Sunday, December 09, 2007
I just got the twins to sleep. After trying routines involving songs and prayers and gentle tucking in, then finding ourselves resorting to pleading, threatening, and spanking after they get out of bed like 20 times, we've finally realized the only way to get Oliver and Silas to sleep is to lie down with them. I tried this for a nap last week and after laying by them for 5 minutes to ensure they stayed still, they were sound a sleep. And now they're finally napping again and going to sleep at night without hours of putting them back to bed with increasing frustration every time. They'd be so cute with saying their prayers and singing several songs with us (their favorites are "Gentle Shepherd," the "horsie song" which is really Hushabye, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "Winken Blinken and Nod"), then we'd kiss them goodnight (they always want butterfly kisses and nose kisses and on and on), then we'd say goodnight - and then they'd be jumping around 1 minute later. They are always so tired but they just CAN'T go to sleep with the temptation of playing together ever-present. So they jump on their beds and throw diapers around their room and squeal and sing and pretty much go crazy in there as soon as we leave them alone in their room. While it's hard to find 5 minutes to 1/2 hour - never know how long to expect - to lay down with them, it's become one of my favorite times of day.
These little guys are typically so busy making messes and chasing each other and coming up with wild plots that they don't like to bother much with hugs and snuggles from me. But get them laying down on their beds in a quiet, darkened room and they're total little snugglers. I trade off who I lay down next to and they're always so sweet and excited when it's their turn. Oliver likes to snuggle his head into my neck and have me hold his hand - "Hode hand pees, mommy." He does these little pulse squeezes to my hand as he gradually falls asleep. And while I lay there with Ollie, I watch Si on the bunk above, trying so hard to keep his ever-heavier eye lids open until he just can't. When I lay down by Silas, he likes to lay on his stomach and I'm usually laying there on my side, looking down at Oliver with my head about at Si's stomach. Usually at some point, Si throws his little arm around my neck. Tonight he did that and said, "Mommy, I yuv you." I told him I loved him too and he said, "I weeyee weeyee yuv you." Way to melt my heart! Oh, these are the best little guys! I guess I really need these great little lay-down moments with them to remind myself how very much I love them after the hassles they put me through so very often. It's so beautiful to watch them fall asleep. There's nothing like it. And even more beautiful to be snuggled up to them, to feel their little hand in mine or little arm around my neck, to feel their breath against my neck, to caress their silky platinum hair and soft necks, to take time out to lay there and ponder and relax for a few minutes, to feel needed and loved by these precious little wild ones of mine.
I tend to get too caught up in the wo-is-me of motherhood - so many of the basic tasks of motherhood from diapers to dishes so discipline seem so mundane and repetitive and annoying and mind-numbingly boring. But the hard stuff buys the good stuff - the beautiful moments (like snuggling the twins to sleep), the teaching opportunities (me teaching them, them teaching me), the fun moments (when you get to be a kid again thanks to your kids' exuberance). And some of the hard stuff gets transformed into good stuff with the right attitude (learning moments can fit into doing dishes together, diaper time can be a great time for one-on-one interaction, etc.). And besides the immediate good stuff, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm impacting the world in a uniquely meaningful way. That I'm helping to solve the world's problems one teaching moment at a time, one day at a time, one baby at a time.
Here's a new favorite quote I just found in the Ensign that has been helping me find increased joy and purpose in motherhood in the last couple days:
“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”
- E. T. Sullivan