Rocking My Baby

Tonight, my son pushed my hand away.

No big deal, right?

I was rocking him, giving him a bottle after a late-night sheet changing, clothes changing incident. We were snuggling under the fuzzy blanket and I was singing (horribly) as he cooed along. I was soothing my little one like I've done for the last seven plus months.

Then he pushed my hand away and repositioned his little fingers on the bottle, deftly keeping it in his mouth, right where he wanted it.

It's a natural progression, right?

I should be proud he is showing increased manual dexterity and progressing with his motor skills, right?

But... but... my baby pushed my hand away.

My perfect little boy will be eight months old on Saturday. I still haven't wrapped my mind around that-- not really.  He's so big and so tiny, all at the same time.

We've been sleep training and working on sleeping in his crib instead of the bassinet which once rested beside my side of the bed. For the first week of this transition, I slept with the bassinet beside me, empty every night, as my son rested in his crib just one room away. Sure, it took a little while, but eventually, he slept restfully in the crib.

After a week, I couldn't justify leaving the bassinet beside the bed any longer, another obstacle of baby gear in our home. So, I folded it and put it away, at least sort of. It's inside my closet. I couldn't pack it all the way away yet. I couldn't yet close the door on that chapter of his babyhood.

Tonight, we are having a harder time with sleep after the wet bed incident. All the "experts" would tell me I need to change him, get him back into his routine and place him back in the crib.

But, tonight, for the first time, my son purposefully pushed my hand away.

I know it is the first of a thousand rejections I will receive as he grows-- most of them healthy, normal parts of becoming an independent person who is maturing, taking steps toward the next stage.  I know some day he will nudge my hands away as I try to shampoo his hair. I know he will eventually push me out as I try to choose his clothes. I know all too soon he will get out of the car before I can embarrass him and turn away my help with his homework. He will dismiss me in a million subtle and not so subtle ways.

But, tonight, after he pushed my hands away, and he finished his bottle, he did something else.

He turned to me. He snuggled close. He stroked my face. He smiled at me. He called me "mum mum mum."

So, although I know what the sleep training books say, what all the experts say and what the sanctimommies will tell me,  I completely disregarded all the advice.

I sat in the chair and I rocked my baby.

I rocked my son as his eyelids grew heavy and a small smile crept across his lips. I rocked him as he wove his hand in my hair, comforting himself. I rocked him as he gently drifted to sleep.

I rocked my baby because I know that some day, he won't want me to rock him anymore.  I know he needs to be independent and find sleep on his own. But, today, he needed his mommy and I needed my baby.

So, we sat in the chair for much longer than I "should have."

I just started at this marvelous little person, so full of possibility.

Watching him sleep, I knew tonight was just the first time he would break my heart.... but it wouldn't be the last.

So, I rocked my baby and captured those memories for the days when he breaks my heart, but doesn't come back so readily for my comfort. I took note of the way he still fits in my arms and the way he tries to sing along to "Country Roads," babbling at just the right moments. I recognized the way he still clings to my hand as he drifts off to dream. I solemnized these moments of motherhood, understanding that they are all too fleeting.

I gave up some sleep and I might have set our sleep training back. But I didn't fight for a decade to be the most well rested person on the block. No, I fought for this tiny, fierce, stubborn amazing person who rested on my lap. I fought for the chance to make memories and love him unconditionally.

So, tonight, I disregarded what I "should" do and I did what my heart told me.

I rocked my baby and my heart is glad.

Comments

  1. I think that's a good thing that he knows how he can handle himself, you must be a proud of your baby, thank you for shairng such a lovely post with us

    ReplyDelete

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