I think Dale and I have done a decent job with the sleep training aspect of raising kids. While I'm the first to admit that I'm a pretty big softy when it comes to giving in to my kids' requests (just ask Dale - it infuriates him to have to be the disciplinarian and suffer the consequences of not being the "favorite" parent), I must say that when it comes to letting the girls "cry it out" at bedtime, I'm as good as any. I really can just tune it out, knowing that it's in their best interest to learn to fall asleep on their own, or soothe themselves back to sleep, depending on the situation. Sometimes, these days, I even catch myself worrying about our apparent "coldness" when Macie's having a particularly tough time and we ignore it.
As a result (I like to think, at least!), Macie's a great put-herself-to-sleep'er. (Except at 5a, when we've resorted to giving her a paci to get us through to 7a. Don't ask. I'm not proud of it.)
But, tonight, she was struggling. We've officially made the transition from having a baby to having a toddler. The times of her snuggling with her milk bottle in my lap until she's nearly falling asleep are gone. Replaced by her walking around her room, sippy cup of water in hand, looking for all the books she can find to hand to me to read. You know, to procrastinate bedtime.
So after turning off her light and putting her in her crib, I looked down to see her little face turned up to me, lips puckered. Her way of asking me to lean over and kiss her goodnight. I obliged, certainly. So she kept doing it. 4 or 5 more times. One of the cutest things I've ever seen her do.
Anyway, she started crying when I walked out of her room. Not atypical. Knowing that it usually only lasts for a few minutes, I went ahead and took a shower. But when I turned off the water, I heard her still crying. Very odd.
After talking to Dale and finding out that he had already been in her room for several minutes trying to calm her, I took a shot. Because it wasn't her "I'm just winding down and need to make some noise" cry. It was more of an "I'm upset", or "I don't feel good", or "I really feel lonely right now" cry.
I tried all the tricks, although I must be honest that I don't have as many "tricks" down for Mac as I did for Ivie, since Macie has never really needed soothing. Rubbing her back, picking her up and snuggling her, singing softly in her ear.
Finally, she seemed to settle in on her belly, head nestled up against her Teddy, and she grabbed my hand. Now, I'm a real sucker for a sweet hand-holding session with my babies. So I decided I would hang out for the long haul tonight...
It didn't take long. She started fading quickly.
You know, I'm not really sure what the purpose of this post is. I've had a couple of those lately, haven't I?!?
Maybe it was just to say that I'm pretty sure there's nothing sweeter in the world than watching your baby fall asleep. Watching her eyes flutter open and shut, quickly at first, then slowing, until finally being overcome by peaceful slumber.
Yep, that was the reason I wrote this. So I never forget that feeling.