My wife and I are firm believers in co-sleeping. Turtle slept in our bed much of his first three months and by month five he was happily sleeping in his own crib with the occasional night with us. We made sure he knew that his crib was not only a safe place to sleep, but also a happy place to play, explore, stare at his mobile and squawk. This weekend, he woke with a start in the middle of the night and we knew, as usual, we could walk with him for half an hour and get him back down or we could slip him between us and we'd all be asleep in minutes.
We chose the sleep.
Then something interesting happened.
Our ever so territorial cat, who has shown signs of displacement - especially in our bed - climbed up between us and decided to rest her front paws and head on Turtle's lap. I realized that he was actually awake. It was about three a.m. and he was just laying there, staring at the light through the blinds and as the cat settled in, he just gently began to pet her head and play with her ear.
Our cat simply lay there, purring. If you have ever met her, you know this is highly out of character. There is a small metal sign on our front door that reads, "Attention: Chat Feroce." That should sum it up for you.
And yet, here was my 9 month old, quietly soothing the savage beast in the middle of the night. One exploring, the other ever so patient.