Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Being together

Today wasn't an awesome mothering day. I mean, it wasn't horrible. I know we've had worse. ;) But it wasn't inspiring. I felt impatient with the kids, and spent most of the day asking them to PLEASE watch TV or go outside. I was so, so tired. A couple of far too late nights.

Jack needed more nurturing than he was getting. Steve took the two little ones to Sam's Club so that Jack and I could have some one-on-one time. At almost-5, his needs are becoming pretty divergent from the two little ones. He needs time that revolves around conversations and doing projects or activities, more than just snuggling and baby-stuff.

We decided to make cookies together. It's funny how much the love-language analysis (see this post) really presents itself once known. I thought he'd love helping with the ingredients and mixing it all up, and he did to some extent. But mostly, he wanted to hide upstairs in his room and have me "surprise" him with the cookies. His face was just alive with joy that he was going to get the cookies as a present.

Andrew would likely spend much of cookie-baking time asking to be held. He'd want to do the stirring while snuggling. He's such a snuggle-bug. When we have one-on-one time, he spends most of it just wanting to cuddle. Just writing this sentence makes me tear up. I love his soft little self that adores human contact. He's such a wild man, tearing it up as he runs around the house. But his soul is refueled by burying his face into our necks and giving the most incredible, incredible hugs.

I love these little men more than words can say.

It's amazing how many "behavioral issues" can be solved with just fixing the maternal energy they get from me. I was frustrated by Jack being too rough with Andrew at times today. Not using his words. I know it's because I was disconnected and not 100% present for them today. I was going through the motions - getting food, putting them down for naps, cleaning up messes - but not really tuning into them. When I could focus completely on Jack, give him some time where it was just about being together, everything that I love about him floated up to the top again. Smiles, bright eyes, belly laughs, and spontaneous hugs.

He deserved better than he got today, but there will always be days like this. I decided early on in my parenting that I wasn't looking for perfect mothering, although I still have the guilty voice when I'm falling short. But what was most important to me was showing the children that we can be fallible, and just have lots and lots of apologies up our sleeve. They got a few of those today.

Hopefully, some lesson came through for Jack that even when we disconnect from each other, we can find ways to meet back in the middle again. Being with him tonight was really nice. So restorative. I love him so much! My sweet, sweet little man.

When he was stirring the ingredients, I said to him: "What's the most important thing about making cookies?" I was trying to prompt him into saying our family refrain while stirring: "Keep it all in the bowl!"

He looked deep in thought and then said with all seriousness: "Eating them."

Aw, Jack. You make me so happy.

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