I’ve started this little ritual of cuddling with the older two boys in their beds at bedtime, and it has ROCKED MY MOMMY WORLD.
Perhaps I am the last mommy on earth to do this, and it is normal routine for moms to curl up in bed and bond with the kiddos at night. So I’ll start by telling you why, up until now, I haven’t.
My weight would sadly collapse a pack-n-play, so I don’t do it with baby Quatro. I’m not about to high jump over the crib walls to squeeze into the fetal position with my wiggly 22-month old, so no in-bed cuddles with Cubby. Until we moved into the new house, Tigger was in a toddler bed – and though I’m short, I still hung off the end. And crawling into the bottom bunk with Tadpole was possible, but not likely given that the boys were all in the same room and I never really thought about just snuggling with one.
Now that we’ve moved, the older two boys bunk, unbunked, together in one room (the littler two share another). With the twin beds parallel to each other, it is now physically possible and actually comfortable to lay down with them.
I still hadn’t really considered doing it regularly, until one night a few weeks ago when they were still wound up from the activities and guests of the day, asking me a thousand “why” questions, and generally delaying their bedtime with a variety of amusing childlike ‘needs’. I think there were some tears going on, too, but honestly I can’t remember why because the next ten minutes melted away any negative memories of that night.
I slunk in next to Tadpole, for starters – I do remember he was the one that was upset. As we whispered little words and hugged, he relaxed and I softened. We shared the joys of the day and I asked him if there was anything upsetting him that he wanted to talk about. He did. That doesn’t happen very often.
Don’t get the false idea that it was this intense, dramatic conversation with revelations left and right and bright new insight into my eldest child’s mind. It wasn’t. But it was real, and innocent, and sweet, and necessary, and memorable – at least to me.
And here’s what floored me. With all the testosterone, aggression, energy, and general “boyness” that goes on daily, the nighttime cuddles with both boys have been calming, joyful, lovey-dovey, and… coveted. Just one night of a five-minute cuddle and chat with each of them, and we have all been left hungry for more. A night isn’t complete now without that treasured time.
I’m a sentimental mess, and this kind of stuff adds kindling to my emotional fire. I can have the best or worst day, I can be physically and mentally drained, I can even be questioning what on earth I have done popping out four boys in such rapid succession – but 10 minutes at the end of my day for nose kisses, secrets, happy and sad recaps of the day, and closeness makes every. single. moment. worth it.