Explore

When You Are Your Toddler’s Pillow

tiredmomHe could be so comfy, nestled beneath his fleece Pooh Bear quilt, a brand new, hypo-allergenic pillow cradling his little head. Instead he pushes the pillow to the side and stubbornly crawls to the other side of the bed, where you’re resting your legs. He doesn’t want his fancy new pillow — he wants your soft, sweatpants-clad thighs.

I dare not move.

Your legs are there because you’ve just converted his crib to a toddler bed. You thought changing the bed would bring you relief, now that there was no risk of your ever-growing 2-year-old hurling himself over the railing and dropping four feet down onto the hard floor below. You’re beginning to question the wisdom of that decision. Once he realized that his new bed gave him the freedom to get in and out whenever he wanted, he took advantage of it, climbing out at 9, 10, 11 o’clock at night and announcing his escape with an impassioned, “Mommy!” as he stood, unsure of himself, at the doorway of his room.

I dare not move.

Your legs are there because physically blocking his exit is the only way to keep him in his bed, so he can get his rest … and right now, he desperately needs rest. His little body is exhausted by bark-like coughs. You’ve given him his prescribed steroid, encouraged him to inhale steam in the shower and now, the final piece of the puzzle: sleep.

I dare not move.

His head is comfortable on your lap and, if just for a minute, you’re grateful that you never took advantage of the trial gym membership that might have firmed the muscles now supplanting his pillow. You stroke the wispy blonde hair on his head and pretend not to notice as half-moons of his drool appear on your pants.

I dare not move.

If he could get just five solid hours of sleep tonight, that would be so wonderful. It would make up for the last two nights when he fell asleep late and then got up, head hot and screaming long before the sun rose, demanding to come to your bed, only to use it as his personal trampoline. But will he awaken if you move his head off your lap right now? Or must you stay frozen in this hunched position for the rest of the night, your back aching from sitting too long on the rolling office chair you pulled to his bedside? Yawning, you try to remind yourself that someday, when he is a man with a five-o-clock shadow and his own tots in tow, you will look back wistfully at tender, however exhausting, moments like this.

I dare not move.

Has it been ten minutes yet? Twenty minutes? An hour? Your bleary eyes stare at the clock on his bedroom wall as you will yourself to remember the last time you’d checked it. You look back at his face, attempting to discern in the darkness whether he might be in the warm embrace of REM sleep or whatever that point is in the sleep cycle that’s hard to be jostled out of. You take a chance and, holding your breath, slowly move his head onto the mattress. His eyelids flutter briefly but then shut tightly once again. Taking careful, measured steps, you leave his room and close the door.

More On
Article Posted 5 years Ago

Videos You May Like