the snooze fest has ended

At 5:24 Saturday morning I dug through and found DOZENS of pictures of Annie sleeping. Until she was born, I didn't realize just how much babies slept. Alls the time. No joke. Annie would fall asleep anywhere - bright room or dark. Loud or quiet. Hot and humid or cold and icy. 

And she's done it all when it comes to snoozing. This girl has slept on so many bellies - her daddy's belly. My belly. In her aunt Kristin's arms. In all of her grandparents' hold. She's dozed off on John's shoulder like a sack of potatoes.  


She's slept on couches and rugs and beds and in cribs. And on airplanes, trains, in cars, even on the deck of a boat. She's napped in strollers and rockers and bouncers and swings. 

Annie's snoring commonly began after and while I nursed her. And after bath time. And after rolling on a blanket in the park. After long days in the sun. Yes, snoring always followed those things.

And along the way she's cried herself to sleep (don't judge). She's yawned herself to sleep. Moaned herself to sleep. Her daddy's bounced her to sleep. On many nights he rocked her to sleep. Sometimes I hear singing as he pats her to shut eye. Grandpa Jim dances her to sleep. 

Annie has slept through parties and concerts. Loud sounds and dogs barking. She never woke to New Orleans gunfire. 

At 6 six weeks, she slept in my arms in the rain in the French Quarter with the heat and the music and the smells wrapping her little body. 

And there's been drool. Oh my, how there's been drool. And sudden flailing of arms and legs and slow-motion yawns in her sleep. She's rolled over and hit her head against the crib walls. But nothing. She's not phased. Her eyes stay closed without interruption. Because this girl could sleep. Sleep better than the best of them.

Snoring, snoozing, deep breath-groaning sleep. 

But no more, my friends. The snooze fest is over. My little girl must like life too much now. And she has yet to learn that life with eyes shut and snores abounding is often just as wonderful as life awake. Because who can tell me that between the daily grind of work and school and kids and spouses, you wouldn't go a great, great length for a little nap? A midday siesta? 10 minutes of shut eye? A long night of hard, sound sleep?

But sweet Annie no longer embraces her time dreaming. She'd rather crawl. Speak gibberish. Stack poker chips and dice and alphabet blocks. She'd rather splash her hands in bowls of water. Eat watermelon and blackberries.

And sleeping means no dancing and no swimming. It means no playing with seashells and rocks. And she is too enthralled with throwing all my kitchen towels out of the drawer and onto the floor to waste time on a crib mattress. Life outside is more fun than snoring. She'd rather pull herself up onto her daddy's piano bench and press the keys. She'd rather be tickled. She'd rather be held. 

She'd simply rather be awake. 

And she was. At 4:57 Saturday morning. She was ready for the day. Screaming for the morning. And no amount of prayer and petition or patting and bottle-giving was getting her back to sleep.

So my day began early. At 5:24 am while Annie popped bites of scrambled egg into her mouth, I sat at the kitchen table looking through pictures of my now wide awake baby on all those days when she slept.

 The tide has shifted and hopefully soon it will shift again. Because as much as I long for sleep, I am like Annie. There are other things I'd rather do sometimes. Like hold another newborn and feed them every three hours. Or stay up late over a glass of wine next to a handsome husband. Sleeping is overrated when you get it and underrated when you don't. 

So, all you empty nesters and singles and grandmas and grandpas. All you with children who wake up late or no children at all, sleep well tonight. I, however, may not be sleeping much these next few years. But as it as with everything in life, when one thing ends, another begins. And although the 18 hour sleep days of my girl are over, the snuggling stage of her life has begun. And that's not half bad. 

Annie, are you waking mama and dad up way too early in the morning these days? Look at that face. She's totally guilty.

But totally worth it. And is it any wonder that her nickname is Cheeks?

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