One of the best things about being a parent is watching your children sleep. Not necessarily because they are down for the night and you hopefully have a few hours to yourself, or because they are quiet. But really because of how cute they look. Have you ever seen a sleeping kid and not have your heart melt a bit?
Well, I love watching my girls sleep, and while it may sound like I am a little crazy, I do check on them before I go to bed and really whenever I wake up during the night. It calms me. I make sure they are under their blankets or still on their beds. I remove Leah's blanket from her face, I give them nighttime kisses. I wonder what they are dreaming about. Are they re-living the day they just had or inventing a new one? I especially love it when I just happen to check on them and they start talking or mumbling during their sleep. Leah has done that a few times only it's not really words she is saying but pretending to have a conversation which leads to even more heart melting. Sometimes Leah is actually awake and wants to have a conversation with me.
I love watching my girls sleep so you can imagine how much I loathe it when my kids don't sleep during the night. Not only because I myself don't get any sleep but because if they aren't sleeping, I don't get to part take in my favourite past time- watching them. This reminds me of the other night. Leah is now hopefully at the end of teething (just awaiting those molars to poke through) and had a really bad night. She was hot and just plain miserable. If you don't remember, teething is a bitch - I hate it and I'm not even getting teeth in. She just wasn't herself and being a pretty easy going toddler, when she is miserable I feel it's even worse because it's the opposite of who she really is. So after a cool bath and a bottle, I put my youngest down for hopefully the night. She was fine. Gave her some tempra to help with her fever and tooth pain and crossed my fingers. Right before I myself went to bed, I checked on both girls- sleeping like angels! Then I myself go to sleep. Maybe an hour after I passed out, Leah woke me up. I went in to check on her, she was still a little warm but I changed her diaper anyway. All seemed ok but an hour after that, Leah was up again. I calmed her down and prayed that her fever would break soon. I had left her window open a bit to help keep her cool but she was still upset. An hour or so after my last visit I was up again, It's around 3am if you are keeping track and not to brag or anything but the days of me being up all night for fun or for feeding have been over for a while. My body has gotten use to actually sleeping all night and has been enjoying it. At my 3AM visit, Leah was really upset. So, I went in and took her out of her bed. I offered her a frozen chew toy, which she promptly pushed away and said "no!" I calmed her down and gave her another dose of tempra. Once calm, I tell her it's time to sleep and Leah says "ok" (as if she actually understands me). I crossed my fingers that this is it for the night and quickly calculated that if I went to sleep now, then I would have about four hours of sleep - I might be able to get through the day on four hours. I checked on Grace who is passed out. That kid can sleep through anything.
An hour later, Leah is up again. I lie in bed wondering if I should let her cry or actually go in and see if she is ok. My guilt kicked in and I went to check on her and find her completely fine once she saw me. So I went back to bed, tossed the blankets back on me, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out again. I lay still for a few minutes and hear my daughter start cry/talking, something that sounds like "Elvis is dead". I wait a couple of minutes. Now Leah sounds as if her beloved friend Grover is being butchered in front of her. I go in, expecting to see my daughter sitting up or worse standing up, with her arms out for me, and tears pouring down her face. No, I find my daughter right where I left her, on her back with a blanket on her. Her face is dry and she actually feels cooler. I tell her, because I am starting to get delirious with the constant up and down, that this is the last time I am coming in here, "You are fine, it's time to go to sleep". Leah says "ok". I tell her I love her, she says something that sounds like I love you too. And I sort of close the door behind me. I creep into bed because now I am afraid that Leah can sense when my body is actually relaxed before she starts to cry. I exhale, close my eyes and hear Leah cry out. I wait. She gets louder. I tell myself, she is fine. Her fever has broke (finally!) and she is fine. She keeps crying. I wait. I wonder if I should just grab my pillow and a blanket and sleep on her floor. She stops crying. No wait, that was just her taking a breathe. I wait. She really stops this time. I wonder if I should go and check on her. She gives out a little cry. No, she's fine. I eventually pass out and so does Leah.
The next night, Leah lets me watch her sleep.