your little room is my happy place where inspiration & dreams live, and putting you to sleep became my favorite thing in the whole world.
since I stopped breastfeeding about a month ago, the whole process of putting you to bed has changed completely. I am still amazed how easily and eagerly you adjusted to the changes.
so this is how it goes now: I warm up an 8oz bottle of milk for you, and give it to you while we walk up the stairs to your room. then I put you in the crib and lay down on a sofabed next to it, pretending that I am falling asleep. that’s it. quite often I truly fall asleep, simply because its so relaxing and cosy and quiet. but usually I stay awake, curious, peeking on you through my eyelashes, watching how you fall asleep all by yourself. it is pretty amazing, actually. especially considering that you are only 16mo. no, you don’t fight the sleep. quite the opposite, it looks like you are making friends with it, trying to figure out how it all works. you seem to accept your crib as a designated sleeping place and never argue the timing – it’s time to sleep whenever I put you there. it doesn’t always happen easily, but you always find your way. it could be singing or blabbing or even laughing, playing with all the plush toys that inhabit your crib, wobbling around it and falling down just to find a comfortable position, or banging with your little feet against the railing for sometime, or everything of the above. your favorite naptime playmate is my childhood doll Tutsi made by my mom. you two have a very special connection. sometimes you just talk to her, sometime you try to close her painted eyes, and then you climb on top of her only to collapse in an awkward pose of backward spooning, and that’s how you would sleep the longest.
it seems to help that I am “sleeping” next to you – sometimes you whine a little to see if it makes any effect, but the only thing I need to do is say “Mama sleeps and Leo sleeps” and that seems to convince you.
I while I watch you falling asleep through my half-closed eyes I can’t help but remember my own childhood and all the times when I was falling asleep in my little room at my parent’s apartment on Nevsky Prospect. somehow I remember these moments vividly, as for me the time before falling asleep was always so magical, filled with vivi daydreaming. one of my earliest memories is about a small decorative carpet with farm animals that was hanging on the wall next to my crib. it was orange with brown and moss-green, and there were cute little lambs placed all along the perimeter. I loved petting the lambs’ fleece with my fingers as I was dosing off. I wish my parents kept that carpet, like so many of my childhood paraphernalia, but alas no one remembers what happened to it.
then it was my toddler’s bed (a pull-out arm-chair) that was facing a tall window with translucent curtains (off-white with large beige flowers), and a “magic” blind wall of the house in front of it. one might say it was not much of a view, but for me it was the favorite sight. the wall was uneven, with a lot of texture and cracks that created peculiar shadows and shapes. I loved looking at it before falling asleep, spotting imaginary animals and fairytale characters, connecting dots and lines into my own story.
may be that’s why I always loved sleeping so much. the daydreaming, the books my parents read to me before bedtime, my mom’s stories about her life before me and about my early years I couldn’t remember. and while now sleep is somewhat of a luxury, I am happy to sacrifice it for your sake, and get to relive this magic moments together with you.