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The first few minutes after I come out of Elle-Girl’s room after she’s gone to sleep. Yes, I know you must be thinking I’m crazy, or maybe being fake and unrealistically sappy, but its true.
Around 8 p.m. the business of bedtime begins: It’s splish, splash in the bath, wiggle into warm Jammie’s, and finish off the sippy cup of milk. It’s brush her teeth, spit, repeat, “nigh, nigh, Sea” (Night, Night Sea turtle toothbrush), kiss daddy goodnight. It’s the lowering of the night time shade, read the story one more time, “See” she says as she finds the frog on each page. Turn off the light, snuggle down tight, a brief nursing of Mamma’s milk, drift off to sleep.
The whole process takes about an hour, sometimes longer. Sometimes I find myself waking up an hour later nestled beside my Elle-Girl in her tiny toddler bed exhausted by the day.
Then eventually I make it out into the living room, where David is usually typing a paper, or waiting patiently with a really good movie paused and ready for me to watch with him. Its then the saddest part of my day occurs, because I do one last walk through of the living room picking up stray toys and unfinished imaginary play.
First its the little red ball we lost several hours earlier, or the sippy cup under the couch…”Was that from today?”… a wiggled off sock, an over turned book. But its the little things that some how managed to go unseen throughout the day or evening that melts my heart.
It’s the teddy bear tea party under my dining room table, ‘How did I miss that?’
Its Daffy and Donald Duck camping out behind the couch with a sock for a pillow and a scrap piece of fabric from my sewing box , as a blanket.
‘She’s so imaginative.’
It’s the little fish peeking out from under the couch cushion, ‘Was that for me to see?’
‘Why didn’t I stop and read those to her?’
Moments, precious moments that I some how missed out on.
I AM A STAY AT HOME MOM HOW DO I MISS THIS?
I have a brief moment of regret almost every night about whether or not I spent enough time with my child that day. I’m sure every parent goes through this. It does however make me take note and examine my priorities throughout the day. What really needs to be done, and what can be put on hold? Is that one new notification in my inbox really that urgent, and wasn’t the whole point of paying for DVR so that I may watch that show at another time?
I realize that its ok to let my daughter have time to herself, and I need it as well sometimes. In fact she prefers to play alone at times, even shutting her bedroom door to look at her picture books alone.
I do think as a mother I need to make myself more available, and present throughout the day. I never want her to think that I am too busy for her to come to me, or later in life as she matures, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m too involved in a project to listen to what she has to say.
Every morning I am reminded of how quickly she is growing up.
Every night I am reminded of how quickly these days go by.
Surely I am not the only one who goes through this. Let’s not take these moments for granted moms. Let’s read that book one more time. Let’s hang those clothes up tomorrow and let’s record Ellen to watch later, dancing is always more fun after midnight right?
Let’s get on the floor, build pillow forts and laugh at nothing at all, let’s sing silly songs, and put random things on our heads, so that at the end of the day as we make the rounds through the house that we find ourselves saying instead:
“Oh yeah, that was fun.”
“I think I’ll leave that until the morning, maybe we can do it again……..”
SectionsArts and Leisure, Commentary, Opinion
Topicschild development, Elle-Girl, mothering, nightime rituals, Opinion, Sleepy time
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