Friday nights used to be dinner date night at our favorite bar, with our favorite bartender, food and people watching. It’s been a little over two years since we did it but Friday night I realized why I don’t really miss it.
I’d snuck into my son’s room, he should’ve been sleeping, because I heard him babbling away just before I put his laundry in the washing machine. Daddy does the night time routine so I normally get a hug and kiss goodnight downstairs. He immediately shot up and stretched out his arms for a “pick me up mommy” moment. I obliged and stood over his crib holding him and swaying. His arms flopped and my heart melted thinking he just wanted that cuddle to fall asleep.
I tried to put him down but I was deceived. So I sat on the floor with him and of course he tried to dart for a book for me to read. I said “no, no, sleep time” and he happily laid there on top of me, as I rested on our poof with my knees up in the air to avoid his full body weight on my growing bump. We just sat there. I held his little hand and he rested his other hand on my other hand holding him in place. As his hands started to relax, I thought ok, he’s asleep, and I moved a little. As quickly as I moved my hand, his little hand grabbed it back and searched for the other. I almost cried. The longer he stayed there, the more I felt his little sister basically kick “get him off!”. But I just raised my knees a little higher because little does she know that soon she will take up a lot of my time and he will no longer be my baby. He will be 2 in less than 2 weeks and his independent nature is proving that he’s moving further away from baby status.
So keep your Friday night drinks and laughs (for now). I’ve been given the blessing to cuddle and love a little human (soon to be 2!), that sees me as his world and he is definitely mine.
We moved Kai to his room around 7 months. It would’ve been sooner but my husband was traveling for work for a few days and I didn’t want to deal with the transition alone so we waited until after. I told my husband it was his job as I couldn’t deal with the crying etc. On the first night I barged into the room, took Kai up and rocked him to sleep. Up until February, the rocking to sleep continued every night unless my husband was the one that put him down for the night. We shifted to sitting on the floor but still nestled in mummy’s arms to go to sleep.
Over the months he’s gotten bigger and heavier. The cradling positions have gotten awkward but it’s what he loves to do to go to sleep. I’ve always called him a “cuddler” because he really loves a cuddle to go to sleep.
The great debate comes when there are some nights when he doesn’t want to go to sleep and takes forever. This usually happens when I have things I want to get done before I go to bed. So there is frustration on my part and excitement on his. On those nights I wished we’d sleep trained him and I could put him down and walk out the room… but only on those nights.
Other nights, he hugs me to sleep. There’s nothing that melts my heart more than when he wraps his little chunky wrist around my neck as if to say “I love you mummy, don’t put me down please” or “I hope this makes up for the day I gave you”. The latter would be nice if he hugged me to sleep on days when he was a handful! My battle comes when I think, he won’t want to do this in the near future, so should I cherish it and enjoy it? Or am I creating a lasting habit of not being able to fall asleep at night on his own?
I’m trying not to read into it too much but I can’t help but think of what it could mean or what’s the next step instead of just living in the moment…
Now that I have a toddler, parenting lessons are happening every day but I’ve been trying my best to not just see it as a phase but understand what his needs are.
I’m learning that my little one loves to watch and be in the kitchen with me. He loves to see what I’m stirring, chopping, and putting in the oven. I can only hope it means that he’ll take up cooking as a hobby at some point. Not a chef though, I think it’ll be hard to get him to cook for family gatherings… so just a hobby.
Since we moved into our house though, he’s had more cupboards, a new gas range and new ovens to explore. I try my best to keep him away from them but I can only do so much. I’ve resorted to putting him in his high chair and giving him snacks while I cook. That way he can still see what’s going on but from a little distance. He’s also aware that after his bath, when he hears the gas stove ignite that I’m warming his milk to have before bed and insists on me picking him up so he can watch the pot.
I thought I could teach him to stop going in the cupboards and pulling at everything but his kitchen shenanigans have taught me a few things.
- One of the reasons he does it, is to get my attention. When he comes to me and I’m busy with dirty hands, he opens every cupboard door and touches things or pulls them out until I pick him up. I finally bought cupboard locks on Monday.
- Babies can’t talk and when they exhibit a certain behavior, in your frustration, it’s better to try to understand their needs than think they’re being naughty.
- I should’ve bought those locks when we moved in. Even though it’s only been 3 days and they’re driving me insane.
- This is a natural learning behavior – to be inquisitive. While it should be encouraged, I do not need to have it happen all the time so the locks will help me keep my sanity a bit. It is a teaching moment for both of us – it’s teaching me patience and he’s learning about the kitchen and what is used in it.
There may be a million books on parenting but the one thing you don’t need a book for is patience – it’s at the heart of parenting. We all have our days when our patience is wearing thin or is practically non-existent, just make sure those days aren’t the norm.