The escape artist

No, I'm not referring to any particular child or animal in my care actually. I am the escape artist in question today!

As I've mentioned before, I have recently began to cave and lay with my little one at bedtime in her bed, usually until she is asleep. I would prefer to limit our cuddle time to about five or ten minutes myself, but she has pretty much made the idea of leaving the room while she's still awake simply impossible. I have a feeling she would prefer that I just move on out of my bed with Daddy and spend the entirety of my nights crammed into her twin bed alongside her.

The tricky part is the escape.

As we lay together I find myself studying her breathing, watching her eye flutters and estimating the exact moment that it may be safe to move an inch and begin the long slither out of the bed, across the room and safely out to the rest of my evening. She's no pushover, my girl. She insists upon keeping an arm slung over me or at the very least a hand or arm touching me at all times to warn of any possible attempts at escape. Some nights she's out pretty quickly and I know that if I can wiggle out from under the grip of her floppy little arm, I should be home free. Other nights (and it seems we've had quite a few of these lately), this departing maneuver of mine can take up to nearly an hour! I shift my position to test the waters. Her eyes pop open,"Mommy?" "I'm here" I reply. She settles back in and I listen for the signs of settled sleep again. I shift again, and depending on the night, step one will repeat itsself; but if I'm lucky she snoozes on. I ever-so-slowly creep my way southward in the bed to get up and around the bedrail, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. If not, we return back to step one. If I have managed to get both of my feet on the floor and get myself upright, we're halfway there. I usually sit there and take a few (as silent as possible) deep breaths to recover from my silent struggle to get to this point. Over the years of her room being the nursery for both girls, I have managed to embed a mental map of the most prominent floor squeeks and creaks and so I attempt to keep to the quietest areas on my way tiptoeing out of the room. Keep in mind that at any point in time her eyes can pop open and throw us all the way back to the beginning again. Once I'm about five steps outside the door, I can release the big sigh of relief I've been holding in through this entire song and dance.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Just don't lay with her. Just get up and leave whenever. Just tell her "too bad" and make her put herself to sleep. Well, there was a time I would completely agree with you. All of you. But I suppose there are a few reasons I can't bring myself to do that anymore. I'm not with them nearly as much as I use to be now that I'm working so far from home. I feel that I owe her that last bit of closeness at night to remind her that I'm still here and love her as dearly as always. There's also that she is my baby. My last baby. So maybe I'm treating her like a baby a little longer than I should. But she's my LAST! Don't you get it?? Tomorrow they will be over the closeness with mom thing. Tomorrow they won't even want me tucking them in, let along clinging to every last second they can get with me. I use to be a huge advocate of letting them "cry it out" for a week or two and eventually they will train themselves to fall asleep. It really does work, I'll admit that. With babies, that is. This girl is almost five. She cries it out alright, but she also gets up, tears up her room, beats on the door and walls, and never gives up. NEVER.

So for now I will continue to slither my escape route until the phase passes. Because if there's one thing I've learned about growing children during my motherhood it's just that. This too shall pass.

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1 comment:

Roof said...

Remember this always. I hope I do.