Baby,  Letters to Our Little Ones

Slow Down Baby Boy, Mommy Can’t Keep Up…

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Letters to Jackson | Slow Down Baby Boy…  

“As I got ready to put my almost two year old son to bed, I began to cry.”

Letters To Our Little Ones | Slow Down Baby Boy | Mommy Can't Keep Up | The Mom Blog WI | Writing heartfelt letters to our babies as they grow #Toddler #Parenting #TheMomBlogWI #Blogging #MomLife #MindfulParenting #Independence #Encouragement

    We rocked back and forth in the rocking chair with him on my lap. We had already read our favorite bedtime story, “I Love You Through and Through,” (thoroughly, 3 times to be exact.) 

    He was snuggled up with his favorite blanket and his cup of milk. I had my hand on his chest as he laid there, wide awake, and I watched him breathe. His eyes were wide open, but he was just laying there in my lap quietly. It happens so rarely already these days, he’s already turning into a little person. It was nice to enjoy sitting there and snuggling, where we weren’t having a drawn out battle of wills, (over the printer, the remote, the garbage, the TV, or anything else I’ve asked him not to touch, easily 15 times each) or trying to make it through our third temper tantrum of the morning.

    So I sat there and I soaked it all up. I sat there and quietly cried while I mourned the loss of my little baby who was now already a toddler, because it was only yesterday when he fit in the crook of my elbow, right? Now he barely fits on my lap and he’s always squirming to get away. 

I listened to him breathe, watched his chest rise and fall in the darkness and noted how quickly he was breathing, which told me he was not quite ready to fall asleep. I looked at his big, blue beautiful eyes, I mean really looked at them, and admired how they looked exactly like his great grandpa’s eyes. He looked back at me and I wondered what on earth he could be thinking about.  

Letters To Our Little Ones | Slow Down Baby Boy | Mommy Can't Keep Up |The Mom Blog WI | Writing heartfelt letters to our babies as they grow #Toddler #Parenting #TheMomBlogWI #Blogging #MomLife #MindfulParenting #Independence #Encouragement #Letters

    I held his hand and touched his still-little baby fingers, brought them to my lips and kissed the palm of his hand. I held my baby boy close. I touched his baby soft cheeks and ran my finger over his eyebrows and touched nose. I ran my fingers gently through his thick, dark blonde hair and watched his eyes flutter open and closed. And I knew he was drowsy, and I should go put him in his crib and let him fall asleep there. I knew I should put him down let him fall asleep on his own, but I couldn’t bring myself to get out of the chair. Instead, I held him and I watched him fall asleep in my arms like he used to do every night. Now it’s so rare for him to settle in my arms and actually sleep. 

    I thought back to a couple months ago when we would lay down together in my bed and cuddle and snuggle until he fell asleep, and I would wait until his breathing was deep and slow before I moved him in his crib for fear of waking him up. At that point I was a pro at picking my son up and moving him down the hall without disturbing him. There was a time when he would fall asleep in my arms in my bed every night. We would lay together and doze off together. I would wake up an hour later and realize he was still in my bed. He had been asleep for so long, he wouldn’t even flinch as I laid him down in his crib for the night. 

    I thought back to the beginning of this year, when I could just lay him down in his crib after our bedtime routine. He would just turn over and go to sleep without even a fuss. But that was back in January. And between January and the end of march, my son had influenza A, coupled with pneumonia… twice, (’cause once wasn’t enough.) He also had an ear infection or two somewhere in there, (we struggled with constant ear infections for a long time) as well as two new sets of molars coming in, and a green-ish yellow runny nose that never quit for what felt like months. 

    Needless to say we experienced quite a setback in our sleep routine, where for several weeks while he was sick he started the night in his crib and somehow in the middle of the night ended up in my bed, (most times I didn’t even remember going and getting him) where he spent the majority of the night. And from there we spent a great many weeks where it was routine to start the night falling asleep in my bed and then moving to his crib, then like clock work he would wake up at 1:30am, 2:30am and then finally at 3:30 in the morning, wide awake with no sign of quieting back down. So I would bring him into my bed, where he would proceed to screw around for an hour and a half, and then finally fall back asleep at about 4:30 or 5am, and by then it was time for me to get up and get ready to be to work at 6:30am. We spent a few weeks after that waking up only at 3:30am (and doing everything else that followed that), until we finally returned to a somewhat normal routine where he would only whine once or twice during the night.

    Safe to say, it was a very long sleep struggle and even longer stretch of sleeplessness! After all the illness had passed, we finally got back to where we are now, cuddling and reading a book after a bath, drinking some milk, and for the most part, laying down while still awake but drowsy and then turning over and falling asleep with very little to no fuss…

But I miss it already.

    I don’t miss the sleepless nights or the sickness or the inconsolable child crying all night. But I miss cuddling in bed and falling asleep together, or waking up in the morning to little fingers on my face or in my hand and little feet and toes, (though they were usually kicking me in the side or leaving bruises on my legs). These days it’s so rare and I’m lucky if we spend more than 5 or 10 minutes cuddling or sitting still. 

    And I realized that night that my baby boy is already on his way to gone and turned into a toddler. I blinked and he shot up six inches overnight! He can reach everything on the counter! He’s trying to climb out of his crib! He’s on his way to being a big boy who wants to do everything for himself and who’s always busy and on the go. Who hardly wants to be held or restrained in any way anymore and yells, “Nooooo!” when you try to hug him or cuddle him or stop him from what he’s trying to do. Who’s far too independent for his own good (and mine,) and who never listens. And just like that, the baby phase is already over. 

    Gone are the days of learning to crawl or learning to walk, and I already long for the days when he was just learning to sit up on his own. Just the other day he was small and in my arms and we could cuddle for an hour, and now he’s almost too big to pick up, and certainly too big and strong to be held when he’s throwing a fit! He’s already turning into a boy, and his baby-ness is already fleeting and it breaks my heart.

Letters To Our Little Ones | Slow Down Baby Boy | Mommy Can't Keep Up | The Mom Blog WI | Writing heartfelt letters to our babies as they grow #Toddler #Parenting #TheMomBlogWI #Blogging #MomLife #MindfulParenting #Independence #Encouragement

    So I cried, because it went so fast and I felt like I hadn’t gotten enough of it and it had been taken away from me. And I cried and mourned the loss of those cute little baby days where he smelled so sweet. And I realized I missed him already. And I still do and always will, I think, but I know I soaked up as much of it as I could. I know I cherished every single moment; every hug, every cuddle, every kiss, and every other little thing he learned, every time. And I know that when I do get those hugs and cuddles and kisses and new firsts, they will mean so much more now, and I’ll cherish them even more than I did when they all came so freely.

    Hug your little ones. Not just because every second is precious and you never know what life will bring. Not just because you never know if they will be there tomorrow. Hug them and hold them close and soak it all up so that you know that you were there for it all and present in every moment. Love them fiercely and accept every sloppy, snotty, wet kiss and every sticky-fingered hug, so that when the day comes that they’re big and running away from you, you’ll at least know you loved every second of it while their small days lasted. Don’t do it just because they might not be there. Do it because they are there, and because no one else is going to remember every single hug like you will.

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