As Mommy B has pointed out numerous times, Aiden has become quite the little “clinger.” I’m talking Stage 5, virgin clinger. Recently, we’ve updated his list of nicknames to include Hip-Hugger, Cling-on and Static Cling. There are times he just wants to be held… and that’s all. It’s gotten to the point that sometimes when he’s in his “hold-me-now” moods and we have to put him down, he’ll literally be brought to tears as he stands and cries for the empty-armed offender to return and pick him up again. As soon as the guilty party does return him to said elevated position, it’s like someone hit the mute button – the tears stop and the crying ceases almost immediately. It makes for a fun afternoon of shoe shopping, that’s for sure. “Dude, stop crying. I can’t see how well these new Nikes fit when you’re up in my arms.”
Over the last couple of months, we’ve gotten him into a pretty regular bedtime routine… which has become a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, he knows when the lights get turned off it’s time to sit in the chair with one of us and practice his “words” or read a book by the faint glow of his night light. Lately that has basically turned into me singing him two lullabies and him blabbing my ear off for the next 10 minutes. Oh, and him finishing his cup of milk… lord knows the kid can’t have any empty space in his stomach! Ever.
On the other hand, he’s now starting to play favorites with the bedtime routine. It happened for the first time a little over a week or so ago – Alli wanted me to come into her room and read her some stories while she got ready for bed. I was about 30 seconds into Go Dog, Go! when I heard a familiar name being called from across the hallway. “Dada… Daaadaaaa!” The next thing I knew, Mommy B was opening Alli’s bedroom door and presenting me with my son’s outstretched arms. The second he saw me in the dimly lit room he yelled “Dada!” and about jumped out of Mommy B’s arms towards me. While I admit it was pretty cute to be on the receiving end of this little scenario, I’m sure it didn’t make Mommy B feel all that great. She only gave him life and carried him around inside of her for 9+ months… no big deal. And here he was, wanting nothing more than to be with me instead.
Alli was reluctantly accepting of this bedtime narrator change, so I scooped up Mr. Bubby and off we went into his room. I tried to coax some more words out of him once we got into the chair and after a few minutes he was resting quietly on my shoulder as I walked him around the room. I put him down into his crib and he didn’t make a sound. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he made a sound for the next 10 hours or so. Awesome.
The next night wasn’t so awesome. It was a Friday night and we had gotten them both to bed at their normal time, so Mommy B and I were looking forward to some unwind time before hitting the pillows ourselves. We called it a night around 10pm, looking forward to the 8 or so hours of sleep we assumed were still ahead of us. It wasn’t meant to be… Around midnight, I was awoken from my slumber by the sound of Aiden’s voice. He was yelling from down the hall, so I went down to his room to check things out. After determining that there was no immediate emergency, I picked him up and walked him around and he seemed to fall back asleep within a couple of minutes. I put him back down in his bed and snuck out of the room without any issues, which I considered a minor victory on my part. However, about 15 minutes later just as I was dozing off again, he was up – louder than ever. This time Mommy B offered to try her hand at getting him back to sleep. She was gone less than two minutes before I heard a familiar sound from down the hall. It was Aiden saying “Dada? Dada?” She tried to get him to go back to sleep on her own, but it was a futile effort… he wasn’t having it. I opened my eyes right as our bedroom door swung open, and there was my lil man peering through the darkness from his mommy’s arms. I stood up and he said “Dada!” and again almost leapt out of Mommy B’s arms. Apparently the person who brought him into this world was now chopped liver… and only I would do.
I wasn’t too thrilled about the situation at the time, mostly because I had no idea how long it would take to get him back to sleep… or how long he would stay asleep this time. Luckily he fell back asleep relatively quickly and I was able to get him down without him popping up again. So after losing about an hour or so of sleep, I crawled back into bed to find Mommy B still awake – which I deemed a small miracle. But she said something to me as we were drifting off to sleep that I’ll never forget. “Ugh, aren’t I the lucky one?” I sarcastically said to her reflecting on my newfound popularity. “Yep, you better tuck that one away for later,” she said. I knew exactly what she was referring to…
I’m going to try and hold on to that memory of him wanting no one else but me to comfort him for as long as I can. That way, when he’s a teenager and hates my guts (and will likely be a total mama’s boy by then), I’ll have something to look back upon on and remember that there was a time when there was no one else in the world he wanted more.