Last night, after an hour-and-a-half of my daughter screaming, crying, and saying "NO" to going to sleep in the foreign crib in my parents' house, I decided that our current methods, while effective at home, were not working at my parents' house.  Since Violet was getting upset to the point that she almost couldn't breathe, I decided to distract her with one of her kids' music CDs and try to get her to relax a bit.  I put on the CD and moved her from the crib to the bed, where we rested next to each other, sharing a pillow.  Her little chest shuddered under my hand as she slowly relaxed to my touch and the music in the background.  She sat up and pointed at the far wall.

"That, Dada.  That."

"What honey?  What are you pointing at?  The closet door?"

"That.  Cared Dada, I cared."

 

As I realized she was pointing out that the slightly cracked closet door was SCARING her, my heart broke…  Here I was, trying to force her to go to bed in a foreign room in a foreign crib, and she wasn't fighting the sleep, she was just scared out of her little mind.  And she was too far along to be able to formulate the sentence to tell me so.

 

I closed the door and had her lay back down, hugging her close and guiding her breath towards the soft, rhythmic pattern that reminds me of the ocean waves breaking gently on a soft sandy beach.  When her eyes were finally shut in slumber, I softly got up and moved her angelic little body to the crib and covered her up with a homemade blanket my mother quilted for her.  I turned off the music and gave her a kiss on the forehead before leaving the room and shutting the door softly behind me.

Dada is here for you honey.  I'll always be here for you.

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