Monday, February 24, 2014

I Love You The Morst

Like most moms, there comes a point in the day when I begin to look forward to bedtime - the kids' and mine. However, like most kids, mine are pretty good at stalling.  I have to remind them of every single step, even though they know exactly what to do.  They seem to suddenly develop strange ailments that need immediate attention even though these ailments have not been bothersome all day.   The stuffed animals must be painstakingly placed in just the right spots.  Of course, their night lights cannot be forgotten.  The bedtime routine is one that I tend to rush them through and we all end up feeling a bit frustrated.

A few months ago, I wrote a post explaining why looking in on my sleeping children before I go to bed is my favorite part of the day.    That's still true.  It's getting to that point that is hard.  When bedtime rolls around, they are tired.  They don't want to be rushed or reprimanded.  But, guess what? I'm tired, too.  I am out of patience and, most nights, I am just trying to get through it.

There are parts of the routine I cherish, though.  I really need to try and focus on those aspects of it - the little parts that bring me joy.

For example, my oldest daughter likes to wear her hair in a braid during the night so it doesn't get tangled.  Now that she is 11, this is one of the few times I am allowed to fix her hair.  As I brush and braid her tresses, we talk about the day or what new book she is reading.  It only takes a couple minutes, but they are our minutes together.  As she gets older, she needs me less and less, but she still needs me to braid her hair.

My middle daughter has never been much of a snuggler.  That's mostly because she is a ball of energy.  She is rarely still and it is difficult to hug a moving target.  She is often the most difficult one to get settled in the evenings, but I always get one good hug at bedtime.  I always make a point of looking in on her before I go to bed, too, because she looks so calm and peaceful in a way that I only see when she is sleeping.

My youngest one I call my "snuggle bug" because she is so loving and sweet.  She has always been very generous with her hugs and kisses.  At night, she is the one who puts her arms around my neck and won't let go or the one who says "Please, mommy!  Just one more hug."  A long time ago, after watching the movie Tangled,  she and I started to the "I love you - I love you more - I love you the most!" game.  One night not too long ago, I got tongue tied and said, "I love you the morst!"  She thought it was funny and that has now become our new bedtime routine.  One of us says, "I love you the morst!" and the other replies "I love you the morst, too!"



There will come a time, I know, when I will miss the chaos of the bedtime routine.  There will come a time when Rachel doesn't need me to braid her hair; when Megan will sleep in a dorm or an apartment and I won't be able to get that last glance of peacefulness; when Emily is embarrassed by "I love you the morst!"  I know.  I do.  When the exhaustion sets in, though, and the patience runs out, I forget to remember and I lose my cool.

I want to cherish these moments.  I really do, but sometimes it's hard.  I'm going to try harder, though.  I'm going to stop forgetting to remember that it won't always be this way.  I'm going to take some deep breaths and stop rushing.  And, I'm always, always going to say "I love you the morst!"


~This post was inspired by Chris, from The Mom Cafe and her guest post on Whoa Susannah~

22 comments:

Sarah @ LeftBrainBuddha said...

I love this and it is so much like what I wrote for today -- about the moments of parenting that are ephemeral and "shatterable" and how we need to breathe through the good moments and the bad ones. Loved reading this! {My daughter started the "I love you the most" thing after watching Tangled, too}.

Janine Huldie said...

This totally made me smile and also put a tear in my eye. Sounds so similar to our bedtime and as much as I want them to go to bed at nig, I also try to spend as much time telling them I love them, too. Both girls are at the age where they are beginning to identify more with me, because it am girl and mom, too. So, they always ask me tuck them in. Kevin is allowed to kiss them, but if get the honor of doing the final tucking in at night. As crazy as the day is, I always look forward to it, too, because I just love them so much and they do too. Truly our special time of the day here, too ��

The Dose of Reality said...

