I go into Lucy's room every night before I go to bed. I turn on the hallway light, open her door and creep in. She is almost always asleep on her stomach, blanket and Duck wadded beneath her. When I try to straighten them, she snorts and smacks and draws her knees under her. Or sometimes she flops onto her back, irritated and frowning in her sleep. It's impossible to love her one bit more in these moments. I want to wake her up and eat her.
I don't wake her up, because even now, her sleep seems precious, though consistent. She goes to sleep at 7:30 every night, sleeps until 7 or so, and has done this regularly since she was about 5 months old. I am told to be thankful, that lots of babies don't start sleeping through the night until, well, they are not babies. I credit Jason with Lucy's sleeping (both through the night and not in our bed). His mantra: "You just have to have confidence in her. She can do it." And she did.
But until she did, I was a wreck. I read so much on the topic, I became convinced that sleep was the central issue in her (our?) well-being. She would be maladjusted, low-performing, angry if she didn't get enough rest. Not unlike her mother. Back in those early, weary days, her sleep was as fragile as a spiderweb. Naps could fall apart with the breeze. Jason says that when the baby monitor crackled to life, I would look at it in horror, like Satan herself was stirring. I would have done — and did — anything to get Lucy to sleep, and happily murdered anyone who awoke her. I once stood in the yard and shook my fist at a teenager riding his unmufflered motorcycle through the neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon. I considered calling the police. PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP AROUND HERE.
I am grateful that period was relatively brief, and that she has learned to sleep like a champ. Sometimes she dives into her crib before Jason can finish one verse of "American Pie." Other times, she talks and sings to Duck for awhile. But there is no crying, and sleep always comes. At least, for Lucy. Just like I am told to be thankful she sleeps, I am told I won't sleep the same ever again — me who snored my way through Central America by bus. But so far, what markedly less sleep I get is a little sweeter with one last peek at her.