Here it is the second day of NaBloPoMo, 9:00 and just getting the kids to bed. They are 6.5 and 2, and just last week were we finally successful at putting them to bed together and just leaving for them to fall asleep on their own. The toddler does it fine at daycare three days a week but had us wrapped around her finger until I decided I needed my nights back. And so did my husband, whose grump factor goes way up if he has to lie down for over 30 minutes and come down to bright lights while I clean the kitchen (or an empty house if I’m tutoring).
So last Friday night, I said we were done. No school the next day so if she kept her brother up a little, so be it.
She didn’t. Not the next night, or the next, even during a hurricane and sleeping in the basement. We were golden. But then Daddy laid down with her once and broke the spell, so I had to start over again last night. And it was a school night, so I took her out of her brother’s bed and into her own room and did the get-back-to bed dance. Miraculously, brother EJ did not get up to complain about her cries, and I stayed calm, reassuring her that she was safe and I was nearby, and it would feel so good to sleep, just like she does at school. She was having none of it. So I tried this instead.
I breathed my baby to sleep last night.
With a hand heavy on her back,
I took in air deeper than I ever remember,
inflating my slack belly to round,
and hissing out the sound of the ocean.
I kept up the push and pull
as I eased my weight off her body
before stepping backward
always breathing her back
Dancing like the sea,
pulling and chasing, we two
want so much to be close
to hold hands
but also to do so much
all by ourselves.
She is just two,
her instincts so raw,
her logic so muddled
In and out,
as slow as I can.
I am still here.
You don’t need me.
The waves will always
And there is today’s 13-minute poem, and photo. Now back to the dishes.