I have a problem. It's probably the nicest kind of problem to have, but problem it is. Not problem in that it causes me any grief or discomfort (except maybe in the middle of the night curled onto a recliner with another little co-sleeper). Not problem in that I'm doing anything to change the behavior, really. I'm the one who has a problem, like an addict or someone with a sickness. I love holding my little girl while she falls asleep.
I'm not doing myself any favors. In some ways I've created a monster. Do you remember what motherhood looked like at 5 a.m. five months ago? Well, if you popped by tomorrow morning right around that time, chances are, not much would have changed except my pajamas would be warmer and Em would be about five times as large, making the recliner five times too small. But I do it all the time. I snuggle her to sleep.
That's not exactly true. She falls asleep wonderfully on her own. Binkie, blankie, night night. I snuggle her back to sleep several times a day and night. Because I can't let her cry. And I can't help but love the way she puts her head on my chest like, There you are. I know it all comes from breastfeeding, and half the time I have flashbacks to moments when she was very small and I was the only one who could soothe her at night, and as much as I resented those moments at times and they exhausted me, I think I miss them. So I hold her and smooth her hair and rub her back and tell her how I love her more that (almost) anyone else in the world and that she is such a beautiful, sweet girl.
And then, like a warning of years to come, she starts to wriggle and push and roll away, like, Get off me, Mom. I'm suffocating over here. And I sometimes happily, sometimes begrudgingly put her down and climb into my bigger and more appropriately-sized bed with my more appropriately-sized bedmate. But if she wakes up, 9 times out of 10, I'm back up and ready to snuggle once more. Closet co-sleeper over here, I guess. That must be my problem. I don't want her in bed with me, but I'm not ready for her to be all grown up, either. I guess we have to meet in the middle somewhere, and that middle is usually the big brown recliner in her room, circa four in the morning. And I'm not complaining about it.
Not just yet.