Tuesday will mark three weeks since we left Atlanta and I have only slept one night without being woken up by the pitter patter of little feet. Maybe this isn't a big deal to most parents and maybe we have been spoiled by our little one who started sleeping 11 hour nights at 6 months - either way it has been a long three weeks in our house. I knew it would take time for her to adjust and have been very patient with the changes. I know she can go to sleep in her bed and stay asleep as she has been doing great with naps for the past week. Nevertheless, I can guarantee you that between 5am and 6:30am, I will be woken up with a little hand on my cheek and a little voice saying, "Mommy, Mommy, sleeping?".
If she wasn't so darn cute in her frog pajamas and her hair sticking straight up I might be tempted to scream or cry or lock her door but instead I pick her up and give her hugs and kisses and beg her to please go back to sleep for Mommy. When that doesn't work, I lay in a twin bed amongst the zoo that she insists on sleeping with (Ellie the monkey, Emmitt the duck, a nameless purple dog, a baby doll, Jack the puppy and whatever else she collected before venturing to my bedside) and hold my little girl. My little girl who runs and jumps and insists on being independent, whose favorite sentiment is "me do it", who can count to ten and name 5 colors, who is almost half as tall as I am, my little girl who is growing up way too fast. For just a few minutes as the sun peeks through the window she is my baby once again.
I know that we will have to unlearn our new habit of waking mommy up and I know that she needs to stay in her bed. These are all things we are working on as I have no plans for my ten year old to wake me up in the same way every morning. However, for right now, in this time and place, I am grateful for these moments. I can always have a cup of coffee to get through the morning or take a catnap in the afternoon but I will never have these days again for they go by far too quickly.