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Trading Sleep for Memories of my Little One

I was woken up at 0300 by small fingers poking my face. I opened my eyes to see our two year old looking expectantly up at me, his blankie clutched tightly in his arms. I hauled him up and settled him down between us, a familiar routine that didn't require any speech. I fell asleep quickly, but woke up soon after when Oliver and I found ourselves being pummeled by his little feet as he tried to sleep horizontally on the bed. He started crying when we protested this behavior, and I eventually settled onto a sliver of the bed for the rest of night, where I slept somewhat fitfully until dawn.

These nocturnal visits have become an almost nightly thing in the last few months, ever since we removed the side of Oscar's crib. He'd been showing some signs of being ready for night training, waking up and asking to go potty, so it seemed time. With many misgivings, we took the plunge and hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, the end result has not been an end to diapers, but an end to me being able to sleep through the night. I feel like I've time warped back to when he was nursing at night. Oliver and I have had more than one conversation in the light of day about what we can do to train him to stay in his bed.

I'll be honest, though. As much as I want my sleep, I'm loathe to do anything about this. The truth is I love it when he snuggles down next to me, his little body curling tightly next to mine. I love feeling so needed, so wanted by my little son that he will come out of his room soon after we put him to bed and loudly order me to "go to bed with Daddy" so he can come join us.

This little guy is well on his way to his third birthday, and I know that someday, these visits will stop on their own. Someday, he'll be too big and sleeping with his parents will not hold the same appeal it does now. Someday he won't let me cuddle him closely. I also know he may very well be our last child, which makes this all the more poignant.

So, I'm sacrificing some sleep right now. I think it's a small price to pay for memories that will make me smile long after he's grown and gone. That time is coming far too fast.

Ana is a Navy wife and mother of two who is spending the next couple of years in the sunny Bahamas. She dreams of Spain, but is content to find excitement in the Caribbean for now. She blogs about island life at Sunrise on the Water.

*Pic by Ana.

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