One of my favourite actions to watch recently is Maxim falling asleep. On a good day it takes me about 20 minutes to calm him down to oblivion. The process seems to be so simple and routine, but there’s so much happenning that it reminds me of all those educational movies on Discovery about animal life.
At first, Maxim is very active. He moves his hands and legs, looks in different directions and his face is always moving and changing the grimace. I sit down in the armchair, take him in my lap, put his head on my left hand and pull a blanket over him. By this time, his legs are moving less and his hands start to calm down. He finds some spot to look at and explores it most of the time. His face starts to relax.
I put my right hand on top of the blanket to add some weight on to him and give him the feeling of protection. I give him some tea from the bottle. He sucks and I can see how his eye lids get heavier and heavier.
His left eye is always first to close. When he cries, when he worries, when he is hungry; and so it is when he falls asleep. His right eye starts rolling up. Maxim makes a few attempts to keep it open, which results in few wrinkles on his forehead. Than he realizes that he doesn’t have enough strength and he stops fighting the temptation.
But he is not sleeping yet. He is still falling. I can see his pupils moving under the eye lids. His hands are still moving a bit, trying to find something to get a grip off. He spends about five minutes in this state.
And than the last stage kicks in. His body softens as he is totally relaxed. His pupils freeze. And just before he totally falls asleep a miracle comes. Left side of his mouth moves slightly and forms a semi-smile. Than it moves back. Than it smiles again. It goes back and forward for a couple of times more and than it stays in the smily position. When it stops there, the right half of Maxim’s mouth just falls down (remember, his head is on my left hand) into a semi-smile of its own. And here we have it – a smile. A brief moment, which lasts just few seconds, but which makes my heart explode in joy. This moment alone is worth all the parenting trouble, all the money spend, and all the sleepless nights multiplied by a million!
And so he sleeps…