Ever since our children were born, I watch and listen like a hawk while they sleep.
Those first days and weeks, I watch for the rise of their chest during first snuggles and long naps.
I try to figure out how they can sleep so sound yet escape the swaddler (or poke a foot or hand out of it just enough to sefl soothe).
Watching and listening combine as the night feedings slow and sleeping through the night begins.
The first time they roll over in the crib, I fiercely stare to make sure their little lips and noses are getting air.
As they become mobile, it is watching for hands or feet poking through the crib slats, curtains pulled down, or diapers pulled off (or all of the above in one night, ahem).
In cold weather, is the blanket too much or too close to their face? For warm nights, is a diaper or pull up enough? Will we wake to an accident?
Moving from the crib to a toddler bed, when is it safe to let the baby free or trust that they won’t stay up all night playing with their stuffed animals?
Was that cough a choke or just a normal cough? Is the vaporizer working the room like it is a set of the Babies of the Mist?
Before we know it, we’ll be worried about the sleep patterns on a school night and if they came home at a decent hour.
Time flies by quickly. As I watched Lil Man sleep a few moments ago, I wondered when he’d have another bad dream (like he did earlier, shaking and clinging to Daddy). I wondered when the kids will want to run from monsters and storms and camp out on pallets in our room. And I wondered how long it would be until we transition Lil Man to his own room (although I am in no rush).
Even then, I’ll still probably sneak in and watch them sleep, worrying about the next breath, the next move, the next milestone. But I’ll remind myself that they will always be my babies to watch and worry over, to just enjoy the sneak peeks at their dream smiles while I can.
Sweet Dreams, Lil Man and Lil Miss A!