I thought I was a tough guy.
Sortof. In our house, daddy’s the fun one. Me? Not so fun. I’m the one with the chore list and the school planner, the one who makes sure the bedrooms are picked up before they go out to play and that we leave on time for church–with shoes on. Since we homeschool, I’m also the one who has to make the checkmarks on the math papers and the corrections on the writing assignments.
Yup. Not so fun.
My littlest guy, Nicholas, spent most of his first year attached to me at the … umm, whatever he could reach. I adore babies, and can’t really stand to be away from mine. In our house and out, if you’re looking for the newest baby (and that means anyone under a year, by the way) just find me; they’re bound to be in arms one way or another. No plastic “buckets” or strollers for us, either; baby wraps are my friend.
A change takes place, though, when my littles are weaned. Usually, sometime between a year and eighteen months, it happens that either I or baby or, preferably, both of us are ready for a change and some distance. So daddy steps in. And daddy, therefore, becomes The Favorite for a time.
Typically, his reign as The Favorite lasts for a few months after weaning is over, and then we swing back to a happy balance.
Nicholas is not typical.
See what I mean?
This boy adores his daddy, as you can see.
Now, the rule at our house is generally that you are welcome to sleep in our bed while you are a small person needing sustenance in the middle of the night. Since we’ve found that this is the best way for me to get sleep, it works for us (ymmv.) However, part of the weaning process is supposed to include weaning from our bed. Kill two birds with one stone and all.
Mmmm hmmm. As I said, “supposed to include.”
Nicholas prefers to sleep with Daddy. Or, should I say, on daddy …
Although he’ll make do with “near daddy.”
Once in awhile, a brother works as a daddy stand-in …
And occasionally, even a cat …
But daddy is always preferable.
I’m not as young as I used to be. Shocking, yet true. And so, somehow, my husband has used this against me. He thought, perhaps, that I wouldn’t notice the large two year old STILL SLEEPING IN OUR BED.
And, to be fair, I sortof didn’t.
Until last week, when I announced on Monday night that I was done with that situation, and would like both some time to myself in the evenings (which until now have generally been filled by “The Toddler Show,” something you may be familiar with if you have toddlers who regularly stay up after the older siblings have gone to sleep; can I hear an amen?) as well as the ability to leave my room in the morning without waking said toddler, and would now proceed myself to move him in with his pal, older brother Micah, whom he adores.
Well, this worked okay the first night. Sortof. Meaning that he did fall asleep in there, after I sang 42 rounds of “Five Little Ducks” and 27 of “Baby Beluga” while lying next to him and rubbing his back. He made it all the way until about 1:47 a.m., when he cried and his Dad went in to lie down with him. That worked until about 3:47 a.m., when Daddy came back with Nicholas, announcing that the children’s bed was not comfortable or large enough for *him,* so they couldn’t make it in there through the night.
We tried again on Tuesday, with Daddy taking the reins on putting him to sleep this time. Apparently he’d gotten the idea of what we were trying to do, as he protested loudly the entire evening even though Daddy stayed with him. He stayed asleep this evening ’til around 3 something (it’s all a blur, people) when they again arrived looking forlorn in my room, with Daddy claiming the inability to sleep on such a small, uncomfortable bed and
baby toddler Nicholas smiling jubilantly at his return to his prefered den.
But it was Thursday night that trumpeted the end to our experiment in independence.
He’d fallen asleep once again (after much protesting) in his own room (haha!) in his own bed (haha again!) with Micah, with Daddy rubbing his back and singing twisted versions of lullabies, as he is apt to do when tired. The clarion call rang out once again around 1:47 (kid should be an alarm clock, I promise) and this time, I answered.
Hurrying toward the door in an effort to hush him before everyone else in the house woke up, I heard his voice, and it was the undoing of all the past nights’ efforts.
One word …
He was crying big fat crocodile tears. And the only word he could get out was, “Daddy!”
Now, that was just … terrible. Poor guy! When a baby cries out for his daddy like that, what’s a mama to do???
Get the boy to his Daddy, that’s what! As I picked up his sad little self, still crying, “Daddy! Daddy!” I thought, this is just how God feels about us. When He hears us cry out “Daddy!” When it’s all we can say, He rushes to our aid! He rushes to pick us up, to comfort us.
He is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,” as it says in 2 Corinthians 1:3. He is “God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace,” 2 Thessalonians 2:16 says. In Psalm 23 God takes the role of a good shepherd, whose rod and staff comfort us. The Holy Spirit is called The Comforter. And when we call upon Him, why would we not expect Him to answer us? In Matthew 7:11 Jesus asks us, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Luke’s version of this same story tells us that Jesus specifically spoke of the Holy Spirit being given to us as the “good gift” God delights to give to us. He, Himself!
Overwhelmed today? Hurting and broken? Sick and discouraged?
I have one word for you …