Although your children are typically fast asleep by 8pm, every once in a while one of them will have trouble settling down. He will ask to sleep in your bed, causing his big brother to cry out for the same. You will say “no”, not wanting to set the precedent of small boys in your bed every time Daddy is on a business trip, because, well, that sleep – that time to yourself – is so precious.
You will allow them to sleep together in the big bed outside their bedroom, even though the daylight is sure to wake them up far too early. You will be pleased to see the elder child asleep by 7:15, exhausted from his last day of school.
But you will become increasingly frustrated with your smaller son, the one who calls you down 5, 10, and then 15 times over the next two hours. The one who wants to go back into his own bed, and then is heartbroken that his sleeping brother cannot follow him there. The one who insists on sleeping next to you on the floor, only his attempt doesn’t result in sleep. You will soften your stance when you see that he really can’t settle down on this particular night, remembering how many things are changing in his little life right now and that he just needs his Mama; you will stay with him and whisper sweet nothings in his ear, and eventually give in at 9:30 when he is still awake.
You will take him up to your big bed, surrounded by his babies, his kitty, and his sippy cup of water, and tuck him in, not arguing when he insists on sleeping on your own side of the bed. You’ll promise that you’ll be in soon, not explaining that you still have an IEP to review before tomorrow morning, but wishing you could just slip right into bed with the little guy.
And when it is time for bed, you will know that even if you don’t sleep as well as usual on this particular night, these days fly by all too quickly and that – somewhere in your little one’s heart – he’ll remember that you held him close all night when he needed you the most.