For almost two years, Kris and I have been with Kale when he falls asleep. For the first year we wore him in a sling, bounced him on an exercise ball, or nursed him to sleep. During the second year we rocked him, nursed him, or simply lay next to him until he drifted off. We've all enjoyed these night time rituals, but as he approaches his second birthday we'd like to see him start falling asleep without one of us holding or snuggling him. We're in no rush and we have no expectation that it will happen easily or quickly. We're letting him set the pace with just a gentle nudge in the right direction from us.
Over the past couple of weeks I've been worked slowly and patiently to have Kale fall asleep with me sitting next to him. The first night there was a lot of protesting, but within a few nights, he was seemed to accept things. On one condition. That I held his hand.
"Mama? Mama sleep with Kale?"
"No Kale, Mama is going to wait with you while you fall asleep and then I'm going to sleep upstairs."
"No Mama! Sleep with Kale!"
"Not tonight, Kale. I'll wait here with you though until you fall asleep."
*sniffle, sniffle* "Mama hold Kale's hand?"
How can I say no to that? So here we are. A new bedtime ritual. Holding hands.