The final Mom Challenge is what the 'best bits' of motherhood are all about. Living in the moment, feeling valued and loving my children.
Day 30: Today’s focus: love
Today I had a really fabulous hour with my children. It was a rare treat to stay in the moment, and to have had enough sleep to truly appreciate it (my daughter has slept through three nights in a row woop woop).
We are all having a bath together. We haven’t done that for a week or so as baby is finally big enough to sit up on her own in there. I’ve enjoyed watching them both sharing a bath, but it’s another step of them growing away. My boy still loves it when I get in the bath with them as it means he gets to play Octonauts and I have to pretend to be Captain Barnacles (and the grumpy cave-blocking turtle who invents quizzes my son must solve to save the day… Octo Alert! Octo Alert!)
Baby is snuggled into me having just had a sleepy breastfeed, when the three year old starts to blow huge farty bubbles on my tummy, making me burst into giggles. Instead of rushing us on and out of the bath as per the usual routine, I just lie there while he blows louder and gurgles ever more disgustingly, tickling my skin with slurpy bubbles. A happy baby looks on, mimicking our increasing laughter as I splash about and get her brother back. We are like this for ages and it is bliss.
Bit of a glitch at tooth-brushing time, (that’s always a battle), and then we are off for milk and stories. I love this time. My daughter crawls around playing with toys or climbing up onto us to try and grab at the pages, while I read stories to my son. Tonight is a rather dark religious tale from his Christmas book, not my choice, but he loves it. Followed by one of my favourites about a scared ghost.
We take our time, finding different animals in the illustrations, talking about the stories, intervening to stop the baby sticking random danger toys in her mouth, doing my son's sticker chart for staying in bed in the morning, and chatting about his best and worst bits of the day.
I realise this time of the day is my ‘best bit’ – there’s all the cleaning up still to come, but right now it’s a delicious bubble of calm children, cuddles and quiet time, relishing the last moments with my children before they sleep.
Son tucked in, kissed and reassured, it’s off to bed with my daughter. I feed her to sleep, a tiny cute animal ferreting around and grasping on in the dark, stroking my chest quickly and then more softly with her tiny hand as she relaxes. I feel valuable.
This is the hour I feel the most love for them. Later I stand and watch them sleeping, and love them all the more.