Monday, February 24, 2014

Parenthood: Week 39 – Like A Sleeping Baby

Having a baby fall asleep in your arms feels like nothing else in life.  Holding a body completely and then feeling all of the muscles in that body relax brings a sense of peace like no other.

One of the things I like the most about being a dad is putting Ollie to bed. I’ve written previously in this post about how hard it can be to put Ollie to sleep. Even with nights like the one I described, I still really enjoy the process of helping Ollie fall asleep.

Watching Ollie fall asleep is really cute. Sometimes it starts with him screaming because he’s cranky and sometimes he’s giggling because he just wants to play. At a certain point I manage to calm down his body and his flailing arms. Then his eyes get heavy. Sometimes he fights it and I try my best not to make eye contact, because that only encourages him to keep them open. Other times, he just gives in and his eyelids gently close.

Then there’s that release of tension in his body. Ollie is getting to the age that he can help us or fight us when we hold him.  That moment when he completely relaxes in my arms makes me feels like he trusts me.  At that moment Ollie is letting go of his fears and worries and is letting me take care of him.

Yes, it can be discouraging when the process of helping a baby fall asleep involves more screams than lullabies, but that’s one reasons its so awesome when things work and the baby goes to sleep.

As Ollie gets older and spends more time scooting around the house, it seems like my time with Ollie is less about cuddling and more about playing with him, and keeping him from getting himself into trouble. I miss those moments when Ollie was first born and would just cuddle up to me almost any time of the day.

I know my time rocking Ollie to bed is limited. We’ve already started putting him in his crib before he is fully asleep. Sometimes I still rock him all the way down because it gives me time to just be at peace with him, and not worry about anything else in life.  Yes, I know that we need to transition him into being more independent with falling asleep, but I figure I got a little bit longer cuddle with him to sleep.  

I used to watch Ollie sleep when he was first born because I wanted to check if he was okay.  Now I watch him sleep because, it's simply one of the most beautiful things in the world. 

It never fails to make me smile when I see my Ollie at peace. 

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