At what age will it be creepy for my kids to wake up in the middle of the night to find me sitting on the edge of their beds staring at them? It’s part of my nightly routine, after walking through the house locking doors, flipping off lights and running the dishwasher, I tiptoe into my daughters’ bedrooms and stare at them.
Some nights I get all the way back to my bed before I realize I didn’t check on them. I hesitate before I lie down, thinking that skipping one night isn’t that big of a deal. Then, my crazy kicks in and I do a little math— only 10 years until Aubrey graduates, 12 years for Emma, 14 for Sadie and before I know it I’m standing over their beds, rearranging their blankets, tucking their hair behind their ears and kissing their smooth cheeks while they sleep.
I’ve told them that I do this, mostly as an extraction techinique for exiting Sadie’s room. She wins the award for being able to draw out bedtime the longest and for the most creative excuses to get out of the bed.
Some of her best:
“Momma, I bited myself on da knee and it huts weally bad. I meed a Band-Aid!” (Don’t you hate it when you accidentally bite your knee?)
“You porgot my ice water.” I get her icewater.
“Not DAT cup! Dat’s Emma’s cup! I want da pwincess cup wif the purple wid!”
Sometimes she has to deal with it, but because she shares a room with Emma (who falls asleep as soon as her head hits the pillow) occasionally I am forced to negoitiate with the little terrorist to keep from waking her older sister.
I deliver the princess cup with the purple and head to the living room, before I can get to the couch. “Momma! You porgot dat ting so my hands won’t be fweezing!” She yells.
My eyes roll back in my head so far that I see my brain.
A hugger. My four-year-old can’t go to sleep at night because the DIVA needs a hugger on her sippy cup to keep her hands from getting cold.
I take her the hugger, hastily slip it on her sippy cup, give her “ONE more kiss and a hug,” and as I back out of the room slowly I assure her that in just five short minutes I’ll be back to kiss her and hug her again. Just as soon as she goes to sleep. It seems to reassure her and briefly stops her demands long enough for me to run out of earshot.
Still trying to be in charge she yells, “Momma, in four minutes come back in here and gib us six more kisses okay?”
“Will do!” I shout as a slam the door behind me thinking that fourteen years might be a really, really long time.
After being out of town for several days over the last two weeks, I’ve lingered even longer at bedtime, snuggling and talking with my girls. This past weekend was glorious, my husband had to be out of town this week as well so my mother, Shuggie, stayed here with the girls while we were gone. Friday was a busy day, I ran from place to place in the freezing cold counting down until 5pm when Zeb would get back from his business trip and we would all be home together with nowhere to go. I cooked a huge pot of spaghetti, turned on the fireplace and put on my pjs as soon as we got home and looked forward to a weekend with my little family back under the same roof.
I laid in the bed with Emma, my six-year-old. Sadie, her roomie, had begged to sleep with Aubrey and Emma gladly let her go, relishing the quiet in their shared room. I kissed her all over Emma’s face and told her how precious she is to me.
“I love you so much. Do you know that? I am so glad that God made you just the way He did and gave you to me! I think you are so sweet and kind, and you are SUCH a good helper. You always do what I ask you to and say yes ma’am. And you know what else I love about you?” I asked.
“You are so funny and silly! You make me laugh.” I kissed her forehead again and said goodnight but didn’t move to get up.
“Momma,” Emma said, “Are you going to come back in here and kiss me later?”
“Yep. I always do. I kiss you while you sleep, I smooch all over your little face! Is that creepy?”
“Nah, I don’t think so.”
“When do you think that will be creepy? When you are 15, 16? In college?”
“I guess if you woke up in your dorm room and saw me standing over your bed that would be kind of creepy, huh?” I joked.
She giggled, “I guess so.”
“Do you think Shuggie still does that to me? Do you think she sneaks in my room to kiss me when I’m asleep?”
“I don’t know.”
“When you get big like me, if you need a hug and a kiss, I’ll drive to wherever you are just to give you one,” I promised.
She threw her arms around my neck and squeezed, “You are the best Momma in the whole world. And I bet Shuggie would do THAT for you. I know she loves you that much!”
“I think so too. But I won’t have very far to drive because you are going to live right next door, remember? And I’m going to babysit your babies…”
“That’ll be awesome! Then I won’t ever have to pay a babysitter!”
I snickered at her maternal instinct, “You can say that again.”
Sadie yelled from the other room, “Momma my wegs are sword.”
I sighed, “Alright, let me go tend to her. I love you. Nighty-night.”
She rolled over in her bed, “Night. And Momma? Don’t forget to come back when I’m asleep, okay?”
“I won’t,” I said as I turned out the light and thought to myself that even with “sword legs,” self-inflicted bite marks and sippy cups in huggers, that fourteen years might not be long enough.
One more question… at what age are you supposed to stop wearing your “baby”?