Well that sleepy little boy has now graduated to a 'big boy bed'. He misses the crib because it was his favorite snuggly snoozing spot. Mommy misses the crib because it was a humane and socially acceptable method of caging him. You see, our little Nighttime Ninja has recently figured out how to open his bedroom door, and can't stand being away from the action when everyone else in the house is still awake. So he stealthily slips out of bed so he can sneak away to sleep in random places all over the house and give his mother a nightly panic attack when she finds him MIA from said bed.
|His second favorite place to nap, the rocker-recliner in his room. |
Lately, he's been sneaking out of bed so he can sleep on the chair.
We finish our story and then it's rockabye time... he burrows down in the crook of my arm like he's done since he was 2 minutes old, pops Stinky (his grody old raggy yellow blanket) into his mouth, and settles in for some quality rockin' time. For the past couple months, our conversation at this point goes exactly like this:
He points up at me, grinning, commanding, "Sing, Mama!"
"Ok, buddy, what should I sing?"
"Ummmmmmm..." [C'mon dude, I already know what you're gonna say, you don't have to pretend like you're thinking so hard about your song selection.] "Woody Roundoff!"
He means "Woody's Roundup" from Toy Story 2. There's some yodeling involved, and horse whinnying, and of course a big, drawn-out finish. He giggles every. Single. Time. From there, he gives the orders in terms of the playlist, but it almost always goes like this: "Tinkle Tinkle Tar", "Ho Ho Ho" ('Up on The Housetop', yeah, I'm aware it's May: he's not), "Brudder John", "Rocka Baby" and "Bunny Foo Foo". We may throw in "Over In the Meadow" or "Itsy Bitsy Spider" once in awhile for variety. But if he's not satisfied with my performance, he will stop me in the middle of it by clapping his hand over my mouth and saying, "no sing dat Mama".
Then I get the best reward ever for reading the same books and singing the same songs to him every night: "I lub you Mama". Followed by a hug and a kiss before his big green eyes become heavy with sleep, and I tuck he & Stinky under the blankets. Recently we've added about 1200 other friends to this part of the routine, like the entire cast of Toy Story, half his farm set, 3 emergency rescue vehicles, a book or two, and a backup blanket, in case Stinky gets lost or... less smelly... or whatever. One more kiss and a "ni-night, see-a later!" and he's down for the count.
I turn out the light, and shut the door... and relish the moment. Because I know it's fleeting. I know these sweet nights are numbered. It won't be long before my little man won't want to rockabye anymore. Soon he won't think it's hilarious when I sing the 'Good Fairy' part in a high-pitched fairy godmother tone. Soon he will want to read all those books all by himself. Soon he won't want me to tuck him in, and Stinky and the Toy Platoon will be distant memories. Soon I'll worry about him wandering about the town instead of wandering about the house. But until those days come, I'm going to cherish every giggle, every song lyric, every word of those books I've read 14,326 times, every goodnight kiss. Cuz I "lub you" too, buddy.
And I know you'll live happily ever after.