Want to hear why a pillow placed in my daughter’s crib made me turn into a big ol’ pile of mushy, gushy feelings today? You’re in luck. I’m going to tell you.
First, a little backstory.
We ended up seeing my in-laws for the Thanksgiving holiday. After Addison woke up from her nap on Thursday, we packed up and headed to their house. They are our childcare and see Addison frequently, because well, being pregnant, ya girl has a copious amount of doctor’s appointments that no one else is allowed to be at. Enter my amazing in-laws, stage right. They drop everything to take care of our girl so that I can do the things I need to for the one still “baking.” They are taking precautions. They are taking this seriously. They are in our inner “covid” circle. So, check your judgement at the door if you had any leading up to this point.
Now to get back to the gush at hand…
While at my in-laws, we lost track of time. We got to talking and didn’t end up leaving their house until just before 8 o’clock. Addison’s normal bedtime, as of late, is 8. It used to be 7, but she takes so much longer to settle in for her nap than she used to that now, everything just gets pushed back.
Michael and I realized how late it was getting and made moves to load up and head home. But you know how it goes- you have to find a shoe, a sippy cup, the toy she insisted on bringing… All this to say, by the time we got home and were getting our bedtime snuggle on, it was late o’clock. Addison didn’t end up falling asleep until well at 9pm.
I thought to myself, “no bother, she’ll probably end up sleeping a little later and make up for it that way.”
She did not.
She woke up at her normal time all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I think I was dragging more than she was and my schedule hadn’t been rocked.
Well, we had our maternity shoot scheduled for this afternoon. Again, I thought, “no worries, she looks tired today so we’ll get down for our nap a little early and then be able to leave the house without cutting her nap short.”
Are you seeing a pattern here?
She decided to give a big middle finger to that idea and ended up taking 45+ minutes to go down for her nap. It was to the point where I *almost* went in and got her because it seemed like she was just going to refuse it. But eventually, just before 1pm she settled in.
And then proceeded to marathon nap because, well, she didn’t get the rest she needed the night before.
Except the problem here was that we had to leave no later than 3:15 for our shoot. At 3 o’clock, Michael and I begrudgingly agreed to wake her. I hate waking a sleeping baby, especially when I know she needs the rest.
We decided to walk into her room together to get her up, because we just don’t get to catch glimpses of her snoozing anymore.
We walked in and she laid there, perfectly still, all cuddled and absolutely perfect. It reminded me of when she was a newborn and tugged at my heartstrings like I wasn’t expecting.
She sleeps with a blanket now, and for this nap (and perhaps others as well) she decided to ball her blankie up and sleep on it like it were a pillow. Which made me pause and wonder if it was time for her to be using one? If she’s doing it with her blanket anyway, we might as well give her the real deal so she can actually use her blanket for its purpose.
So, tonight at bedtime, we put a pillow in her crib.
Seeing that pillow with her stuffies and blankie though…. It made me realize just how big she is getting. Before she was even in the bed, I was fighting back tears.
And then, once she was in her bed. I lost it. Michael flipped her in like he does every night. (Picture a little baby backflip, assisted by dada. She loves it.) He flipped her so that her head landed on the pillow tonight. Normally, post-flip, she pops up and requests “another,” or begins searching for her stuffies to give them each their good night kisses. Tonight, with her little head rested on the pillow, she did not move.
I grabbed her blanket and tucked her in, and still, she just laid there. We could tell she was loving the pillow, soaking up the comfy.
She requested Uni (her current favorite- a stuffed unicorn, as the name might suggest), which I laid on the pillow next to her. With that, her eyes began to flutter and I could tell, she was ready for us to give a final kiss so she could settle in. We each kissed her little head and stood by her door telling her how much we loved her before shutting it for the night.
She didn’t so much as pick up her head. And I stood there crying real, borderline crocodile tears over how big she has gotten.
How are we months away from our baby girl being 2? How is she old enough to want a pillow in her bed? How did the time just fly by and launch us here? I imagined her moving on to a toddler bed, going to school, all the things that are still to come, and I am overwhelmed with how independent and just flat out big she is.
I, of course, told Brittany all about it, and she said it best. It’s these moments that catch you off-guard. The big things might catch you in your feelings, but you see them coming. It’s the little ones you don’t anticipate that really get you. Like your baby needing you in the night and snuggling in to you to fall asleep. Or your child laying in her crib with a dang pillow, looking like the tiny grown up she’s beginning to be.
Nothing prepares you for these moments. Where you stop and soak them in. Where you truly see, as if for the first time, just how far they’ve come, how big they’ve gotten. And so, we just cry about it. We soak it in and we cry about a pillow in our baby’s bed.