48/52 – Sanctuary (your happy place)
My favourite room in our house is the Doodle’s room. It’s a gorgeous deep gray colour, I’m in love with her bedding, and her walls are adorned with fantastic kid art. It’s a cozy room. It also captures the stunning south light, and it’s my favourite place to take photographs.
Last winter, I would spend many an afternoon here curled up with the Doodle. I’d grab a glass of water, a book, nurse the baby to sleep, and let her doze in my arms as I read. This was at a time where her twice a day naps were about 20-40 minutes long. I could squeeze out an hour or even an hour and a half out of her afternoon nap if I let her take a lap nap. And I’d do anything to be able to sit and read a book for such a prolonged, uninterrupted period of time.
After we moved the crib out of her room, the crib she never actually slept in for a single night, we debated whether or not to keep the glider. It barely got any use as the Doodle turned one and it took up a lot of floor space. This was at a time where I was predominantly doing the nap, bedtime and middle of the night wakings.
Otto wanted to keep it. For just a little longer.
It turns out, that chair has gotten more use in the past few months than it did during the Doodle’s entire first year of life. Sleepy time parenting is a shared task now. Actually, more often than not, the Doodle requests “rocking” when she wakes up in the middle of the night and it’s Otto who she wants to be with (and somehow Otto can sleep in that darn chair). I can’t sleep sitting up. And I’m kinda happy not to have to get out of my warm bed.
We’re down to two nursing sessions a day. One that takes place lying down in a bed in the darkened wee hours of the morning. The other takes place at night before bed in the rocking chair.
After our bath, books, and toothbrushing, I prepare the room for our quiet moment together.
I turn on the lamp, draw the curtains closed, while the Doodle turns on her fan and flicks on the nightlight. The Doodle asks for her nunnas, so I draw her close and we curl up in the rocking chair. Back and forth we rock in silence. I cuddle her close as she nurses and she looks up into my eyes. I try to find something to distract her – my finger or a string on a sweater – to keep her from annoyingly shoving her hands up my shirt.
It’s dark and cozy in the room. I call the Doodle a nunna lover and ask her if she likes nunnas. She always nods her head up and down in the affirmative with little mischievous glint in her eyes.. Sometimes I’ll ask her a silly question and she grins without unlatching.
I can faintly hear the kitchen being tided up, one of the big kids taking a shower, or the dog going outside for a pee. I can hear lunches being packed, laughter at a joke, or lively discussions taking place in the dining room directly below as homework is being tackled at the big table.
On the top floor of the house, we’re in another universe. Up in the Doodle’s room we’re unwinding in the calm. We’re preparing for sleep. We’re in content in our brief moment and happy place – mommy and toddler entwined.