Well, this was a big day.
For eleven and a half years, there has been a sign taped over my doorbell:
Baby sleeping, please knock.
The words haven’t changed, though the actual sign has. When it was just me and that little peanut of a first baby, I’m pretty sure the signed was carefully hand-drawn, decorated with scrapbook paper and laminated.
When I had three children under the age of four, I believe it was scrawled desperately under a Post-It note. (And there might have even been a post-script in those days: Please! I beg you! Be merciful unto me, a young mother whose shirt smells permanently of breast milk. They’re sleeping all at once and I am so exhausted and if you ring the doorbell you will wake them all up I will have to beat you to death with the FedEx package you’re so kindly dropping by.)
Whatever its form, the little sign has had a place of prominence on my front door for over a decade. There has been no gap in nap-takers in our home since 1997.
Corrie dropped her nap months ago, though I hadn’t yet taken down my little sign. This is due partly due to my own forgetfulness, partly to due to an irrational hope that her nap (please!) might suddenly reappear, and partly due to my reluctuance to admit the end of the baby/toddlerhood era in the Dryer house.
But honesty must prevail, and this afternoon I stepped outside to pull down my little sign.
No more sleeping babies.
I breathe a sigh of relief and a sigh of wistfulness, all at the same time.