Thoughts on Four
One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t know where O was. After a few minutes of searching (and very nearly beginning to panic), I found him in our bed asleep with his bear.
My mama heart swelled. O hasn’t been a consistent napper in over a year. Yet, there he was.
We have approached sleep the same way with both of our children. Though I will admit with O, our firstborn, it sometimes felt more like trouble-shooting our instincts against convention. With N it has become a rather easy rhythm that has just fallen into place. The joys of experience, yes?
Each night both of our children start sleep the same way. N is rocked to sleep by me and O gets a story and some snuggle time with B. They begin the night in their own beds but once (if) they wake in the night, they are welcome in our bed. N’s crib is literally two or three inches from my side of the bed. She comes over and joins us about half the time now. O has a room of his own just on the other side of the wall. He has oh-so-slowly stopped coming into our room altogether. All on his own.
It occurred to me as I found him snuggled up in our bed with his head on my pillow that afternoon that it had been weeks, maybe even a couple of months, since he’d left his own bed for ours. I keep reminding myself this is why we choose to parent the way we do, gently and with intention & respect to each child’s needs. Our hope is to build a foundation of trust that they can carry into every arena of their lives. This is a good thing.
O is sleeping in his own bed every night now. This happened so fluidly that I nearly didn’t notice. Surely, this is a good thing. A secure attachment. Yet, sometimes I miss the nighttime snuggles, the smell of his hair, his warm little body, his sleepy belly breathing. Maybe even that beat up old bear.
No one told me that four would bring such a dramatic shift. Slowly, yet suddenly, he’s a little boy.