Last night L was in Atlanta for work, so it was just LB and me on the home front. She had been fussy in the evening and it took her an extra hour to fall asleep. She woke up around 11 and 12, but quickly whimpered herself back to sleep both times. I considered this a personal victory.
She woke up again around 1:45 in the morning, with a shrill, insistent cry. I slugged myself out of sleep and went in to see her. She was inconsolable, not hungry or wet. She missed her mama. We walked around the apartment for a few minutes, then I just decided to let her fall asleep in bed with me. I set up some pillows so she couldn't roll off and the tried to demonstrate how to fall asleep. I approached this task with a sense of willful optimism, knowing it probably wouldn't work anyway, but hoping that she would fall asleep calmly beside me; that I would successfully fight the urge to roll over away from her; that she would not crawl or roll right over the edge of the bed.
She was so tired, my girl, and the night was so thick around us. She stared at me with large brown eyes as the pacifier bobbed in her mouth. She put her hands on my face and tried to hide in the crook of my neck. She lay on my chest. She rested her head on my belly and stretched her legs out like she was staring at the stars. She would lie comfortably for a little while, then huff and reposition herself. I rubbed her back and tried to calm her. She sprawled next to me with a hand on my arm. She rested her head on the pillow and stared at me from mere inches away. The corners of her eyes shading in a familiar smile.
I feigned sleep and she sat up and murmured to herself. She clapped her hands a few times. She looked at me and placed a hand on my cheek. She clapped her hands again.
I felt fortunate to see her night behaviors up close like this. It felt like watching a wild animal in its natural habitat. My nocturnal kid. After an hour it was evident that sleep was not likely for either of us. I picked her up and we walked around the apartment for a bit. We moseyed into her room and she leaned down towards her crib. I placed her in it and she lay down peacefully. I returned to bed, deconstructed the pillow walls I had built to protect her, and soon enough sleep had claimed us both.