(Katy, I knew you wouldn't mind if I copied your title!)
This weekend I babysat Bekah and Matt's kids -- Lucy and Jaxon. They were lots of fun and soo sweet. Really pretty easy. So to speak. They were happy and didn't cry at all the whole time. Jaxon just loves being with the big boys. Lucy was pretty happy following everyone around. And she goes to bed and takes a nap without a fuss. She just wants you to read her a story and lay back with her until she falls asleep.
That reminded me of Courtney. Of all my kids, really. But since Courtney was the first, she was the one that started that habit. Every night I was so tired I ended up falling asleep with her. And then I would be so frustrated waking up an hour later and realizing I'd "wasted" my precious "me time" when the kids were all in bed.
One night my Grandma Regan was visiting. It was about a year before she died and she was getting forgetful. I'd fallen asleep putting Courtney to bed and left my Grandma alone in the dining room for a long time. When I woke up and went to sit with Grandma, I told her what happened.
|Courtney took this photo of Marty, Me and Grandma Regan when Grandma came to visit.|
I apologized and exasperated said, "I always have to lay back with Courtney when it's time for bed. I have to read to her and then lay with her until she falls asleep."
Grandma didn't skip a beat and replied,
"Oh, but she'll love you for it."
Would I change a thing? Not a chance.
Back to our weekend with Jaxon and Lucy. Lucy did cry for a couple of hours one night. Wow. That was nothing I hadn't been through before. But I forgot how emotionally draining it can be! Don't you remember saying prayers at night and asking that the baby would please stop crying or would please sleep through the night? I didn't even bother this weekend with Lucy because I know those prayers don't get answered. I'm not complaining, because clearly, I survived. Maybe Heavenly Father knows we'll gladly pass on getting those prayers answered to get more important ones answered when they're teenagers!
So as easy and fun and sweet as the kids were, you forget how much time you spend picking up after that age. And putting away. Repeat.
And Lucy's mantra every 5 seconds was "wa-wa" (water). I'd fill a cup with a 1/2 inch of water which she'd gulp down and and then ask again. Over and over and over again!! Was she interested in her own sippy cup? No she wasn't.
We played at the pool but of course didn't arrive until Lucy's naptime. While waiting for our lunch, I chatted with a mom with kids the same age as Nick and a 3-year-old. She said her 3-year-old had taken a nap in his stroller. Oh! I'd forgotten about "beach naps."
|Christopher in his "beach nap" days.|
|Courtney and Marty in Marty's "beach nap" days.|
When they were napping ages, Marty or Christopher slept in my arms on the beach every Tuesday in the summer when we'd spend the day at the Santa Monica beach with friends!!
So after playing on the playground, walking around the park and then swimming in the pool (jump off the stairs into my arms, "ag-ee" (again) over and over and over again!!) (I wish I had a video of her, just laughing every time and her great, big smile!! So fun!!), I wrapped her in a towel and asked her if she was ready for her nap and she said, "Yes!!!" (?! NOT like Courtney!) and she fell fast asleep!
Funniest was when I took off the swim goggles, she opened her eyes and made me put them back on her. Yep, she napped with the goggles on. After a while I laid her on a lounger and read a book. Felt pret-ty satisfied with my mothering skills.
But I forgot how with young kids you have to decipher what they want to eat. And it's just harder when they're that age than when they're older and you all just sit down at the table and talk. I was exhausted at the end of each day, but found myself instead of going right to sleep, staying awake waiting... waiting... for that dreaded time that they wake up and start to cry!! Remember? Remember?
Not to mention all the big kids coming in and out and staying up late and needing to be driven to where they want to go. It's exhausting. So when my Dad and Diane came to pick up the kids Sunday evening, instead of sending everyone on their way, I was just thrilled to have some adult company and conversation. (Did I mention Dan was out of town the whole weekend?) I made them stay so we could sit outside in the perfect Utah Summer Evening and talk and talk and talk while the kids played and played and played.
It was a great weekend, but I am so glad to be in a new phase with older kids. I loved those years and I love those memories. But I'm ready to move on.