hendersonhouseofcards

Inherited patterns of sleep

Aurora was asleep by 8:30. She cried for all of 90 seconds when I put her down, and before I turned out the light in her room — the room she and Avery would share if he slept anywhere but in bed with me (or with Holly, when he is at her house) — she was sucking her thumb and within a couple of minutes of that, I think, she was asleep.

She woke up once, around 10:30, probably when she rolled over. She doesn’t wake up as much as she realizes she’s asleep and doesn’t want to be asleep but she’s still asleep so she stops crying. Cyclical, the way she sleep-cries. At Holly’s house, Aurora’s sleep-cries become feed-me-or-I-will-scream-bloody-murder cries. Here, she cries, and goes back to sleep.

We joke that she knows that she has a better shot at being comforted at Holly’s house than she does here. Let her cry it out, our pediatrician recommended, which was also the advice we got — and ignored — when Avery was a baby.

Have I mentioned that he won’t sleep anywhere but with me or with Holly, which is cute, maybe even endearing, on nights like tonight, when he curls up in a chair with the iPad and watches a cartoon while I write and then watch some TV. By the time I’m ready to turn off everything but the light by my bed, I know Avery is ready to go to sleep too. But he won’t let himself sleep, as if he is afraid of missing something.

He and sister are alike, in that way.

Avery takes off his shoes, and he crawls into bed next to me, and he asks me for my arm, and I tell him that I cannot give him my arm because I need my arms and hands when I’m reading, and Avery says he understands, but I know he doesn’t understand, because what four-year-old wants to hear that he can’t have the arm of his parent — and I read while Avery fails to stay awake.

His face, when he’s asleep, reminds me of how he looked when he was a baby. And how he sleeps, his hands folded together in prayer and tucked under his head, is also leftover from when he was a baby, sandwiched between me and Holly, holding us together. He usually ended up at the bottom of the bed, upside down. We called him our bat baby.

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This entry was posted on April 27, 2012 by and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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