My daughter came to my room at midnight last night. I walk her back to her room and she says she wanted to sleep in my room. I tell her that it is still the middle of the night, so she needs to sleep in her room. She then gets very upset. Sad, crocodile tears upset.
I give her a hug and ask her why she’s so upset. She tells me through her sobs that her leg hurts. I ask her more about it. It sounds like growing pains to me. She starts to calm down a little as we talk so I tell her I’ll check on her in 5 minutes and I make an exit.
As soon as I leave she starts wailing and calling for me. I come back in, sit down on her bed, and take her in my lap. She says she can’t sleep because of her leg (excuses, excuses) and asks if she can’t sleep in my room, will I sleep with her? I tell her no but ask her if she’d like me to sit with her for a little while and she sniffles out a yes.
I sit beside her bed and hold her hand and rub her back until she finally stops crying. Her calmness quickly lends itself to sleep and I start plotting my escape. I slowly lift my hand off her back and I’m working up the nerve to pull my other hand from under hers when she pulls both her hands tightly around her stuffed animals and quietly says, “you can go now Mom.”
Something about that moment totally got to me. I found myself tearing up as I left her room. There was something about the combination of her needing her Mommy and still trying to be independent.
And then as I quietly left the room with a lump in my throat, Kiki shouts out “but don’t wait too long to check on me!”