Bedtime is easily my least favourite but also my favourite time of day. My least favourite because I’m usually doing it solo, chasing after two children who are running around, chasing each other, me yelling at them to “get naked”, having a race to who can do it the fastest. I don’t know how many times I call out “Time to get naked”. They are too busy having fun playing so nicely together to listen to their mum telling them to stop. Generally as they are bathing I’m playing crowd control “no more splashing” “Haleigh give that back, don’t take toys from someone” all the while I’m cleaning, vacuuming, putting away clothes, and enjoying their squeals, and laughter – especially if it is a rare bubble bath.
One by one they get washed, dried off, creamed up, inhalers puffed, teeth and hair brushed, one last drink, one last use of the toilet, and pyjamas on and for some reason they are usually at their best right before bed, which works out since I am usually at my worst.
The other night I was reading Haleigh her bedtime stories while all snuggled in her bed, her teddy with his own pillow and blanket, her and I snuggled under her blanket in her very own, new (to her) big girl bed. After our stories and songs she grabs me, holds on to me, and begs me to lay with her. “No mummy don’t weeeeve me”. It breaks my heart that I can’t, that I can’t lay with her and just enjoy all of her, and fall asleep next to her.
I hate having to pull off her surprisingly tight grip on my sleeve, arm or …whatever she was able to grab. I hate having to say no. I hate having to disappoint her. But I have another kid to read to, and sing songs to, to say prayers with and who wants me to lay with him. So I reluctantly leave her room, after I have been able to calm her down. Now don’t get me wrong I am fully aware that this is a huge manipulation tactic – one to prolong bedtime and one to hopefully have me lay with her…but I must be strong.
Although it breaks my soul to say no – I am also a believer in everyone having their own space, the kids have their own beds, and mum and dad have our own bed. We need that separation, we need our own space. And I know that if I were to say yes now, she will want it every night, and it will be so much harder to break that routine. There are the odd times, when I have someone else here with me that we will have a nap together, or I will lay with her for a few minutes, but we talk about that it is a special treat, and that it wont happen every night. Even though I secretly love it….I love falling asleep to her sweet snores, while holding her hand. (How can that NOT be awesome)
So once I have convinced her that I can’t lay with her, she decided that she will instead grab my face with her two sweet little hands, and kiss every part of my face, “one cheek, and the other one, one eye, and the other one, one ear and the other one, one chin, one nose, one forehead, hair, ears and so on. And after each spot I get the sweetest, softest, most gentle of kisses on every part of my face and head. And then, and very long, tender hug with an “I love you mum”. Ugh she just melts my heart. And then I walk down the hall and I get to snuggle in with my boy, read him a story, answer his hundreds of daily questions, sing him his songs, talk about his day and say our prayers. Which is why although it is the craziest part of the day and most tiring part of my day, when the kids are at their craziest, when I am at my worst, feeling those hands, and getting those kisses and having those talks just melts my heart and I realize that it is also the absolute best part of my day. (But I also enjoy it when they are asleep, quiet and the house is still)
Love my babies, love my crazy life, I love those quiet moments that I am so unbelievably blessed to have…not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for.