Thursday Morning Wood

Posted by Wood | Thursday, November 02, 2006 | ,

My new favorite moment of the day happens at around midnight, when, after Dutch and I drift in and out of sleep on the couch for an hour, we finally drag ourselves upstairs to go to bed. I turn off all of the lights upstairs before slowly opening the door to Juniper's bedroom, and then I tiptoe through her toys like a doughboy crossing no man's land, keeping a lookout for the especially dangerous toys that will launch into song or bleat out animal sounds with just one misplaced step. When I get to Juniper's twin bed, I find her tiny, pajama-clad body scrunched up near the wall, coverless. I pick her up and move her 4 feet down to the foot of her bed, and then carefully recover her with blankets, making sure that her favorite, softest blanket is right by her face. I lean down and put my cheek on hers, breathing deeply to take in all of her sweet, sleepy smell. Then I retrace my steps and close the door.

Saccharine observation of my sleeping cherub is not the reason I love this moment. It's because a year or even just six months ago I never would have dreamed of EVER, EVER FESSING WITH A SLEEPING BABY. You couldn't have paid me enough money to willingly lay my hands on her while she was sleeping, because then she would have woken up and she would have screamed and then what? We might have been up all night.

But now? Now she sleeps so well that I'm cocky. I go into to her room just because I can, and while I'm there, I figure I might as well make sure she doesn't have her head jammed up against the wall and that she's covered with blankets. It just reminds me of how much better life is when your kid sleeps all night long. The sleep wars were rough on our household. Juniper, by all accounts, was an incredibly shitty sleeper. I almost wasn't sure we were going to make it through the final battles. But let this veteran comfort you parents out there who have kids that sleep like crap: a day will come when those miserable nights and zombie-like days will be nothing more than a distant, yet very vivid, memory.