A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: bedtime routine

Pillow Talk

Something my three-year-old little man requests that is among my favorite things in this world: snuggling in our bed. Usually when he asks it’s not a good time, and some type of avoidance strategy…like sleepy time or something of a similar sort. But, this morning I’d just showered; Warrior Queen was still asleep; I was tickled to have him knock on our bedroom door asking for a snuggle in our bed. I lay down, and he insists on tucking me in…making sure I’m warm, then burrows into me.

Funny thing is that I’m not a particularly cuddly person…like to comedic proportions. But, that needed to stop bringing children into this world. My general presence is aloof, standoffish, and intimidating. It comes in handy working with at-risk and incarcerated populations…and as a manager. Everything is about a time and place. I’m an exceptional disciplinarian, so it’s paramount I’m able to balance my brusque immediacy with snuggles and Mommy lovin’. I have an unscientific ratio: for every one negative interaction, I try to communicate three positive ones. Mostly I’m successful, if for no other reason than I’m paying attention to when my kids do something lovely. Other than my son reaching the age of threenager, he’s a sweet and loving child. I like to think I’m doing something right.

My often harsh demeanor receiving requests for snuggles makes even the most heinous tantrum and oppressive guilt evaporate into the hazy early summer atmosphere. I don’t think there is adequate vocabulary to describe the sensation washing over me as my son rests his head on some portion of my upper anatomy…never able to squeeze quite close enough to me. Even if he is harboring a fugitive in his diaper with a smell that allows me to push off waxing my facial hair for the near future, I’ll hold him tighter. He won’t always ask these moments of me…probably sooner than I want to admit.

Image result for seagulls

(Even The Telegraph seagull looks dubious of Little Man’s diaper findingssavvy bird.)

Sometimes he’ll snuggle for ten minutes in a clip, sometimes have me read to him. But, sometimes they are quick, jerky stretches like this morning when he leaps from my marriage bed to retrieve his Minnie and Mickey stuffed animals. He carts them in tandem, but expressed overt preference for the former. My husband or I have to tuck her in every night. But, this morning he scampers down the hall subsequently returning with full arms…the stuffed animals are at least half his expansive height. Naturally, his heinously diseased dog mushed among the plush mice. I watch as my husband’s child removes the top of the two pillows because my husband does not sleep on it, and organizes his friends on the designated sleeping pillow. Shaking laughs erupt in spilling tears knowing the queasingly grotesque doggie is sprawled where my husband lies, and in moments he will discover it exiting the restroom. Sure, I could have instructed my son to move him, but such things are a losing battle in our house; Mr. Man insists in caring for all who mean the most to him…Besides, often that horrible dog is on my side of the bed. My husband is obligated to take one for the plague exposed team. Had I foreseen such events, I’m sure we would have managed it in our ketubah or marriage vows…just in case.

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(Neatorama agrees nothing tops such a toy resting peacefully on your pillow.)

Little Man was oblivious to my behaviors, concerned only for his friends as he climbs the bed to adequately cover all three with sheets. Satisfied all of us are warm, my son completes the remaining pieces of his typical bedtime routine, which includes the reprimands I give him nightly for dragging his feet through the teeth brushing/changing transition and haunting outside our bedroom door for entirely too late into the night.

My son is a good sleeper, but goes through waves of having difficulty settling at night. It’s likely because I allow him to sleep too long for his nap, but since I’ve been starting his naps earlier, the evenings have been a bit smoother. Last night, however, it was a long nap that started much too late. I suppose I’ve never sweated such things, as Mr. Man almost never sleeps past seven regardless of when he is finally down for the count. These days, however, I’m lucky to squeeze in exercise before both kids are up by six-thirty.

Amused I’m watching him turn on the light because he prefers a low lit desk lamp at night. He reiterates the conversations I have with him during his tuck in and room exit. He enters and exists the room repeatedly, closing the door gently. It’s all so familiar, but decidedly less amusing when it’s my turn. I’ve learned to love a “snuggle, hug, kiss, and smooch” as much as the next Mommy, but at some point, the kid needs to go to sleep.

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Sweet Dreams

This just has to be documented for what I desperately hope isn’t the beginning of many more similar tales, but I suspect this will be old hat soon…sigh.

