We've had a rough week in terms of nighttime sleeping. With the double whammy of nearly a week spent at my parents' house and the excitement of Christmas, Isa's had a lot of trouble going to sleep and then staying asleep at night now that we're home.
A couple nights she resisted being put down at all which is very usual. Once I finally got her to stay in the crib, she'd eventually wake up and start yelling "Mama, Mama". She'd be wide awake in her crib and stand up asking to be rocked again. She'd get hysterical if I didn't pick her up. One night she did that every 2 hours, all night long.
Well, a couple nights ago, I went in for the first back-to-sleep rocking session, feeling rather frustrated and impatient. Isa cuddled right into my chest and I put my chin down on her forehead while we rocked forward and backward. After about 10 minutes she started doing what I call the Maggie Simpson- very loud pacifier sucking. This always indicates that she's in a deep sleep. Before I could stand up to put her back in her crib, she sighed deeply. And I was instantly sucked back to the first several months after she came home. Back when she was very small, I used to have to rock her until she was deeply asleep or she would wake up the instant I laid her down in her crib. I used to wait for that heavy sigh to know that she was asleep enough to put down. I can't remember the last time I held her long enough at bedtime to hear that sigh.
And suddenly all the frustration was gone, replaced by the bittersweet knowledge that time is moving much too fast. I can now rest my chin on the head of the baby that used to fit neatly on one forearm. I need to savor every one of these late night sessions because someday- sooner than I want to believe- she won't need to be rocked back to sleep and I know I'll miss hearing that sigh.