Bedtime tonight was rough. This is unusual for Evelyn, at least two-year-old Evelyn. We read books as usual, but things went downhill when she requested milk and got a no-because-it-will-rot-your-teeth answer.
I snugged her in the dark, per usual. I sang to her. Covered her chubby-soft toddler cheeks in kisses. Whispered her my usual secret, "I love you so, so much!"
Then it was time to put her in the crib. She does better when she has a toy, and tonight she'd been playing with a brush all though stories, so I thought she'd be fine. She asked me to stay for a little bit, a common request. I obliged, and settled down in the chair. She was restless, even fussy. I stayed longer than I intended, then finally told her goodnight and left.
And she cried, and cried. Long enough that I gave in (I can just tell when it's a cry she won't come down from, and this was one of those). I sat by her crib, holding her hand, stroking her forehead, singing to her, reassuring her, but she she still wouldn't sleep. I watched her heavy eyelids close a few times, but she fought it. And she fussed, and cried.
Finally I picked her up, and sat in the chair. She immediately squinched her little eyes shut and lay perfectly still. I laughed a little, and she smiled, eyes still shut. We rocked, and she went to sleep.
Earlier in the night I was frustrated. I'd been a long day, and I was ready for her to be asleep. But by this point I was almost relishing the experience. She needed me and wanted me. She's my big baby, my first baby. She's so grown up, yet still just little. And there probably won't be too many more instances where she needs me to rock her to sleep.
As I was holding her, pondering all this, I felt a jab in my stomach. New baby moved, as if to say "Hey, I'm here too, and everything is going change."
The thought of having another baby is overwhelming. I'm so excited to meet this new little person, to feel that immense expansion in my heart when we meet (and it's already started). But I'm a little sad that it will mark the end of an era, because it's been so great. Not easy, but wonderful. And everyone says it gets more wonderful, but it is still unknown, and that makes it a little nerve-racking.
So for now, I'm going to just try to enjoy these possible lasts and almost lasts, because its not every night I get to rock my baby to sleep, and that's both good and sad.