Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sleeping Angels

This is probably true of most parents, but I love to watch my children sleep. There’s something incredibly peaceful about how fully they relax when they sleep. I often refer to it as “full body sleep”. I’ve commented in the past that my daughter seems to double in weight when she falls asleep – that’s how completely and utterly relaxed she gets.
I also like to watch them sleep because they’re both such funny sleepers. My son tends to sleep on top of his pillows and stuffed animals, sometimes with his blanket bundled into a lump underneath him, or with a pillow on top of his face. He’s usually in some odd, contorted position, as if he fell asleep in the middle of doing something. Arms over his head, legs in a running position, head tipped at some strange angle. And my daughter, in common baby fashion, falls asleep with her backside sticking up in midair, or her thumb in her mouth, or contorted into some awkward position that no-one but a baby could ever be comfortable in. Despite their relaxed state, both of them occasionally even fall asleep with one hand up in the air, hovering a few inches off the bed as if levitating as part of a magician’s show.

One of my favorite parts of watching my kids sleep isn’t even the watching, it’s the listening. Like their parents, they both tend to be snorers. Not heavy-duty, sawing-wood, set-your-teeth-on-edge kind of snoring, just a gentle, soothing gurgle. We’d given some thought as to how and when we could move my daughter’s crib out of our bedroom, but the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I’ll miss listening to her quiet breathing, her occasional sleeping coos and laughs, her soft sighs, and her little snurfly gurgle. And when I sit in my son’s room waiting for him to fall asleep during naptime, I love listening to his breathing slow down and become regular, and finally turning into his contented little whistling snore.
But I think the best part of all about watching my babies sleep is that I know I won’t have to do any scolding or punishing or comforting. Watching a peacefully sleeping child involves none of the hard parts of parenting. Just enjoying the fruits of your labors.

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