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When I watch her sleep

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

When I watch her sleep

I wrote this post yesterday. Alexis didn't even bother fighting her nap today. She went down with no trouble at all. She is still as cute as always, with her head at the foot of the bed on the blankets.



My daughter Alexis is so adorable when she sleeps. When I see her little eyes closed and hear her little snore my heart melts. She either snuggles into whatever she can find or passes out spread eagle across as much space as possible.

She has a look of pure innocence. She looks so vulnerable, like a newborn babe, yet she also has a quiet confidence. She looks like the living embodiment of sweetness and light. She is peaceful, calm. She is safe. She is content.

When I watch her sleeping I cannot help but fall in love with her all over again. She is gorgeous, she is perfect, she is mine. A maternal urge to protect her rises up inside my heart.

It is my life's mission to protect this little angel. There is no greater calling. It is my job and my blessing to keep her little world safe, to keep her secure enough for her to fall asleep and dare to dream. It is my job to protect her from the cares of the world and protect her childish innocence.

It is when I watch my daughter sleep that I realise how blessed I am. She allows me to catch a glimpse of the heart of God for His children, and I cannot help but thank Him for giving her to me to look after.

It is when I watch my daughter sleep that I realise how very young she still is. She astounds us every day with new skills, new words, new attempts at independence. Yet she is still only a baby, really.

She has been defiant multiple times a day at the moment and it's exhausting. Sometimes she deliberately disobeys me, willfully, just to see my reaction. Other times she is just curious and frustrated when we have to say, "sorry that's not safe," or "no you've had enough", "it's time to change your nappy", or "Alexis it's time for sleep."    

As she grows and matures we will continue to have our little battles and clash of wills. I do like that she is strong-willed and knows what she wants. I hope that her understanding of authority and discipline will grow as she does. My mind always has a part devoted to questions like, "is there a lesson to learn here", "is my response consistent and fair', and, "does this behaviour need discipline or should I have just not left that where she could reach it"?

Yes, being a parent is exhausting at times. There is more work to do than just cooking, cleaning, shopping and playing. We are responsible for our little ones' emotional, social and spiritual development as well as their physical growth. These are the things people without kids often forget but it is disastrous for a parent to forget this.

For a while though, her world stops, and so can mine. I am privileged to sit here and observe. I marvel at this wonderful piece of creation. I don't do it all the time but I like to when I can.

I like to watch my daughter sleep. It's not creepy. It's usually because I'm so tired from trying to get her to sleep that I need a rest myself. Usually by the time I get her to sleep I'm too physically and emotionally drained to move.

Yes, I'm selfish, I make my toddler have a daytime sleep for my benefit. My payment is seeing her happy as she dreams and the "I love you mummy, I missed you," cuddle I get when she wakes up. She still benefits from it too, of course, not that she would admit it. 
         
It's a battle every nap time now. I almost give up every day, but when she finally surrenders to sleep and I see that little smile on her face I know she still needs the nap. Most often I nap myself then so I need her to have the nap. I just peep over at her for a little while first.

She is so young, so peaceful, so cute, so vulnerable, so lovely, so gorgeous, so safe, so warm, so happy. Free from frustration, teething pain, tummy ache or the dreaded nappy change, her heart can dream. I am reminded to weather the storms because this little girl needs me.

Whenever I find myself getting irritated or frustrated with life as a stay at home mum I see her sleeping and I remember why I chose this life. What a wonderful life it is.

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4 Comments:

At October 7, 2011 at 1:52 PM , Blogger MummyK said...

I love this post. We forget sometimes. It's nice to be reminded :)

 
At October 7, 2011 at 2:00 PM , Blogger The Mother Experiment said...

Thank you MummyK :-)

 
At October 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM , Blogger Julie said...

not at all selfish. My 3 year old still has a daily "sleep" (she rests on her bed with books) for 1.5 hours. Knowing I have this time makes me a much better and more enthusiastic mummy through the morning and afternoon!

 
At October 8, 2011 at 10:06 AM , Blogger Di said...

Oh how I miss the afternoon sleep. It only happens now if we're in the car....

I love to tuck my daughter in at night and see what amazing sleep/dream pose she's found herself in. I want to take photos but don't want to risk waking her up....

Julie - what a fabulous idea. I think I may have left my run a bit late to introduce the quiet 'sleep' time ritual in our house though.

 

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