Tuesday, February 22, 2011

rock-a-bye, rosalie

I rocked my baby to sleep tonight.

It's something that I haven't done since she was very small. Normally, she'd rather just lay in her crib, read her book, snuggle up with her stuffed animals, and go to sleep in her own time.

But tonight, we rocked.

She didn't have a nap today. Daddy was home from work, so we all went to the park this afternoon to enjoy the lovely sunshine and beautiful weather. And while her big sisters rode scooters and swung and climbed on monkey bars, Rosalie went up stairs and slid down slides, again and again and again. She ran to and fro while I chased her. She made friends with a little girl who had an Ariel bike-- Rosalie was quite fascinated by it. She played hard, with joy spilling over in her smile and her little feet always on the go.

We came home after an early dinner out, and it was bathtime. She was cheerful, sitting amidst the bubbles with Annabelle, but as I scrubbed her fingers and toes, and removed the buckets of sand from her finally-thickening hair, I could see the lack of a nap starting to take its toll.

When I rinsed out her hair, she cried.
When I took her out of the tub to dry her off, she threw a fit.
When I laid her down to put on her diaper, she rolled away from me and got mad.
When I put on her pajamas, she threw herself on the floor.
When I brushed her teeth, she cried again.
When I went to lay her down in her crib, she arched her back and hit my arms and screamed "no no no!".
It was too much, and I admit I lost patience. She was being naughty and needed discipline, regardless of how tired she was, but I spoke sharply in frustration and anger, instead of in love.

But then, we rocked.
Instead of leaving her there in her crib, turning out the light, and letting her simply go to sleep. I picked her up and took her to the rocking chair. We sat down together, and I looked in her tear-filled eyes and told her I loved her. That she needed to be a nice girl. I asked her for a hug, and she buried her head on my chest. As my arms went around her and my lips brushed her forehead, we fell into the rhythm of the chair and found peace together.

creeak creeeak creak goes the chair with each back and forth, a sound as familiar as a loved voice. Her hair smells of lavendar shampoo, her cheek feels like velvet. She sighs deeply and snuggles closer, and I relish the feel of her small form pressed into me, a part of me, mine to hold. I love the change of her weight as she draws closer to sleep, how she surrenders more fully with each passing moment. Back and forth, back and forth, creeak creeak creak, her fingers clutching her ever-present blankie and her eyes drooping lower and lower each time.
And then, she is asleep, her lashes laying long and dark against her cheek, her lips a perfect pout, and even though I could lay her down, I don't. I hold her for a little while longer and simply cherish the fact that she is small and not-quite-two, still able to fall into dreams in her mother's arms.

This child, she can be a handful. She challenges me. Wears me out and drives me to distraction sometimes. Photobucket
But tonight... tonight, she was just my baby that I rocked to sleep.

9 comments:

Tristan said...

aw..rocking babies is so sweet.

i think i would cry if mine didn't let me do it everday...haha

Barbie said...

This made me cry because all too quickly they are too big to rock. No longer babies. :( What a sweet description of your sweet baby and your cherishing the moments while she's still little.

molly june. said...

you have me crying & its only 830! what a sweet post & a sweet lil' rosalie. i miss those times so much! last night audrey snuck out of bed & i let her snuggle w me til almost midnight :) oops! i just couldn't let her go! love those sweet times w our babies. xoxo

thatmom said...

Talia, this was just so lovely.

Such a kind and wise mama you are to realize that all your little one needed at the end of a long day was to be loved! You inspire me!

Olive Oyl said...

sweet baby girl. I was looking back over your blog the other day at all your old posts and can't believe how much your girls have grown since I've "met" you... your sweet baby girl is still just that though... I'm learning that even though they grow and change and become their own independent little selves, they truly are still always our babies. What a sweet reminder that they are never too big to just love on and rock. :)

Jessica said...

So beautiful! I have an almost-two-year-old, and I keep trying to hold on to those last baby moments.

.jimaie.marie. said...

precious precious baby girl <3 this post made me tear up b/c it feels like just the other day I was rocking my babies and now I have one who is almost way too big for my lap and another one who's on the way to being the same way... it goes so fast! Too fast!
This post was beautiful, you're such an amazing mama, Talia.

Chelsea said...

What a sweet name.

I still snuggle and rock my 23 month old. I put him in his bed awake, but I love our rocking time at night. It soothes my soul.

Band of Brothers said...

trying to make me cry! what a lovely post. as usual you are completely delightful. i love rocking my baby twain to sleep too.