I came home after a quick trip to the kids' school at 12:30 and found Darcey asleep on the couch. Ryan had found her there when the dvd she was watching froze and she hadn't made a peep of complaint. This is noteworthy for two reasons: a) She's been skipping her naps lately, and b) She has never, ever, not once, not a single solitary time in her life that I can remember (but this is the fourth kid so take it with a grain of salt), never fallen asleep on the couch. My kids do not sleep well outside of their assigned sleeping area. I can count on one hand the number of times that Darcey has fallen asleep in her carseat, and it wouldn't include any long road trips, either, because she powers right through those.
So I find my little girl asleep, snuggled in the love sac, looking so comfy. First, of course, I took her picture.
Then, against Ryan's opinion and my better judgment, I carried her up to her crib. I KNOW!! HOW STUPID CAN I BE?? I had all sorts of logical reasons for it: what if the phone rings, or someone slams the door, or a kid comes home mid-tantrum and I can't shush him fast enough? All the logic in the world doesn't compete against the one hard-and-fast rule of parenting: Never wake up a sleeping baby. Ever. Unless the house is on fire, anything else can wait until after the baby wakes up. Geez, even Britney Spears knows this! It is so basic, it's not even Parenting 101 - it's Pre-Parenting, it's Parenting For Dummies.
It was okay at first - she tensed as I picked her up, but then relaxed against me. Her arms were out to her sides and hung strait out. I reveled in the utter surrender in her body, because she's never been the cuddly type and hasn't fallen asleep in my arms since she was tiny. I got up to her room and she woke up a little as I laid her in her crib and put her blankie back on her. Then, disaster struck - her stupid Snoopy bobblehead doll fell out of the blanket and through the slats of her crib and bounced onto the floor. Her eyes shot open and she said, "Uh-oh!" Yeah, uh-oh is right, and a heck of a lot nicer than the things I wanted to say. I crawled under the crib, shoved aside the portacrib that is stored there, found Snoopy and handed it to her. I told her to suck her thumb and I left as quickly as I could, cursing my stupid stupidity the whole time.
Fortunately, after only a minute of crying and ten or so minutes of playing, she quieted back down and I think she's asleep. Disaster averted, but just barely. It could so easily have gone the other direction. You would think after 11, almost 12, years of motherhood would have this basic rule so ingrained that I wouldn't have even had to think about this. Some kind of parenting muscle memory should have kicked in and stopped me. But I guess this is one of those lessons that has to be relearned occasionally, to stay fresh and on top of my game. At least that's what I'm going to tell the Parent License Review Board when my case comes up. Hey, if Britney can keep her kids, I should be able to also, right?