Hugh’s started waking up in the middle of the night. Again. Just when I’d thought for sure that he was sleeping through the night, finally.

This time, I think he is waking up for comfort. How do I know? Because usually Tasha picks up in the middle of the night, sits down in the rocker with him, and promptly falls asleep. I, on the other hand, can’t fall asleep in the rocker. So last night when I went in to pick him up, he fell asleep immediately in my arms, I put him back in the crib, and he started crying. Repeat. Repeat.

Tasha came in to help, and settled into the rocker with him. And, of course, fell asleep for at least an hour. When she came back to bed, I said, “he’s playing us.”

“I think it’s his cough,” she said.

“No, he wasn’t coughing. He was asleep until I put him back down. I could hear his little raspy baby voice saying, ‘But Mama, this isn’t how we do it. See, usually Mama Tasha holds me for a loooong time until we become a big, sweaty sleep pile.'”

“I really try not to fall asleep.”

“I know,” I said. But I can’t really blame her.

Last night, when I held him, his body warm and solid, breath soft on my shoulder, I didn’t really want to put him down. Instead, I narrarated the twitches of his dreams. Little fingers twitching as he remembered grasping the Cheerios, half of them falling to the floor. Toes twitching as he recalled standing on the wheel of his car before it slipped out from under him. Belly twitching as he imagined reaching for the cat. His world is an exhausting array of stimulation and sensation, and if he needs holding now and again…well, we have a sleeping 17 year-old in the adjoining room to remind us of how fleeting this moment really is.