Some of my earliest childhood memories involve being in the car and falling asleep. When we’d arrive home, my dad would pick me up and put me in my bed and tuck me in, “snug as a bug in a rug.”
When I got too old to be carried, envious of my younger (smaller) siblings, I’d pretend to be asleep just to keep our little ritual going. To this day, I don’t know if he knew I was pretending from about age seven on … but those are some of my favorite memories. To a child, there is truly nothing like the safety of your parents’ arms.
I was thinking about that tonight when I was rocking Maya to sleep, her little exhausted body rendered limp in my arms. Every parent knows that putting a sleeping baby in a crib can yield one of two results.
Scenario 1) Baby curls, eyes closed, into his/her comfortable position, snuggling deep into blankets, maybe sucking on his/her fingers or paci and remains that way (and Mommy grins with pride)
Scenario 2) The moment he/she touches the crib, his/her eyes open and he/she begins thrashing and/or crying — clearly in distress. This isn’t just “I want my mommy” separation anxiety business; this is the moro reflex at work, a sensation of falling. And even at this age, Maya can sense she is going into her crib even before we put her in there — her legs kick, she arches her back … it isn’t pretty.
You see, unlike newborns, who experience the moro reflex until they are typically 4-5 months, I’m pretty sure many of us can still experience a similar sensation of “falling” … and it’s not a nice feeling!
Tonight, the first time I put Maya in her crib, we experienced Scenario 2. The second time, minutes later, we experienced Scenario 1 — which is what made me think about how I loved that feeling of being gently placed in my bed and hope that Maya will someday remember that sensation, too … and maybe someday she, too, will talk about being tucked in – snug as a bug in a rug.
How about you? What is one of your earliest memories?