I can tell you how to get your child to sleep independently. I can tell how you we put a gate up in front of the boys room and walked away. I can tell you how there are sometimes tears and tantrums and how you get past it all.
Unless it's my girl.
My girl somehow someway turned into my snuggle baby every night. I don't apologize for it. I'm not sorry.
Here is why. She's my last baby. I will never, ever, ever have another child of my own. Her baby times, her wee little girl times are stampeding toward an end faster than I can even grasp. She's independent, she's sassy, she's got her own way of looking out across the world and for all of that I am ecstatic.
Except, I'm her mom and I'm clinging to these last moments of babyhood. I won't get to do this again ever in my life. I'm upset by this. I feel cheated. There wasn't enough of it. Why wasn't there more? I want MORE TIME. But I can't have it.
So I've selfishly let her curl up beside me every night for probably the past two years, and we go to sleep snuggled soundly together. We play with the flashlight app on my phone, and we make shadow puppets on the wall, telling stories about them which mainly include bunnies that dance. Sometimes a dinosaur interrupts. You just never know.
I've known for months she had to move into her room. She has a LOVELY room. It's kind of spectacular in terms of AWESOME KID ROOM. She likes to play in there but at bed time, she wants me.
Except, this week, she announced she was going to sleep in her room.
And then she did.
She wanted the light on and the fan on, and I tucked her in. We played flashlight and had a story and I walked away, not realized I was going to be so upset. I brushed my teeth and put on pjs and got into bed, and waited.
Surely she would come.
She didn't. An hour passed and more. I cried on and off because I realized THIS WAS IT. She was gone. I wasn't ready to give her up but apparently she was ready to go because it just happened. GONE. My husband came in once and checked on me "You ok?" he asked. I lied and said yes. I didn't want him to know I was devastated.
At about 1:30 a loud call of "MOMMY" from her room and I sprang to my feet.
She needed me.
We ended up bringing all of her guys back into my room, and she curled up tight against me.