have baby toys? Because goats are not good toys.
Around 9pm (an hour after we started this bedtime adventure), he asked if he could read books. I said sure, and I kissed him and turned his light on and said goodnight.
He was good. Until he found a Llama Llama book. He loves these books. But not having them live in his room. He thinks Llama Llama is giving him stink eye. So he brought it up to me.
We had some more set-backs tonight due to a sore knee (he fell on some ice today) and some “I don’t like the dark or the shadows,” but after some dad time, he is all set.
I really do like cuddling him until we both fall asleep.
Because really? Like Cortney and I always say (usually in exasperation), “it won’t last forever.”
Someday I won’t be able to lie there with him…and he won’t want me to.
I won’t be able to feel his feet start to rub together and hear his breathing slow.
He won’t turn into me while letting his hand go limp, releasing Lamby onto the pillow next to him.
My presence won’t be needed to comfort him in the darkness and shadows.
He’s getting so big, that these little boy moments wash over me suddenly and remind me of how time keeps on trucking…and takes the babies and the little boys and turns them into teenagers and men.
Teenagers and men who don’t need their mommies to snuggle them and talk out their worries and their fears.
Because by snuggling him and reassuring him now, I am raising him to be a man who is fearless and confident.
I am working to make myself unnecessary.
It is both beautiful and heartbreaking.
But that is motherhood, right? In order to be a success, you have to become moot.
So instead of complaining and whining about how my boy needs me at night, I am going to let him need me…and be Ok with it. Because I am his mom and he is three and it is my job–right now–to be needed.