I was extremely tired this afternoon, after morning Gymboree class with Matteo, and a big lunch. Matteo was zooming about in the living room enthusiastically, bringing me books he wanted me to read aloud. I couldn’t help dozing off each time he took off to find another book. Finally, I told him “mommy is so sleepy, can you read these book by yourself?” He complied but could only last about 5 minutes. After the third time, he climbed on to the sofa, and cuddled up next to me(after looking for airplanes out the window), and signed that he was sleepy.
Not believing him (since he was 1.5 hour away from his nap time), I asked him if he was sleepy. He signed the sleepy sign, and rubbed his eyes. I still did not believe him, though I was really hoping it was real. I thought, maybe I will let him play another 45 minutes, then put him down for nap. While I was thinking to myself, he got off the sofa and started putting away his books one by one. A routine we do right before each nap. Shocked, but I followed his lead and helped him clean up. Then I asked if he would like to change diaper and go upstairs, while fully anticipating him not going through the rest of the sleep routine. To my surprised, he led me to changing station, got changed without fuss, and afterward, walked toward the stairs. The bedtime routine went smoothly and he waved bye bye as I exited his room.
I went straight to my nap spot on the sofa, turned on the monitor to see if he really was tired….he ended up entertaining himself for one full hour before falling asleep. I was in and out of sleep during the hour, but I could hear him babble throughout my nap.
At this point, my heart was swelling with love and awe. While I was not sure Matteo was even capable of being considerate, I definitely felt cared for by him. His willingness to go to bed not sleepy, and play on his own for one full hour without complaining, seemed so beyond his age.
Later when he woke up, he remained quiet in his crib until I went into his room. His cheeks were rosy, his eyes were smiling at me. My whole being just melted all over again.