Cuddle craving

After several weeks of fumbling around in my head, trying to figure out what I wanted to say, I’m back with more insomnia-induced ramblings. Roughly 50% (and possibly even more) of my ramblings have come out of some inability to sleep - either needing to get something out so my mind can rest before bed, or because I wake up and think of something I need to say that I have to get out so my mind can rest.

Tonight, my son woke up in the night. He does this semi-regularly, even though he’s almost 22 months old now. We have yet to figure out a pattern or plausible reason for his night wakings, though for a while we’re pretty sure it was just due to inadequate dinners. A few adjustments to his diet have significantly reduced the frequency of nights he wakes up.

Something - though I don’t know what - is different in the last couple of days. I get the sense that something is wrong or off. Not that he’s ill - he’s not. Part of this is just pure instinct and mine may be flawed due to recent sleep deprivation. Part of it is due to how he behaves when he wakes. For one, he has started pulling his sleep sack off and tries to get his pajamas off as well. Given his age, I’m sure this is fairly typical behavior, but that’s where my instinct kicks in that something about it is odd about the context. Usually when he wakes in the night, if he can’t get back to sleep in a reasonable amount of time on his own, one of us (usually Matt, a.k.a. “Super-Awesome-Wonderful-Should-Be-Husband-And-Father-Of-The-Year-Man”) will go give him a bottle and put him back to bed. It’s usually just as straightforward as that.

The last couple of night wakings have been anything but straightforward. He fights his diaper change, doesn’t want his sleep sack, won’t go back to bed easily and we both end up losing hours of sleep. I could barely remember my name at work yesterday I was so tired. That puts a real damper on productivity!

Shockingly, I don’t really mind Brandon’s night wakings - well, except for the part about losing sleep. That’s what I was thinking about as I held him. He cried in his crib for about 15-20 minutes after Matt put him back to bed. He didn’t even lay down, just stood there holding onto the rail and cried. If he’d sounded like he was winding down, I would have let him fall asleep. He was calming down slowly, but not quick enough that I was comfortable letting him cry it out. As soon as I went into his room, he stopped crying. I picked him up and he snuggled into my shoulder for a cuddle immediately.

Was I manipulated by my sweet, innocent child?

Do I care?

He needed a cuddle! Sure, it was 2:10am and that’s not the most convenient time, but given that nighttime cuddle cravings only happen only with Brandon every few months, I don’t think we’re in danger of enabling a habit. The thing is I think I needed to cuddle too. It’s the end of a fairly rough week for me that seemed to be quite the emotional roller coaster. It wasn’t a bad week - just a rough one. Even fairly innocuous “lows” mixed with any kind of emotional high were exhausting. My patience has been thin and I have not felt even remotely like a good mother to my son or like a good wife to my husband and I wanted to do something to help rectify that. Matt got to go back to sleep - hopefully quickly. My son got some exclusive Mommy-time while he settled back to sleep.

As I sat in the glider, rocking Brandon and rubbing his back, I tried to relish the moments of quiet closeness with him because I know it’s fleeting. Who knows how long he’ll want to sit and cuddle with me that way? Chances are I probably have a few years of cuddles to go, but I don’t want to be complacent about it. I only get these years with him once after all.

It’s funny how quickly getting enough rest to have stamina for a busy weekend takes a backseat when you have a beautiful little person falling asleep in your arms. I will be tired tomorrow, but he is worth it a million times over.