March 27, 2012

On CoSleeping

When my babies were little, we coslept. Never once did I roll and crush anybody or drop anyone on the floor after nursing, despite the fact that I was a milk making zombie sometimes. Trevor probably did it the least, as I nursed him the shortest - only 2 months (too afraid to pump at the office). Andrew nursed the longest - 6 months - and while I don't remember nursing him when we lived in Kentucky, I do remember cosleeping and nursing him at my mother's house. The kids and I moved in with her when Andy was 3 months old as a transition to moving back home. Shoes stayed with his job in Kentucky and sold our house and I had them alone. Not the best scenario all around, but I loved the cosleeping. The boys both slept in my bedroom at Nana's house and Andy and I would nuzzle in the night for a few months when he was little and chicken legged. 
And then Moo. It was almost 6 years later when we moved back in with Nana. Mabel was a month old and we stayed there until we moved West. During that time, even when Mabel was no longer nursing - just 3 months - I would pull her into bed with me. I told myself it was because she was fussing and would wake my mother in the next room. But mostly it was because she was squishy and sweet, and I needed comfort in the dead of night. There were so many mornings when I would awake to her fuzzy head in my face. Or her toes or skinny fingers, usually in her mouth smackling away. She would lay there awake, politely waiting for me to wake up and cuddle her. She'd grin at me with her gummy self. What a sweet, sweet gift that cosleeping was for us.
So I suppose it wasn't too surprising this morning, when I noticed a change to our morning situation. Usually, I get out of bed, jack up the thermostat to remove the chill from the air, and then start waking the children one by one. First Andy, then Trevor, and finally Mabel. But on this morning I woke up Andy and then went downstairs. I went into Trevor's room and sat on the edge of the bed to rub his back and wake him up. Except the bed wiggled a little under my butt. I pulled back the covers and found Trevor... and Sassy Miss Crazy Hair, both sound asleep with foreheads touching. Little snore noises and all. I should have grabbed the camera. Trevor woke up first and told me that she'd had a bad dream in the night and started crying. When she was on her way up to us, Trevor consoled her and offered her a big brother snuggle instead. And so, she hopped in and coslept her way until morning.
I was overcome with the sweetness of my 11 year old son.
I remember reading a book by Dr. Sears when I was pregnant with Trevor. In the book he talks about a time when one of his oldest children went to comfort their baby's fussing. Just on his own... went and comforted the infant. Of course, the oldest child was taught that by his parents. And so I smiled this morning when I remembered how I loved the idea that a child can be so in love and in tune with a sibling that they instinctively care for them. I've always wanted to raise my children to comfort one another. 
"I only smashed her once in the night," he said, laying there in the bed. He grinned at her and she hugged him tight around his neck.
She's always been his pet. Always. My heart just melted to see her snuggle on him.

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