My husband is wonderful, entertaining our two-year-old little man for almost the entire day while I tended to the Warrior Queen, which amounted to feeding her and lounging on the sofa with a sprawled infant on my chest.  I even managed to eat lunch vaguely within the lunch hour realm.  Consequently, tonight I was in charge of Mr. Man’s bedtime routine.

My son was on my lap brushing his teeth before I took over when I noticed the entire front of his shorts were wet.  Great sleuth I am assumed correctly it was urine.  Well, that’s a puzzle.  I check his diaper, and half of it is unattached.  That is also a puzzle.  Then I notice brown crust on his lower leg, yup, poop.  That was the final puzzle prompting me to call downstairs to my husband asking why there was poop on our son’s leg.  Our house hollering virtually overlapped with my husband indicating that our son had excavated poop out of his diaper and threw it on the floor in front of the family room book shelf.  I was sitting all evening in that very room, so how craptastic at parenting am I that I was oblivious to my son engaging in a fecal drop ‘n’ roll in front of me?  Perhaps some questions are best left unanswered.

The Thrills of Competition

To look globally at my evening there are a few moments that would merit note, as in the instance of me holding Little Man while he gnaws at my sweatshirt string until it was sufficiently funky.  Only at that moment would his mirth take over, and with great effort attempted to shove the cold, soaked article into my mouth amidst a chorus of giggles.

Fast forward to my favorite time of day; the very end just before my son goes to sleep.  Clearly he is tired, but enjoying playing with his parents in his room.  At one point my husband suspects that he might have soiled his diaper.  I ask my son if he made a stinker.  Little Man shakes his head, “No,” and points to Doug the two-foot-tall dinosaur before giving him a hug of, “Sorry, man.”  I figure my son assessed the situation, noting that he could likely take Doug.  Geraldine, his five-foot-tall giraffe is a total badass and would cream me…wise choice, Little Man…  My sniffer isn’t all that astute, but my husband determined it was a false alarm after doing what all parents of diapered children do, lifting their children up to put their nose against their backside.  Fortunately, this time my son spared him of a fresh puff of flatulence just as he was doing so…

The award, however, for the most memorable moment in the evening goes to the last moment in Little Man’s day.  Despite the cuteness of his play, his need to go to sleep could be avoided no longer.  My husband scoops my son up and begins the process of wrapping him in the sleep slack I not so discretely covet in all it’s blue fleeced glory.  Not only is it in my favorite color, but it is just so soft, and as a person who is perpetually cold, I can’t resist stroking it whenever the opportunity presents itself…Yeah, I have a problem…  If it had the arms of a Snuggie, I would consider amputation in order to use it…

Just as the item is secured, Little Man crawls to my lap as he sometimes does at this point in the evening.  With my legs folded and my arms resting on my knees, I rock the two of us singing, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  My cuddle monster pulls my arms around him tightly after signing for another round of the song.  A few beats pass, and Little Man points to Gerard the blue giraffe I crocheted for him.  Hugging Gerard he points to Tabitha his small tiger head pillow, and finally Milton one of his teddy bears.  Clutching his friends tightly and me clutching him, we rock; I continue singing, and my husband notes that his eyes are heavy and intermittently closing.  Eventually I allow my husband to take Little Man to bed.

I had already left the room, but my husband informed me after the fact that although my son brought his friends to bed, once settled he did not want them in his crib with him; they just don’t belong there…

Where the Stars Shine

I could lie and claim great operatic genius with my renderings of traditional lullabies when my son sits on my lap only moments before sleep.  In close embrace, his tired body leaning against my chest in perfect stillness.  And, I sing as though I possess great efficacy while my son listens.  I utter the final words, and he signs, “More,” with his tired, enthusiastic hands; who am I to argue?  With slight seam another round of low, quiet keyed Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Another request for encore at its close, and I comply.  If only this could continue all night, or until my son slips off into his dreams noted by a light snore.  A third request met with my sign for the experience to conclude, but even in his drifting state, he shakes his head, “No.”  We sit precious seconds before I lift him to his crib.

He rolls onto his belly, arms and knees tucked beneath, half-heartedly listening to his nightly story.  Deep breaths as I cross the room and close the door.  I linger with my hand on the knob, unclear of what action I await permission.  Perhaps the gentle sting of transition, but I walk softly to my marriage bed hoping to preserve the moment for just a few more precious seconds.  I sigh entering our bedroom; how I love the little being who derives engrossed, simple pleasure from the minutia I offer.

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