Ezra’s Bedtime Story

24 Dec

Baby E has a pretty regular bedtime routine that we follow every night: bath (if it’s bath night), put on our jammies, play alone in the crib for a few minutes, read Brown Bear, bottle, then nurse to sleep.

Now since we’ve reached 4 months, nursing has become much more….lively. Or dangerous. Depends which side you’re on. Baby E likes to grunt loudly, kick and flail his arms, slap me about the face, rip my lip off, dig his baby fingernails into my neck skin, and if he’s feeling really spunky, try to scratch mommy’s cornea out. Fortunately, his night time feedings are a little more subdued, due in part to him being partially swaddled.

However, the night before last, Baby E gave me an extra special treat. All through his bedtime nursing he kept unlatching and whipping his head around to look at me. My first thought? Great – this kid is wired and is gonna be up all night.

But then he started talking to me. Not in his usual, loud, boisterous daytime talk, but in soft, sweet, breathy little coos – like he was telling me a secret or my own little private bedtime story. For about ten minutes, I got to sit there, holding his hand while he gazed into my eyes by the glow of the nightlight. Eventually, his eyes became heavy, his coos became softer, and he fell asleep while telling me his little bedtime story.

He slept there on my lap for a few minutes, then woke and was a bit restless. I moved him from my lap to my shoulder where he nuzzled in and drifted right back to sleep. He so seldom stays up on my shoulder anymore, and I had forgotten how wonderful it feels to have him warm against my chest, to feel him breathing softly, to smell the back of his neck, to stroke my cheek against the silky hair on the top of his head.

A bedtime so sweet makes the occasionally scratched cornea seem like a small price to pay.

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