Wednesday, June 23, 2010

family: ... little darlin' ...

It's the longest day of the year.... or it was on Monday. So happy solstice! The sad part of the solstice, for me, is that now the days are officially getting shorter. And we haven't had much of a spring around here.

Anyway, to celebrate, both girls' sleeping patterns are completely screwed up.

Noise Makers on the Back Deck

Sunday night we had neighbors over, and the girls had a great time with a 3 yo boy and a 9mo baby, but they also were not in bed until nearly 9pm. Usual bedtime is anywhere from 7.15pm to 8.15 (with L sometimes pushing closer to 9pm). Then, they were both up relatively early on Monday. No sense wasting that longest day daylight! I think L got up around 5.15a and K around 6a.

Which wasn't as bad as it might sound because Lucy the Dog starts getting up around 4a when she thinks it's time for breakfast (the fault of my odd schedule -- at least a couple of days a week I'm up at 4a to eat and feed her and get to work by 5.30a. The problem is, she doesn't understand the difference between a Monday morning and, say, a Wednesday morning. Fed once at 4.15a, she "gets" that this is breakfast time.)

Anyway, the girls are up early after a late night. And that means they are basket cases by late afternoon. Tears all around. Tears for dropped pens, tears for folded papers, tears for markers that don't work, and tears for cheese on the chicken. It's like a tear-festival, but somewhat lacking in festivity.

At one point I sat with both girls in melt-downs at the dinner table, Lucy the Dog circling beneath them for scraps, not unlike a shark circling a boat about to toss chum out into the water except the only chum being tossed was non-edible napkins, dish cloths, and a pacifier, everything, in short, that L could get her hands on. And I ate my cheesy chicken and beans and rice.

Then, of course, L needed something to suck on and hold and her meltdown shifted into overdrive and her pacifier and bunny were under the table.

So I shouldered LtD out of the way and retrieved both, pulled L into my lap, and just went back to eating my own dinner while she and her sister continued to cry. Eventually L asked what I was putting into my mouth, and then she wanted to "twy" it and she did and decided she liked it and so ended up eating off my plate for the rest of the meal. Success! (?) She wanted to drink out of my water, so I sacrificed that as well, and then K did, and then they both wanted their own water....

All this isn't the point though. What I'm getting at is that at 3.30a this morning M and I were woken up by both girls: L calling "MommyDaddyMommyMommy" and K just yelling. M got up, opened our bedroom door, and there was K. I picked her up and she told me she wanted to snuggle with someone so I stood with her while M talked to L.

M: You need to go back to bed.
L: In your bed?
M: In your bed.
L: waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Eventually M&L ended up in our bed, and I ended up with K in her bed. Where I "slept" for about an hour before I realized she was now asleep and I was able to slip out and back into "my" bed where L was sprawled so that I had to shoulder her out of the way in order to make enough space to lie down.

It's at times like these that I try to remember something a good friend told me after the final time his daughter (now a young teenager) asked him to snuggle up with her. He was busy, and she was old enough not to "need" snuggling, so he didn't snuggle. But since then he's realized that she is unlikely to ever ask him to snuggle with her again, and he regrets not taking that opportunity to do so one last time.

So, I try to remind myself that K and later (probably much later) L will not want to snuggle with me forever, and that I should take advantage of the opportunities now. Even at 3.30a in the morning on the night after the longest day of the year.

Even if it makes the next day seem longer still....

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