Saturday, January 16, 2010

Routinely Unroutine

I like to think that we have a routine around our house.  For Emma, at least... Supper at 5:30 followed by a bath, jammies, a cup of milk while we rock and then I put her to bed.  She then takes a few minutes to make her 'nest' and off to sleep she goes until 6:00 am.

I am starting to think, though, our routine is becoming our unroutine... Which isn't wasn't a word until now, because I needed a word to describe our, well, unroutine.

Our unroutine starts like our routine, but somewhere, somehow, it veers off course and leaves me wondering what happened?

Like tonight, we were cruising along, business as usual, I put Emma down for bed and left her room.  I went about cleaning up the kitchen and then headed back to my bedroom for something.  When I returned, I couldn't find Chuck, but I couldn't hear Emma crying, so I thought that she was still asleep and he stepped outside.  I was trying to sneak into her room and get her laundry when I found Chuck.  I opened the door and found Chuck trying to console her and get her back to bed.

Of course, Emma saw me and was not going down without a fight and another rocking session with me.  So, I took her and we rocked.  I sang to her and watch her eyes close and flutter back open, close and flutter back open continuously for about 15 minutes.  Finally, when I heard her breathing change and felt her body relax, I eased up out of the chair, careful not to use my upper body and therefore disturb Emma, and made my way to the crib.  I leaned over into it and was about to lay her down when her eyelids popped open and she looked at me with pleading eyes.  I knew it was coming, but I continued laying her down and covering her up.  I didn't even get my back turned before she was wailing again.

So, I thought, "Here we go... Another long night."  I picked Emma up, settled back into the rocking chair, and began rocking and singing again.  After a few unproductive minutes of that, I decided to take her into the "Red" room (A guest bedroom that is painted a beautiful shade of red, thus the name).  I laid her on the bed, laid down beside her, and within two minutes she was out.

We continued to lay there partly because I was afraid of waking her when I moved, but mostly because deep down I love nights like tonight when I lay down with her and she scoots up as close as she can to me.

I can't help but wonder, though, why some nights she goes along with her routine and goes right to sleep on her own but, then other nights, like tonight, she needs me to be right there with her.

I have noticed that on days that I am away from her, she is much more likely to have a night like this.  And, of course, when she isn't feeling well.  But over the past month, she has been having more and more nights like tonight and I can't pinpoint a reason.  It drives me insane when I rack my brain trying to connect the dots and solve our little mystery yet still come up short.

Did she have a bad dream?  Is she scared?  Does she miss me?  Is she just being demanding?  All of these questions swim in my head without answers.

Finally, though, after pondering question after unanswered question, I realized something...  The nights like these are going to end far sooner that I want.  The nights that she wants and needs me that close to her will soon be gone and will be replaced with nights that she can't get far enough away from me.  And, as much as I want to believe those nights aren't coming, I was a teen aged girl once. And, if the saying "Paying for your raising" is true, I'll be unwanted more nights than I can even bear to imagine.

So, tonight, with that thought in mind,  I gave up my search for answers and just lay there with her.  Held her.  Traced the curves of her precious face.  Smelled her sweet baby smell.  Listened to her breathe.  Watched her eyelids flutter in the moonlight.  And thanked God for the opportunity to have routinely unroutine nights.