Here we have been, many nights, since you came home with us and decided your cot was made of nails. You didn’t want to let go, you wanted to stay close. We let you in. There was never a question.
There are nights when you don’t need us, when you climb into your bed, roll over and go to sleep. I catch my breath on those nights - is my baby growing up? But it goes in hiccups and false starts, a blocked nose, a feverish head, or a sore gum can bring you back to us.
While it’s true that you’re a FIDGET, that you take up far more space than your size would suggest, I let you in. I gladly let you in. Because I savour it: your little back pressed into my chest, your fingers twirled into mine. A gently rumbling snore that would have me searching for a nice, big pillow to whack with, if it belonged to someone else. Yours? I find it soothing, reassuring. And as you start in your sleep and I wake up to find a tiny elbow in my ear, I breathe in your smell and I know: one day you won’t need us anymore. One day there will be no more cries to soothe after a bad night, no grins to return after a better one. One day we will have our bed back, and I will no longer think of a 7am start as “a success”.
It feels like a long way off, that day, but it will probably come all too soon. So for now, I savour this everyday sight: my Master Fidgeter, his dummy, his doll, all curled up our bed.