When Ava was a tiny babe I used to let her fall asleep on my chest all the time. I'd relish the moments when her tiny little body would snuggle against me, her soft baby hair tickling my face. As she got older we co-slept, to us it was convenient and I enjoyed the cuddles with my baby girl.
After a while she grew out of co-sleeping, only coming into our bed every once in a while and would go down easily in the evenings. Lately that has not been the case.
We're on the verge of her second birthday and she seems to have reverted back to her newborn habits. What is strange is that she will go down for Nathan like a dream. But when it's mummy's turn to do bedtime, oh no, it's a different story. Last night it must have taken me about an hour to get her to sleep.
We began, as we do every night, with some milk and a story. "Do you want to go to bed now Ava?" "No."
She wanted the blanket, the small soft woollen blanket that was knitted for her by my nan's friend. It's too small now, her little feet poke out of the bottom but I think it's more of a comfort thing than anything. We sat there for a while, her cuddled on my chest, me on the uncomfortable chair in her bedroom, still in my gym clothes. "Do you want to go into mummy's bed Ava?" Yes came the little reply.
So off we trudged into my bed, she had to cuddle up to me as close as she could and wasn't happy unless one of my arms was draped around her. My mind kept wandering to the washing up downstairs so after about 15 minutes of tossing and turning I decided to take action and plonked her in her bed. Then all hell broke loose and it broke my heart a little bit.
I ran for cover into the bathroom but after 5 minutes of her heartwrenching sobs I couldn't do it anymore. I decided that the washing up could wait and I would go and give her some more cuddles. I know I'm too soft. She finally fell asleep in my bed, cuddled up next to me, not bothered that I was on the Ipad.
My mum, as usual, gave me some sound advice. She said that Ava feels comforted and reassured while she's with me and that did make me feel a little guilty.
I realised that the washing up or any other menial tasks will still be there tomorrow but cuddles with my little girl might not. She is growing at an alarming speed and before I know it she won't want her mummy any more. I should be thankful that she does enjoy cuddling up to me, and as long as I'm not still trying to rock her when she's 8, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Life is far too short.