Some nights, Addie just needs a little extra. This was one of those nights.
It's been a bit of a whirlwind weekend for us. I'll blog a little about that later, as well as our anniversary, which happens to be today, but for now I just want to remember this.
When Addie was really little and sleeping in her crib in her room, we often stayed in her room at night until she fell asleep. I knew it was one of those "bad habits" that other parents and parenting books/experts warn against, but some nights it just made life easier. I also justified it knowing that it wouldn't always be that way and that while at some point I knew it would be healthy for her to learn to fall asleep on her own, I needed to cherish those moments knowing they were temporary. Granted, some nights it was frustrating, walking out of her room thinking she was asleep and hearing her cry and then starting the process all over again.
Fast forward to now and it's been longer than I can remember since she's learned that art of falling asleep on her own. Admittedly, it was Sabian who took the reigns on this lesson, but of course it is good and the natural course of how things should progress. It's been quite a while since the days of knowing that, at some point, each night I'd have a little visitor show up at my bedside, stuffed animals under each arm, waiting to climb into bed with us. Again, a "no no" and one of those things that wouldn't last forever...and it didn't. Every now and then I'll see that sweet little face at the side of my bed, not so quietly whispering, "Mommy, can I sleep in your bed?" I oblige, knowing even more that these less than frequent visits will lessen even more.
But some nights, Addie needs a little extra.
She knows once we've put her to bed that she's not to get out of bed. No more sneaking down the hallway into the living room, no more guerilla-style crawling to duck behind the couch until we notice her. Some nights we put her to bed and don't hear a peep from her until morning. Other nights she'll yell for us two or three times before she gets the picture, gives up, and falls asleep.
Then, there are nights like tonight. She didn't get out of bed, but she did yell for us. After I paid her a visit, then, after more yelling, Sabian paid her a visit, there was another round of yelling. This time, "Mommy, I want you," in a pitiful voice. Although tired after a long weekend and simply uncomfortable at 30 weeks pregnant, I couldn't ignore her pleas any longer - I had a hunch she just needed me to be in there. No more requests for drinks of water, or stories, or to pick out a stuffed animal...just me being there.
I laid down next to her, held her hand, and in just a few minutes she was asleep. She just needed a little extra.
Some nights it's hard, knowing what to do. Do I go in? Do I promise punishment if I have to go in again? What is setting a precedent for repeat occurrences? But then there are other nights, like tonight, when I just know she needs one of us and it's okay to break the rules.
After Addie fell asleep tonight (and so quickly, so I knew without a doubt it was just a little comfort she needed) I laid there for just a few more minutes, watching her, thanking God for her and realizing that I can be just like her. Sometimes, I need a little extra...a little extra patience from my husband and daughter, a little extra encouragement from friends, a little extra of a lot of things from other people.
I am thankful for the little extra things extended to me by friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers. I'm thankful for the lessons Addie is teaching me. This weekend, busy and fun, has also been a little trying, as Addie is very much three years old and independent and at times disobedient and is also not feeling very well. At times I've felt overwhelmed and emotional but yet I've been humbled by my actions and thoughts as a result of certain situations, all of which have revealed some good and not so good things about myself.
Some things I can fix now, some things will take some time, but in all things I am thankful for that little extra that is extended to me, most importantly, from my heavenly Father.