It took Jack the first year of his life to start sleeping through the night on a regular basis. We are still under a year of him sleeping well. Once he started sleeping through the night, we struggled with naptimes a little. There usually was a little crying and protest. It faded out. We started to allow him to have more things in his crib. Stuffed animals, board books, and his attached crib toys. Things have been great probably since later February/March. I do not recall exactly, but he rarely has upset sleep times.

Yesterday was an exception. We went about our little nap routine. It is nothing too rigid. Grabbed all his plush angry birds. We read a story or two. He had a fresh diaper. We “squeezed” which is an exuberant hug, his favorite. He will exclaim “squueeeeeeeze!!!” and squeeze you super tight. It is our little family thing we do. He gave me kisses. I put him in his crib and we said love you and blew kisses to one another. We both said night-night. Blew more kisses, I wished him a great nappy, and I left.

Not 10 minutes later he was screaming. This is abnormal behavior. I kept listening, checked the dropcam, listened some more, yes he was screaming. I went up there. I left the tv on. I left some water for a tea in the microwave. I didn’t bring my phone or anything with me. He wasn’t crying as hard when I walked in but he was upset. He threw a bunch of his animals out of his crib. I asked if he wanted them back, he said no. I asked what was wrong, but he wouldn’t tell me. I tried to console him, but I had no clue what the problem was. I offered him water, he didn’t want it. I said ok then you need to take a nap, night night mommy is going to go now. He started freaking out! Asked me to pick him up. I did. He buried his face in my neck. I sat down in his rocking chair. He burrowed even further into my neck, clinging for dear life to me. If I adjusted even a millimeter he would burrow even further. I rocked him, patted his back, asked again what was wrong, but no reply. I was a little worried.

I asked if he wanted me to sing. He did his yes response. I began singing twinkle twinkle little star and you are my sunshine. I rubbed his face a little bit. His eyes weren’t even close to relaxing (when I could sneak a peak, since his head was mostly still buried) I knew what would happen if I put him back in his crib. He would be hysterical. Since this was an odd occurrence I knew he wasn’t just being manipulative. The last time he did this at night I had talked to my mom about it the next day. She suggested I try bringing him in bed with us if it happened again, at least we could maybe get some sleep. A light bulb went off in my head. If I were a cartoon there would have been a white bubble with a lit up light bulb in it.

I asked him, “do you want to go take a nap in mommy’s bed with mommy?”

He gave me his yes response. So we headed there. I laid him down on this kitty pillow I had made him, but ended up making its way to my room. I laid down next to him, cuddling him, and rubbing his face.

After a bit he asked me to sing

“Song? Star?”

I sang twinkle twinkle little star over and over. A few times he started to sing with me. After a while I told him he had to relax. Then he wanted me to rub his hand. That was my thing when I was little. My mom and grandma would spend hours rubbing my hands. The palm, gently, like rubbing the face. Slowly I tapered out the singing, as I saw his eyes start getting heavy. I kept rubbing his hand. Then his eyes closed. I slowly stopped the hand rubbing and let his arm relax.

He was asleep! This is the first time EVER he has slept in our  bed! He is very particular about where he sleeps, just his crib. He has never even fallen asleep in his highchair. I watched him sleep for a while. I regretted not having my phone to take a photo.

He looks like a little cherub angel doll when he sleeps. I will never forget his face. I saw lots of sleeping in my arms as a newborn/infant, but I haven’t seen him sleep like this in a while. It was so wonderful. He has these chubby cheeks. They were perfectly round. His little nose turned up. His full lips were open and in this perfect little circle. He looked like a magazine ad of a sleeping toddler. Everything was so still and precious.

I had promised I would nap with him. I was also nervous about him trying to climb out of bed when he woke up. Then I thought about how he has never slept here before and he may freak out when he wakes up. So I stayed. I barely moved at all. I certainly didn’t get up to get my phone. I ended up laying in bed with him for about 2 hours. Including the singing and face rubbing.

I know my son because when he woke up he freaked out, like I had expected. He started talking about the puppy, I think he had a bad dream about a dog. He got aggressive with me. I carried him downstairs. Alice in Wonderland was beginning. I sat down and cuddled him on the couch. He was still upset and started hitting me again. At that point my patience was running out. I didn’t want to be hit anymore. I put him on the floor and said if you are going to hit me I am going in the other room. Suddenly his mood changed and he ran back to me and wanted to just strictly cuddle. So we sat there for another 40 minutes and cuddled.

They were a long few hours. I did not get anything done that I had planned to get done during naptime. I have a 15 minute class to teach this morning. I was planning on making my lesson plan/reviewing the moves. My husband left for hunting last night. So, I didn’t have extra help at night to be able to study. I had to do it with Jack hanging all over me, wanting to play, wanting to color my notes, etc. I also did some after he went to bed, which went perfectly smoothly. I still have no clue what upset him so much.

As I went to go to sleep around 1am, I felt sad. I wished he was laying there with me. Both my hubby and my baby were not near me. I was a little lonely. I wished I could see Jack’s sweet sleeping face again! I closed my eyes thinking of how he looked during his nap. That cherub face, so perfect, restful, and still. It made my heart warm. I am glad that I was able to put aside all other things and just be there with him while he was afraid of whatever he was afraid of. I did some reviewing again this morning. I will do some more after I shower. The most important thing was that memory I created for myself and the trust/safety I created for my son.

Sometimes, as parents, we make sacrifices in our life in order to help, love, care for our children. I made a small sacrifice yesterday. It was nothing crazy or really that important in the grand scheme of life. I missed one free/me time, and I didn’t get to prepare for class when I wanted to. However, when parents make these sacrifices we are often rewarded with something a million times more valuable than what we missed. I believe for me, this was one of those moments. That image of him sleeping will be burned in my brain forever. It is all mine. I do not have to share it with anyone. No one else was there, I didn’t take a photo. It is a special little memory all my own. That makes every second laying there with my arm falling asleep worth it. I got to witness a wonderful sight, I got to be the warmth and safety he cried and plead for. I was his momma and I did everything right. At that moment, at least. I achieved a perfect comfort. I had never ending patience. And when we have those moments as parents, we should be proud. It helps to fade out the moment where you maybe were a little too snippy or had a short temper or couldn’t take the word “ball” being said for the 100,000th time!  There are moments in parenthood where you are being perfect for that particular moment in time. Hold on to those and celebrate them when you find them. Keep those moments burned in your memory.

Have you had any of those perfect parenting moments? Any special moments that are all yours, that no one else will ever ever know, because it was  just you and your child, no photos, no video, just two humans enjoying time together? Please share!