So sweet! Loved this so much! I take my 6 year-old to the bathroom every night before I go to bed myself. She never wakes up, so every now and then I will sit with her in the rocking chair before I put her back in bed and remember that feeling of holding a baby. This time is so fleeting.-Ashley

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Sarah! Bedtime is just hard, but, when it's over, I feel like I missed an opportunity for some real connections. Can't wait to read your post!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Janine! I think I have forgotten how special it is because I have gotten too caught up in the chaos of it. Hopefully, this week will be better!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It is fleeting. I have to remember that! :-)

MamaRabia said...

I had been having a huge bedtime struggle myself and a friend suggested that I start earlier and spend a bit more time with them. Now I read to them in the dark and then sit for about 20 minutes while they fall asleep. It's good quiet time for me and they get better sleep because they aren't talking to each other and keep each other awake!

Tamara Bowman said...

I love you the morst! I love it!
My kids seem to go through phases, but right now, they're both in big snuggling phases. It lines up! Speaking of lining up, I was answering comments on my blog while posting comments on others. I like to take turns. I was answering yours on my blog, and then you were the next blog on my bloglovin to read/comment on! Cosmic!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Ha! What a lucky coincidence! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Ours was going smoothly until a month or so ago. I let my kids go to bed later this school year (youngest at 8:00, middle at 8:15, oldest at 8:30.) It worked well and I got a few minutes to focus on each of them. The problem is that, with them going later, I got less "me time" after they went to bed. Now, they re whining, stalling - and I am selfishly rushing them so I can get my time. I've told them if it continues this week, bedtimes are getting moved up! (Sorry for the mini blog post response!)

Dana said...

I still snuggle with my kids, although I'm not needed for braids anymore. I know what you mean about trying to keep cool when you just want them (and you) to go to bed. It's hard, but we end every night with "I love you too."

Meredith said...

It's so hard and impossible to enjoy every moment. But, I believe that if we stop and reevaluate when we're reminded, then we are good moms!! I love that phrase too. I may steal it. ;)

Kim said...

I remember so many days just wishing that my boys would be ready for the end of the day and bed on time and then going in to tuck them in with hugs and them wanting to talk and talk - such a dilemma because I want them to always talk to me but by bedtime I just want to sit and be quiet.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

I hope I will always snuggle with my kids, too. It's just been a hard routine lately. But we still end with "I Love You" - always!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

You are welcome to steal it! And I agree - the fact that we take a step back and try to do it better shows just ow much we love them. :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It is a dilemma! By that time of day, I am so tired and I just want to be done. BUT - I know those are moments I should cherish - chances for real connection. It is a tough balance.

Jennifer Hall said...

My kids do the same stalling things. And then there is the sweet stuff. I always say parenting is a jumble of conflicting emotions. Stop! Go! Cuddle with me! Don't touch me!

Chris Carter said...

LOVE this Lisa!!! I love your precious bedtime routines- braiding hair, and sayings... so beautifully said here, my friend!! Thank YOU for the reminder once again... and ya know what happened tonight? After a LONG day gone with my mom who is in town, and on to spend the evening over at my sisters dealing with a crisis (long long story- heavy heart tonight...ugh) I rushed the kids to get into bed, and told my son that I snuggled enough with him at my sister's...and I started to talk to Derek to fill him in, and immediately STOPPED in mid-sentence and said- "Wait- I gotta go back up"
I ran upstairs (well hobbled on my foot- other one is lame) and went into his room... and he squealed "You came BACK for me mommy!!"

Oh, yes I did. :)

Alexa said...

I totally get this. In fact, just last night I was so frustrated by my middle child, who absolutely refuses to go to sleep in her bed. (and once she does, she's only there a couple hours before she crawls in bed with me.) I'm so tired I can hardly see straight. And yet, a part of me thinks - there will be a time when she doesn't want to snuggle all night long, and I'll miss that. Oh and we do the Tangled thing too! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Amen to that!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Aw! That is so sweet! I love that you went back. Sorry to hear that you have a heavy heart right now. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It is a contradiction, isn't it?? I want to snuggle with them and love them AND I just want them to go to bed and leave me alone! :-)

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