April 22, 2015 by Dadinator
I’m laying down. I have no idea why I just did what I did.
Bedtime is always a bit complicated in our house. Our kids have a few issues settling down, and that’s fine, it’s something we’ve learned to deal with, and even enjoy (in a codependent kind of way).
Each night I settle the boy into bed after our stories, I sing songs (including his special edited version of the Thomas theme song – I get told off if I get it wrong). As I sing I rock my little girl. My tiny little girl. Some say she’s big now, that she’s growing, but I know the truth. She’s tiny.
I settle her in her cot once she’s asleep, and then I go over and sit with The Lad while he falls asleep. It doesn’t take that long these days. He often just falls asleep while I’m with the girl. But not always. The past couple of nights he’d needed a bit more. Just a cuddle for 5 minutes, while I told him a story about a boy in bed who was warm and safe and had his dad with him as he fell asleep.
But tonight he had fallen to sleep himself. I lay his sister down and looked at him, knowing that my job was done. I could go downstairs and be an adult again. I did a fist pump.
But then I stood looking at him.
Happy and content.
Not needing his dad.
My finger kind of twitched… Not voluntarily, my brain certainly wasn’t in control.
And still he slept. Little boy of mine.
I twitched again.
I walked over to his cot, just to check he was okay. He was, chest rising and falling and his face looking peaceful.
My arm was moving on its own, and I put a hand on his shoulder and leant in to give him a goodnight kiss. That’s all.
But my hand decided that wasn’t enough, and it gently shook him. And I whispered to him.
For some reason, that I still can’t really fathom, I woke my baby boy up. Okay I can fathom the exact reason, but it was still a pretty crazy thing to do given our children’s history with sleep….
I whispered to him and told him it was okay, and that I’d give him a cuddle. I told him a story of a boy in bed who was warm and safe and had his dad beside him. He felt peaceful, warm and loved.
I told myself the story of a dad who loved his children, who held them and protected them. And I felt peaceful, warm and loved.
He nodded off again quickly, and I lay there. I held on to him for a few more minutes, kissed him goodnight and told him a loved him.
He slept soundly, as I left the room. I stole one more bedtime cuddle for myself, knowing that the number of bedtime cuddles we have left is numbered. Knowing that it will end one day. Knowing that I’ll miss it more than he will.