Ever since we brought Chris home from the hospital as a baby, I've been checking on him during the night. I only check once before I officially go to sleep just to see that he's alright. And when he's having bad high blood-glucose numbers I have to check his levels while he's sleeping. But this is more for his health and safety than for the peace of mind of a neurotic mom. Okay, so maybe it's both.
The first night after we were released from the hospital when he was born, I checked on him 10 times. One of the last times, as I was coming out of his room, Billy asked me if I was checking on him, yet again. I sheepishly said, yes and he said that was okay because he had already gone into his room 3 times. Ah new parents.
These days when I come to bed after checking little man, Billy will say to me, Is he still there? And of course I answer with my own wise-ass response: No, he must still be out gambling. I hope he doesn't ever sneak out of the house when he's older because if I still go in to check when he's 16 or 17, I'm sure to have a heart attack. And I bet Billy won't believe me when I answer him with, he's not in his room.
When he was younger I would also look for signs of life, you know the rise and fall of his chest, breathing sounds. If none of these were easily detected I would put my hand on his chest to feel for a heartbeat or place my fingers under his nose to feel him breathing. What? So, maybe I was a little paranoid but it's not like I held a mirror under his nose for goodness sake!
These days I do it more out of habit. The checking not the looking for signs of life. And maybe this way I can sleep a little sounder. So I steal a few moments when he's fast asleep to marvel at this awesome, little man and the fact that he's mine. And he's still there, in his room, and not out on the Strip gambling away his college tuition money.