Cause and effect

After cosleeping her whole life, Anya suddenly started sleeping in her own bed. She wakes in the middle of the night and comes to lay with us, but she goes to sleep in her room. I knew this day would come, but still…somehow it snuck up on me.

I’ve been working a lot of long hours lately, and Kai is teething and dealing with lingering sinus issues, so I’ve been missing my Anya time. The other night, after I showered, I asked her if she would like to come cuddle with me and watch cooking show (Good Eats). She turned me down.

I have to admit, that stung.

Later, I heard R reading to her in her room, so I went to collect Kai. While I was in there, Anya asked for a night-night kiss. I kissed her, and told her that I was proud of how big she was getting, but that I would miss watching cooking show with her. “I’m okay,” she says.

I know you are, precious girl. But I’m not sure I am.

The next day, she explained her behavior. Turns out she was mad at me for working all these extra hours. She’s been snubbing me in retaliation. That stings, too. Not just the snubbing, but the fact that she is able to snub me. She doesn’t need me to hold her while she falls asleep anymore. She can go to sleep on her own just fine.

I remember when my mom first started putting me down to sleep while I was still awake. I was three. And it felt…wrong. I felt abandoned. I never went to sleep right away. I stared at the ceiling, looked at books under the covers, quietly played with toys. It took me years to go to sleep easily. The fact that she can just emphasizes what a big girl she’s becoming.

What happened to my baby? How did these years go by so damn quickly?

I explained to her that I had a lot of work to do, and that I was trying to get it all done so that we could spend the weekend together without me doing any work at all. I reminded her of the fun things we had planned, things she’d been looking forward to for days.

She was totally unimpressed.

So I tried another tactic. I told her that I knew she was lonely. And I assured her that she is more important than my work. So even though I was going to be really busy that day, I wanted her to come to me if she needed me.

Oh, did she take me up on that.

But it was the right approach. Later that afternoon, she called me her “precious Mommy,” and gave me one of these:

Please ignore the chaos in the background.

So I feel like I have redeemed myself, a little. Maybe she’ll even watch Alton Brown with me again sometime.


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