The Countless Counting

"It's OK sweetie, Mummy's here" I whisper into the darkness. That "Oh Shit" moment has happened.

I gently lift her and lay her back down, cover her with the blankets, rub her back until she is still.

And then I count. To the ticks of the clock. I count for 30 seconds.

I start to stroke her head. Feel her soft, feathery hair under my fingers, running them from her forehead, past her ear and to her neck.

And I count. To the ticks of the clock. I count for 60 seconds.

I feel her breathing slow, feel the tension flow from her body.

I count. To the ticks of the clock. I count for 90 seconds.

I stop stroking her head and lift my hand. I hold my breath and wait to see movement.

I count. To the ticks of the clock. I count for 20 seconds.

She seems to be sleeping again. She seems calm and content. I take a step towards the door and I wait.

I count. To the ticks of the clock. I count for 10 seconds.

Squinting into the darkness, trying to sense her movement. If I'm lucky she won't make a peep. She'll be sleeping soundly.

If I'm not lucky, she stirs, maybe grizzles, seeks reassurance that her Mummy is still there. When she does this I feel a rush of love, tinged with sleepiness, a slight yearning for the bed that awaits me.

But I know in this moment she needs me, needs to know that the one who loves her most is there, there in the darkness with her, only a step and a heartbeat away.

And then I count. To the ticks of the clock. For as long as it takes.

The Countless Counting.

Sometimes it takes many ticks of the clock. Other times, just a few ticks.

But it always leads to the Moon Walking...


Kel said…
Nailed it! Some of your best work there. I could read it over and over, it's that good :) x
School of Mum said…
Beautifully written x
Amy xxoo said…
Aww, at at was lovely. As is that pic of Mia!
Yvette Bowyer said…
that was written perfectly!! And I think all mothers know exactly how many ticks on the clock it takes their child to sleep... gorgeous!
Wonderful, such a lovely piece.
Anonymous said…
As I read that I was instantly reminded of my experiences with my kids as babies, 20 years ago! That is almost exactly how it went, even the moon walking! ;-)
Helen said…
This is beautifully written. You know in horror movies how the characters keep getting up after they've been killed off- that's how my 10 month old is when it comes to thinking he's asleep, he keeps getting up!
Anonymous said…
My 2yoD was born before the soccer world cup. It would normally take a full game between 11am and 2am..
Gorgeous Kylie. I can so relate to this, as I am sure every mother can! Your timing and rhythm in this is perfect. x
Talia said…
Such a beautiful illustration of life with a baby. I can totally relate to everything you've said here. Wise & beautiful words Kylie!
Love it! You've summed up those wakeful hours perfectly.
Mumabulous said…
Yes I remember that phase, feeling terrible because you didn't want the baby to feel lonely in the dark. It passes, 2 years down the track and they simply get up and climb into bed with you when they feel like company.
Happy Sleep Time
Oh, that was beautiful, Kylie x
Grace said…
"Always leads to the moonwalking..."Ah, love it! And know it only too well :)
One of the twins has a habit of saying "Mama, sit there..." whenever he wakes up now. He doesn't need me to pat him or soothe him. Just for me to "Sit there..."
Gorgeous, gorgeous piece! I'll be featuring you again this week - how can I not?!
Oh I love this! Have so been there!
Parental Parody said…
Love it! I almost suffered self-induced whiplash with my vigorous head nodding at the moon walk comment. So true!
Glow said…
Oh my gawd those cheeks! It's all I can do to not try and pinch them through the screen. And I can definitely relate x
Beautiful post. I love the moon walk idea.
Prue said…
Beautiful post. I can so relate to this. I did the moon walk last night and tripped on the rug on my way out. She woke and the process started agin!
Prue x

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