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Last night I should have been sat with drink in hand celebrating that for the first time in a long time my little boy didn't insist that I do his bedtime routine. But last night wasn't like just any other night, last night marked a big step in my little boy growing up. For the first time he had a duvet, a pillow, the side off his cot but he chose not to have me there to him to help along the way and I was sad to not be there.
The last few months he's always wanted me at bedtime and despite a few dragging on too long, I've come to realise they're my favourite time of day with my little man. We've read stories so many times that I don't need the book anymore, and despite that he laughs at the same bit every single time. We've sung songs, made silly noises and laughed, made pretend telephone calls, and hugged. We've put everything that's happened in the day behind us and have just been together. All before he's drifted off to sleep and I've carried him peacefully to his own bed.
Nothing lasts forever though, and over the last few months I've seen my little boy grow. So, whether I was ready or not, he was going to make the choice to sleep like a big boy sooner rather than later. I just wish this one of the steps he'd taken with me by his side, just like I've always been at his side before.
I'd like to say that my little one kissing me goodnight and sending me on my way was the only set-back in his milestone night, but as all parents know, things are never as easy as they should be. Not only had the excitement of sleeping in his own bed worn off so much that he wouldn't fall asleep there, but the baby monitor broke too. The one thing that helps me sleep soundly knowing that at any point I can wake up and check on my boy was gone and no amount of taking it apart, hitting it or hoping for the best worked. So, with every noise I woke and resisted the temptation to sneak into his bedroom for the fear of waking him up.
I was actually quite relieved when my little one woke at 3am and called for 'mama'. The total lack of light in his new room setup meant that I had to bring him back to bed with me, and I could finally rest with him by my side. Ok, he practically pushed me out of bed at 6am, but a couple of good hours is better than nothing in my books and to wake up and be able to watch him sleeping soundly after the night I'd had was all I really needed.
As I sit here tired and on the verge of sleep shopping, looking for anything that will help promise me a peaceful night's sleep, I feel both nervous and excited by everything to come. I'm really not ready to give away another part of my boy being a baby to let him take that next step towards growing up. At the same time, I'm excited, excited to watch him grow, see him talk more, have him tell me about his day and create new bedtimes together when he'll let me. But we've started this new bedtime journey now, so whichever emotion wins, we're not backing out.
I'll remain hopeful that tonight he'll let me share this step with him finally, but if not, I'll at least have a baby monitor again so I can at least sit back and watch him grow up. Who knows, I might even grow to like not doing bedtime again.