Long gone are the days that I got to rock my babies to sleep. Wrapping their tiny hand around my finger. Swaddling them into a burrito and shushing them off into slumber. Feeding, rocking and bouncing, while staring at their tiny, sleeping faces. Rubbing my hand over their hair.
Now days it’s relaxing on the couch with Dora or Max & Ruby. Snacks in there too. They sometimes fight over who sits with me. Christian asks to lean against me; Sarah usually rests a hand on my arm or leg. I rub their hair. Brush teeth, go potty, give hugs and kisses and time to head to bed.
“How do I love you? Let me count the ways. I love you on your very best and very worst of days”….
This is how one of Bub’s favorite books starts. We used to read it every single night. That, along with Thomas, the Berenstain Bears, a few Disney Princess books with Sarah, and then end with a song of “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins. Rituals; keeps things calm and routine, you know.
I get done singing and Sarah would ask “One more song” and hold up all five fingers. Christian likes the songs but requests a back scratch while singing them.
Sarah likes to have a lot of layers on top of her. Christian needs two pillows and his Wubbzy tie blanket.
Three penguins (yes, three of them), a baby doll, and a bear are the companions with Sarah for the night. Moose and Puppy with Christian.
They each have a blanket that I got in Hawaii at the BX. They are a long john-type material. I have not found them anywhere else. These will become the tattered and dirtied blankets they will drag around with them for years.
Sarah prefers to sleep on her side with her hands between her thighs. Christian will put an arm up under his head, lie on his belly, with one leg out to the side. The fact that he doesn’t fall asleep with his finger sticking in his nose is a miracle. I swear I never see it not in there.
I usually check on them before I go to bed. Tuck them back in, make sure they aren’t in some uncomfortable looking position, even sneak in kisses. And I rub their hair.
Sarah knows that Mommy or Grandma tucks her in. Christian often poses the question about Daddy at bedtime. I think he wonders if I will be doing it forever. I remind him Daddy lives in North Dakota and he talks of the drive up there, stating how long it took. “Forever”.
Two years ago this Sunday changed bedtime for Christian and Sarah. Not necessarily in a bad way, though. I get to sing five whole songs…sometimes more if I’m feeling up for a medley of nursery rhymes. I scratch backs, get all the kisses I want, and I’m even invited to sleep right next to them when they are feeling particularly cuddly. And I get to rub their hair.
How do I love you? Let me count the ways…