I have really been enjoying having three kids. I am actually pretty surprised by my own positive attitude. I'm not trying to brag. It's taken me a long, long time to adjust to motherhood. It has been a slow, less than graceful process. Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time would know that!
Tonight I was thinking about the parts of my day that I enjoy the most. I was surprised to realize that the time I tend to treasure the most is the time I am able to spend with each child individually. I absolutely love the late evening hours. Parker and Maddie are tucked into bed, and I can give Jack my undivided attention. After he eats, he takes a leisurely bath. He loves the water (so much so, that he has fallen asleep during his bath at times). He will stare at me wide-eyed while I pour water on his little belly and sing lullabies. I lay him on our bed and gently dry his tiny arms and legs. We have entire conversations in coos and gurgles. I kiss his squishy cheeks, and he rewards me with an enormous toothless grin. After wrapping him up in soft pajamas, we play on his mat in the living room. He has some "tummy-time." With eyes as big as saucers and raised eyebrows, he seems to surprise even himself with his upper body strength. I cheer him on as if he were an Olympic athlete. When I notice his brow begin to furrow in frustration, I scoop him into my arms and cuddle with him. Finally, he is swaddled and carried up to his crib, where after a few brief cries, he drifts off to sleep. He is amazing!
Then I have time to think back on the rest of my day. I adored my "special time" with Maddie today. While Parker was at preschool and Jack was napping, Maddie and I just played. We ate play food in the basement playroom. She served the food and was quite bossy. "No, Mommy! Don't eat yet! We have pway! Gah is gweat. Gah is good. Wet us thank him for our food. By his han we are fed. Give us, Ward, our day-wee bwed. Amen!" I would take a pretend bite, and then if I went for another bite, she would repeat this mantra. "No, Mommy!..." After we ate (and prayed) for a long time, she decided it was time to do our nails. She insisted on painting her own nails ["Because I'm a big guh-wuhl!"] and mine. Salon-quality, let me tell you! She was so happy to just be with me, and it warmed my heart. She kept repeating, "Dis is Mommy-Maddie special time. Not Buddy [Parker]?" I replied, "That's right." "Not Jack?" she'd ask. "Just Maddie," I smiled.
Future make-up artist
The best time of day with Parker often comes during "quiet time." I have given up on the nap-time fight. Parker and Maddie are sent to their rooms for "quiet time" during Jack's afternoon nap. If they fall asleep, fine. If they don't, fine (as long as everyone is actually quiet). Often I will slip into Parker's room during this time. He's always surprised to see me. I put my finger up to my lips to let him know we have to be very quiet, so Maddie (who is directly across the hall) won't know I'm sneaking in. "Do we get to have special time, Mommy?!" he whispers excitedly. I grin and nod. We play Rescue Heroes or build train tracks or read books. Then I tuck him into his bed, snuggle up next to him and sing Silent Night (his favorite song) quietly into his ear. He closes his eyes, murmurs, "Mama, mama, mama," sighs, and kisses my cheek. It is the best.
First day of preschool this year
Now if only I could figure out how to be just as fun-loving and affectionate when I have all three of them together. *Sigh*