When our babies were small I spent hours with them asleep on me at all times of the day and night. So many hours spent with their head in the crook of my arm or on my shoulder, listening to them breathe and those little noises they make in their sleep. I would take a moment to stroke their cheek, commit their features to memory and try and take in every little detail of the beautiful babies I had the honour of being a mother to.
As the months went by, and routines were put in place, breastfeeding slowed down and the babies’ sleeping improved those sleepy cuddles grew less. Both LP and Little Man fought their naps and so that was one time I could guarantee that they would fall asleep in our arms and I would sit there in my rocking chair, often willing them into a deeper sleep so that I could do the million and one jobs I had to do in that hour or two that they would sleep.
Other times though I would just sit there and soak it in for a while. I would appreciate the content, sleeping baby in my arms and I would just take a moment. A moment to appreciate that little person I had created, a moment to take in the complete quiet that nap time brings and just a moment to hold them a little longer before the housework and other things of day to day life came back into my thoughts.
So when I found myself sitting in Ikea with a sleeping Little Man on me, who had fallen asleep in the car and not stirred as I had unstrapped him from his seat and carried him into the store, I took a moment.
I queued up to get a hot chocolate with Little Man’s weight on my chest and his head heavy on my shoulder. I realised how big he had got as I carried him to a sofa and sat with him for that moment.
In that moment, that lasted about half an hour, I realised how long it had been since I’d had a sleeping baby in my arms. I realised how small Little Man had been the last time he had slept on me and I realised how fast the years are going. I realised that this could be the last time I have him sleeping on me and so I took a photo, to remember this moment. Then, I just sat with him. I stroked his hair from his face. I took in every inch of him and I lay my head against his. I closed my eyes, breathed in that familiar Little Man smell and hugged him tightly. It’s moments like this when he is still very much that tiny baby who used to sleep on me for most of the day and it’s lovely to be back there again, if only for a moment.