My two kids are 18 months apart, and it’s not often that I get to spend alot of one-on-one time with either of them. A few times I’ve enjoyed extended time with one or the other of them, and it’s a nice change of pace. It’s true quality time, to focus in, and to bond.
Tonight it’s a “sleepover” with Babyboy and me. Nana is awesome and sometimes, when Hubby is traveling, she’ll keep Babygirl for the night. This helps me immensely as Babygirl is still waking up one, two, three times a night for a bottle and a cuddle. My one attempt at cry-it-out resulted in her puking up all over her crib and me having to change it, at 2 a.m. We won’t be doing that again. Call it Responsive Parenting, or just avoiding a 2 a.m. disaster, but we’ll continue to get up with her until she grows it out.
Meantime, the occasional vacation night is just wonderful. Tonight, Hubby is away for work, and Babygirl is spending the night at Nana’s, along with Aunty, who is visiting. Now, Babyboy has been sleeping through the night since he was about 3 months old, for the most part. There’s been occasional stretches where he woke up for a drink of juice and a lullabye, but usually these are when he’s sick or otherwise out of sorts. Mostly, he’s a dream sleeper.
And he’s a dreamy, cuddly little toddler. We came home this evening to two hungry kitties, and he helped me feed them. We did tubbytime and pajamas, and got him a warm milkie sippie cup, which he drank while leaning up against me on the sofa watching nighttime cartoons. I try to hold onto all the details of these moments: his damp curls and the scent of Aveeno Lavender Baby Shampoo; his warm fleecy fireman PJ’s; his sipping at his warm milk and the faint smell of Carnation Instant Breakfast that I put in there; his occasionally looking up and me and smiling, sometimes saying “Mommy.” Just like that, like a statement, “Mommy.”
After the cartoon ended, I turned off the TV and announced it was time for night night. Without complaint he took my hand and pulled me to the stairs, and we made our way up together, sort of pulling each other onto each step. The cats came along, one step ahead or behind, almost underfoot. We brushed our teeth- he is determined to get the kiddie toothpaste onto that toothbrush himself, and I end up having to wipe his face and hands. He sort of chews on the toothbrush and watches me brush my teeth. I get him to hand over the brush and take a sip of water.
He climbed up on my lap in the rocking chair in his room. I flipped on his bedtime music CD, on low volume. It’s nature sounds with quiet instrumental music superimposed, and it’s a long CD, we like it. We read a few books: he loves Sandra Boynton’s silly animal books, and anything with trucks or tractors. Then we just rocked and I hummed, and after awhile, Babyboy fell sound asleep in my lap. He hasn’t done that in awhile; it was very sweet.
So I hope that Babygirl, Nana, and Aunty are also enjoying some quiet, loving time. I hope that Babygirl lets them sleep for some good long stretches…
Because I know I will! Good night.