I felt a bit sheepish when I read my friend Christin’s beautiful post on putting her daughter to sleep. She eloquently explains how she (Christin) closes her eyes while rocking Noelle because otherwise Noelle will fixate on her eyes as if trying to search her mother’s thoughts.
I’ve also gotten into the habit of closing my eyes while rocking Sam to sleep. I realized, however, that my reason for doing so was less about cutting off my thoughts and more along the lines of avoiding eye contact with a rabid dog….don’t let him see my fear…don’t let him see the whites of my eyes or he’ll shoot.
Putting Sam to sleep has gotten much easier lately. Actually, our lives in general have recently taken a delightful turn as we encountered two celestial beings. One in the form of Jamie Usher, baby whisperer extraordinaire. And the other in the form of the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. John and I realized that the main reason why Sam cried was that he was tired. Less interaction, more sleep. We’ve been laughing at the thought of having to “help” Sam fall asleep. Help him eat, help him get dressed, even helping him let out a burp—all of these things make sense to me. But helping someone fall asleep? “Uh, okay. First you close your eyes, then…well…that’s it.”
But “help” him sleep we do. We swaddle, shush, sway and pacify…all while avoiding eye contact.
** You can find Christin’s post here: http://christintaylor.blogspot.com/2008/02/meditation-and-art-of-putting-baby-to.html