Sometimes I complain that I have to put the kids to bed 5 nights a week completely all by myself. Joel works evenings and has for a LONG time and despite many prayers for change, I see no future of any change in sight. It's hard sometimes. They ask for Daddy when they are going to bed. Some nights I am so exhausted by the time I read to all of them and snuggle with each of them (and don't forget about baths!) that I simply flop onto the couch and look at the mess and say, "I will get it tomorrow(which never happens btw.)"
Even when I am complaining, I know it is wrong. How many parents who have lost their little children to cancer or an accident or some other tragedy would beg God for one more night of chaos to have the hugs and kisses and snuggles and "just one more book". Even on the nights Joel is home and he puts them to bed all by himself sometimes to give me a break and I get to sit on the couch and do nothing, I don't feel a sense of relief. I feel guilty. I know that all too soon there won't be bedtime stories and snuggles. If I wasn't doing bedtime by myself every night I would miss moments like these just from last night...
Grace: she fell down the stairs earlier in the evening and had a nasty little bump and bruise right behind her ear. I read about signs to check for with an injury in that location. One said to whisper in their ear and have them repeat back what you said. That just isn't happening with Grace. I tried counting. She is very good at that and can count to 10 all by herself most of the time. Nothing. I tried ABC's. Nothing. So I sang her favorite song Away in a manger, all the way up to her favorite part "the stars in the sky" we do hand motions with it and as soon as I stopped she put her little hands up and did the stars in the sky looking down where he lay. Relief! And it was beyond cute!
Benjamin: I always have to weasel kisses out of Benjamin, but the past few nights he has been telling me he gave all his kisses to daddy and has none for me. Last night he didn't even have a hug for me! So after shamelessly begging for just one kiss, I switched it up on him and told him I didn't want any of his stinky hugs or nasty kisses. After making a huge deal about it for a few minutes what do you think I got?!?? Yep! Stinky hugs and nasty kisses! Oh, how I love reverse psychology and 4 year olds! :)
Noah: I finished tucking him in and asked him if he had done something I had asked him to do. He said nope and then showed me that he had using what he called an "analogy". He just started learning about these in school and while it was not an analogy in fact at all, I just love when he learns something new and tries to put it in practice!!
I can't imagine missing these moments and am thankful that for the rest of their lives they will likely remember bedtime fun with mom. Now I just have to remember to keep it fun and not a chore!