Laughter and tears at bedtime

“Daddy, sing Sleeping Beauty silly!”

Big Sister said from her bed after Daddy finished telling her a story.  Little Sister lay on my lap drinking her bottle.  Daddy complied with Big Sister’s request, making up hilarious words to the tune of “I Know You” from the Disney movie.  Big Sister laughed, a deep genuine laugh that lit her face, and I couldn’t help joining her.  It felt cozy for all four of us to be together for bedtime.

After this afternoon’s drawn out nap fiasco, I determined to give her Little Sister her bottle in her bed, rather than holding her until she fell asleep.  When I put her in her bed, she sobbed.  I said a little prayer for guidance, and tried laying her on her back.  She thrashed and flailed and popped back up to her feet, throwing her arms around my neck.  I put my arms around her and soothed her.  After a few minutes, I said,

“Why don’t you lay down and drink your bottle?”

And she did!  She quieted and curled up in the corner of her bed.  When I moved to help Big Sister get her toy, Little Sister jumped up and wailed again.  I hugged her and spoke gently to her until she stopped crying, then repeated my suggestion that she lay down.  Again, she did!  This cycle of crying and settling played out a number of times, and finally Little Sister stretched out in her bed and stayed still until her breathing slowed and deepened.  Asleep at last.

I snuggled with Big Sister and held her hand until she also drifted off to sleep.

I felt so grateful to have been able to help both babies go to sleep in way that was both gentle to them and freeing for me.  Prayer answered.

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We can’t do that at Grandma’s either?

Today, I found Big Sister on the toilet with a neat–and tall–pile of toilet paper next to her dangling feet.

We’ve talked about this before, so I asked her why she chose to pull lots of toilet paper off the roll when she knows she’s not supposed to.  She looked up at me with her sweet big eyes and, in all innocence and sincerity, asked,

“Oh, we’re not supposed to do that at Grandma’s house either?”

Legalese coming out the ears

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Daddy and his girls on graduation dayTonight, Daddy was reading Big Sister her favorite story.  He often adds his own unique flavor to stories, but tonight was a little different.

“After he married her stepmother, Cinderella’s father died.  Because Cinderella’s stepmother did not adopt her, Cinderella could still inherit from both her mother’s and her father’s estates under the kingdom’s intestate succession statute.”

Big Sister didn’t get it, but I did.  Sweet honey, you’ll be done studying for the bar exam soon!

Kissed by a butterfly

The girls have been waking up early lately.  I guess 7 AM isn’t really that early in the grand scheme of things, but when the one teenager and all seven adults in this household routinely stay up until after midnight, the cheerful noises of a three-year-old and a one-year-old are none too welcome at 7 AM.

So, when the princesses pop out of bed, I quickly usher them outside, where we explore the fresh green world until the rest of the family is up and about.

Recently, our adventures involved a friendly butterfly.  Butterflies constantly flutter about the broad wraparound porch and flowerbeds here, sometimes resting near enough for us to quietly observe them for some time.  I pointed out one of these to Big Sister, warning her not to touch its wings because that could hurt the butterfly.  I then explained it could stand on our fingers without being harmed.  I set my extended index finger against its tiny delicate legs and watched as it stepped gracefully onto my finger.  Naturally, Big Sister eagerly begged to hold the butterfly.  When I tried to set Big Sister’s finger against the legs of our little friend, the butterfly got flustered and took to the air.

I looked around, but did not see the butterfly on the white porch railings, the plant stands, or fluttering overhead.

“Mom, Look!” Big Sister exclaimed.

I looked down at her pointing finger and saw only the back of her shirt.

“What is it?  I asked.  Only then did I see what she had discovered by extending her neck to peer over her small shoulder.  Our butterfly was walking up Big Sister’s back!

Then, of course, Little Sis wanted in on the action, and butterfly was glad to oblige by flying the short distance to her chubby arm.  As soon as the butterfly landed, Little Sister’s other hand shot out toward this interesting creature on her forearm.  My mom reflexes were faster than her exploratory ones, and I took her hand, preventing Little’s curiosity from killing our new friend.

I realized that she might be more concerned than curious when she started to shake her free arm violently up and down.  The butterfly held on several shakes more than I would have expected, but Little Sister’s frantic attempts to dislodge the insect were finally successful.  Off flew our delightful science lesson, gone as swiftly and blythely as he had come.

That morning, I got real butterfly kisses.  But to be honest, I still think Big Sister’s are better.

I gave birth to a blog!

And it didn’t hurt a bit.  The idea of adding a blog to my life has had a long gestation period, but at long last, I gaze with affection at my newborn brain child.  And for the record, naming a blog is almost as challenging as naming a real baby.

Welcome to my world!

-Sunshine Mama