childhood, parenting, rest, sleep, Yakir

Sleep? Sleep Is For Wimps!

Yakir is not a sleeper. And I mean he is REALLY not a sleeper. He just doesn’t seem to need that much sleep no matter how much pushing, prodding and pleading we do. To be fair, they still nap him every day in day care, but even when he is home on Friday and Saturday and doesn’t nap, we are lucky to get him to bed by 9 or 9:30.

This poses a nightly problem for his poor parents, who are definitely sleepers.

Yakir is on the right..hanging with his brothers

We juggle many things, need to work most nights for an hour or two, want to take a walk for exercise and still hope to relax a tiny bit..without our 2 year old jumping around.

Most nights it’s a struggle. The other kids are tucked away in their beds and Yakir is bouncing on the sofa cushions, making himself creative snacks and looking for his next act. And each night we try a different tactic to get him to bed, hoping that this one will finally work.

The kid loves life. And hopefully his disinterest in sleep will serve him well someday…even if it’s not serving his parents well now.

What we don’t often do, however, is simply stop.

Last night, rather than continuing to try to work while placing him in bed over and over again, or ignoring the mess he was making in the kitchen, or begging him to just get into bed, I tried something else.

I stopped what I was doing, put aside the piles of laundry, the work that awaited me as the hour grew late, the walk we wanted to take, and the messy house. I turned off most of the lights in our family room, lay down on the couch and called Yakir over. He looked at me suspiciously, then got a huge grin on his face, and lay down to cuddle.

And that was it. We cuddled and I rubbed his back. I didn’t think about how long this would take, or when he would finally get to sleep, or if this would work at all.

Rather, I thought about the fact that this is my last little guy…and that my cuddle moments are numbered. Sure, I may still be able to convince them to cuddle while watching a movie, or to sit near me; but my real cuddle moments with a little guy who wants nothing more in the world than to be next to his mommy? Those moments are like a narrowing tunnel that is starting to close.

And it’s so hard to remember to relish in these moments – to put aside the piles of things that we have to do just to be with the kids…to remember that the passage of time goes so very fast and the moments that we have with them are so very precious.

13 years of using a crib and it’s over in a flash.

And within 10 minutes of cuddling, I asked him if he was ready to go to bed. And he, miraculously, said “yes.” That was it. He just wanted me to stop for a bit, to see him, to love him and to nurture him. And then he was ready to go to sleep.

If only it were always that simple. But last night, at least, it was.

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