Sure, sometimes it’s aggravating. Sometimes I think about the dishes I could be doing, the laundry I could be folding, the dinner I could be making. Julie is an angel baby – she’s social and happy, and still a pretty good sleeper at night – but she’s a crappy napper. Unless she’s being held. She’ll snuggle down and just sleep for hours as long as one of us is willing to sit still and hold her.
The other night, I had so much to do. I had spent most of the week at the hospital with my cousin and her gorgeous baby, so my house was crying out for attention. The laundry was washed and dried, but there were oceans of it waiting to be folded, toys were scattered all over the place, the dishwasher had to be emptied, and I was starving (because I had fed the kids dinner and cleaned while they ate). I put the two older ones to bed, and had Julie snoozing in our bed. I eased away, slowly, so slowly, holding my breath – and she started fussing. Then she started wailing and I just sighed and picked her up. She laid her head down, patted my back gratefully and went right back to sleep.
I came into the kitchen, got myself dinner, zapped it, poured a glass of milk, and settled down on the couch to watch television and eat. All one handed (I kick ass at getting stuff done with a baby in my arms). And she was so sweet and snuggly – and I realized that I’m not all that frustrated at holding her while she sleeps. Because, really, how many more babies are going to sleep on me? How many more times will I have a tiny little one who’s whole idea of happiness is just being with me? I’ve learned that they grow so fast. So freaking fast, and she’s my little girl. My tiny baby girl, and in the same way that I love it when Jess staggers into my bed in the middle of the night, or Sammy curls up with me first thing in the morning, I love her little head on my shoulder and baby hand patting my back. They won’t always be this little – and I don’t regret a single second of holding my older two. I don’t regret holding Jessie so much that she didn’t actively walk until she was eighteen months old. I don’t regret nursing Sam as long as I did. I won’t regret holding Julianna thru her naps either. In fact, I’m pretty sure that when she’s an active, roly poly four year old who won’t nap anymore, I’ll look back on the hours that I spent just snuggling her and miss them.