My vacation alarm clock has two feet instead of two hands. In place of an annoying noise erupting at the chosen hour, whimpering or laughter breaks out, while those little feet repeatedly kick my back. The hour for wake-up is consistent, but certainly not chosen by me.
Prior to our vacation, Jonathan and I occasionally welcomed Rivers into our bed for naps or the last few hours of a long night. We’re both heavy sleepers who hog the bed, so neither of us planned to regularly sleep with our baby, but on particular days it worked out well. I cherish the memory of waking up with my newborn facing me, almost nose to nose, breathing in the same rhythm. His soft, sweet breath touching my face. Fast forward several months and my sweet sleeping companion has become a bedtime breakdancer, spinning on his back and lifting his legs high!
It’s funny how I assumed co-sleeping with my baby for vacation would be a breeze. I thought all the stimulation of family-visiting would help him sleep soundly by my side. What a joke! Neither of us slept pleasantly the first couple days, so in an effort to get an adequate amount of rest, I moved my little boy to a baby-sized reclining chair next to the bed a few nights ago. Around 5:30am he woke me with some whimpering. I patted his tummy. He was fine, so we both fell back asleep. Next thing I know, it’s 6:45am and he’s whimpering again, this time with a bit more effort. I peaked over to his chair to see that he’s missing! I leapt out of bed as my skin emitted the familiar panic sweat. At the foot of the chair, there he was stretched out on the carpet. A thumb in his mouth, eyes closed and pitching his toes with the free hand. He’d used his legs to gradually scoot all the way out. My skin cooled and guilt dissipated as soon as we locked eyes, and his thumb was abandoned for a great gummy smile. Babies just love to scare.
The chair is gone! We gave him his own space last night by making a little bed on the floor. It’s odd how Rivers will nap like a stone in the most awkward places and in the most seemingly uncomfortable positions. His first breakfast is always in bed, laying next to me. After I sneak out he doesn’t whimper or budge. He just sleeps calmly for an extra hour or two. How is it that he can’t sleep like that once the sun disappears and the last dinner has been served? Is this a sign he’s destined to be a late night party animal? Certainly he’s getting good practice with his dance moves. I woke this morning to find his head where his feet had been just hours before.