Last night, as I was getting ready to shower before bed, I heard the telltale patter of little feet in the hall and then our room. I peeked out the bathroom door to find Chloe climbing into bed beside daddy, mumbling sleepily about something scary.
This was a surprise. Though she has woken up from bad dreams before,Â she usually just called to us from her room. This was the first time she’d ever come into ours.
I hesitated. Part of me wanted to see what was wrong. To snuggle beside her and David. But part of me also knew that night wakings are delicate situations. I had been warned by other parents, and didn’t want to encourage a nightly recurrence.
My pause gave me the time I needed to conclude that Daddy’s got this one. I continued my shower, feeling a little guilty and also curious. I reminded myself that I was giving David an “opportunity” to parent.
Of course, I love my kids and know it’s my job to Mother. But I admit that sometimes I step in for other reasons – maybe because I want to handle a situation my way, or maybe just to to “spare” David the task (don’t get me wrong, there are PLENTY of times I’ve been just as happy letting him deal with a situation). But my kids have two parents. Just as I do them a disservice when I don’t let them try figuring things out on their own, its the same if I don’t allow them to benefit from both parents.
By the time I finished brushing my teeth, daddy had quietly helped Chloe back to bed and all was peaceful in the house.
But I doubt it will be the last we’ll see of Chloe in our bedroom at night. I have a feeling this could be the start of another chapter of parenting.
PS. The photo above is Chloe hanging from her Ikea Kura Bed that we painted white. The wall mural was painted by her Grandma Sandy when Chloe was a baby. You can see a color photo here. We talk about painting her room, but I can’t bear to see it go just yet.