THE Beast decided today that he wasn’t going to have a nap.
I can only liken the panic I felt to that felt when I was being rushed to theatre to have an emergency c-section.
I felt short of breath, horrified, I had a sour stomach. I could not believe this was happening.
He lay there, occasionally opening an eye to see if I was still there, still, but resolutely NOT asleep.
After a while I sighed and pulled back the curtains and said ‘You’re not going to sleep today, are you?’
“Seán AWAKE!” he bellowed, delighted with himself, before hopping off to
destroy the place play.
He’s always been a good sleeper; sometimes his naps would be short 45 minute bursts, but every day without fail he would drift off and there would be peace – and an episode of Say Yes to the Dress – for a while.
It seems things, they are a-changing. Of course he’ll probably nap fine tomorrow, but it’s a symptom of the fact that he’s getting older. He’s almost two now, so of course he’s not going to sleep as much as a tiny baby does.
I don’t want him to get older. I don’t want him to grow up. Is that a terrible thing to wish? I want to put a brick on his head, to stop him stretching.
When he was a newborn and I was so desperately ill with post natal depression, I couldn’t wait for him to grow up. Anything other than that endless cycle of feeds and night-time wakings. Anything other than the self-doubt and the questions and the fear and the constant wondering if he was ok.
But then time passed, as it does. And time healed, as it does. And I started to enjoy the baby cuddles and carting him around in his sling and being close to him.
Suddenly I didn’t want time to pass anymore. I wanted him to stay as he was, a little bundle parked on my chest. But of course he grew and started solid food and sat up and crawled and walked and talked.
It was ok for a while because he was still a baby, still my baby. But now as he approaches two, I see him turning into a little boy. A big boy. He can feed himself and hold a conversation, play independently, run and jump and cause mischief. And apparently he can get through the day without needing a nap.
I think this time there is no going back. This time he really is growing up and there will be no stopping him. All those dark, oppressive nights when I wished his life away are finally catching up to me and the regret is overwhelming.
The past isn’t a place to live though – and I would never want to go back there, back to her, to me, then.
So I can only look forward to hopefully wonderful times. Not with a baby, but with a boy. My boy.
My amazing boy.