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The Notch

Ronan Sleeping

Ronan Sleeping

There’s a maneuver that Ronan makes that I call the notch. When he’s tired, he will flop around and be a little cranky and cry a little, then when he’s fed up with any position he’s tried, he’ll flop his head onto my chest and stick his thumb in his mouth.


Even though I’m always expecting it, it’s a little surprising the force with which he impacts my chest. As if to say, definitively, I’m going to sleep, and this is the spot. Following the crash into my chest, he pushes himself slightly upwards so his head is just under my chin. We sit and rock until he either falls asleep, or lately, bolts upright after five minutes to check and see if the cranes are still hanging from the ceiling.

A good part of our sleep regimen together is assuring him that we haven’t moved those cranes. He’ll also nose-dive into my arm, and that way he can see the cranes and fall asleep at the same time.

Of course, it’s a really nice way to bond with your child as they fall asleep in your arms. He has this sleepy smile – when he’s almost completely out – that he will flash as he falls asleep. Even thought he’s a smiling baby who flirts with everyone he meets, it’s my favorite smile. It’s the smile that he completely trusts me to fall asleep in my arms and enjoys being there.

Now that he’s five months old, we have to transition from him always falling asleep in my arms to sleeping on his own in his crib, since I’m going to grad school now and I’m not always home and with Terry laid off, I’ll be looking for work. So I might have a 2nd or 3rd shift job and can’t be there to be a warm, loving place to fall asleep in.

Terry is much better at the crib placement than I am. (She’s better as a parent at many things than I am!) She only needs five tries, at most, to get him to go to sleep, while I can stand there for ten or fifteen times and he will just look at me and wonder why we’re not in the glider, which is a much warmer, more comfortable place to be.

As a good parent, I know this is the right way to go – he’s old enough to start this, and it will help all our sanity in the long run. But I miss the sleepy smiles, the soft heartbeat, the sweat and drool on my arm.

I like to think he misses it too.

Not to say that he’ll never fall asleep in my arms again. I expect that will happen quite a number of times more. But this is the beginning of the end, and soon he won’t need me to fall asleep, and soon after that he’ll be too big to fall asleep in my arms.

Of course, I get other neat things to enjoy in return – we get to talk to each other, I get to watch him go to school, I get to watch him grow up – but it’s a little sad that now his preferred way of falling asleep will be a inanimate crib instead of flesh-and-blood Dad.

In the end, he won’t remember falling asleep in my arms – I don’t remember falling asleep in my parent’s arms, either – but I finally understand what my mother was talking about when she gets all misty-eyed about watching me fall asleep. I have the same feeling now, and I’ll probably embarrass the hell out of Ronan some time in the future with stories about it.

Stories like this blog….


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 9, 2007 3:29 PM.

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