Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Just Snuggle - It's Worth It
He's gleeful, but I am frustrated. It's twenty minutes past bedtime after a long day of skipped naps, food battles, and potty learning woes. I'm ready for him to finish up the bedtime process so the house will be blissfully quiet - if just for a few hours. I'm not a fan of having a plastic alligator tooth in my eye, but that's where it lands next.
We move on to tooth-brushing, which is a twelve-minute process that involves me removing his curious fingers endless times from the water that's stopped up in the sink that needs to be fixed. He can't seem to spit in the sink, but he gets some toothpaste on my face.
He says he doesn't want to go potty, but I make him do it anyway and end up having to change his socks and my pants because his aim wasn't spectacular. "Sowwy, Mom!" he shouts as he runs back off to his room while I clean up the floor.
I tell him we'll read one book before bedtime, but he brings me three. I say I'm turning off the light, but am met with "No, ME! I hafta do it, Mom!" - then I move the laundry basket out of the way and tip the lamp so it's within his reach.
We snuggle up in the rocking chair and realize we're missing the firetruck blanket. I tell him I'll go find it. He shouts "me WIF you, Mom! How 'bout me!" and goes running down the hall to the living room, even though I know it's in my bed because he climbed in to sleep with me in the wee hours this morning.
His energy is boundless. My patience is wearing thin.
I tell him it's time to say a nighttime prayer. He shouts "NO!" and wriggles in my arms and swats at my hands as I thank Jesus for our day and our family. I ask him to say his Bible verses and he says "not meeeee, mom! Not 'aday!" (today)
I say, "I love you, little buddy." He replies "I NOT Buddy! I'm Inky!"
He won't settle in the rocking chair, so we move to his toddler bed and both climb in. He sees his pillow and demands that the pillowcase be removed. I refuse. He cries. I lay down in his bed and tell him to snuggle up in my arm.
He cuddles in close. "Let's go deep, Mom." Let's go to sleep.
He fidgets and fusses and rolls over twenty-three times before he finds a place that's comfy enough. He taps his fingers on the wall and kicks me in the shin and pulls my hair accidentally. But finally, his breathing grows slower. He buries his head in my shoulder and sighs contentedly.
"I love you." I whisper.
"I love you, too, Mom."
And just like that, I know that I will ache for a wild and crazy, frustrating and infuriating bedtime routine like this one before very much time has passed us by. The same things that made me grit my teeth and carry on night after night? They will be precious memories. I'll even wish for an alligator tooth in my eye.
Here's to enjoying every stage of parenthood, even the ones that may not seem like fun at the time. Because they are all going to pass in the blink of an eye - and I, for one, don't want to forget them.