Thursday, January 3, 2008

Joy to Angst

The good news is that the day started and ended in cuddles.

Emily used to awaken at 7:15 am, which, given the fact that I'm not a morning person, was a pretty good deal. Suddenly, three mornings running, she's greeting the day at 6:15 am instead.

I take her out of the crib, praying she'll nurse and cuddle back to sleep. She doesn't - go back to sleep, that is. Energy, squeals, laughter, fill the bedroom. I'm showered with the sweetest and tightest baby hugs imaginable. I delight in her joy, in her smell, in her touch - but I'm still exhausted. An incurable night person, I'm always up too late.

All too soon, her squeals turn to cries, telling me I can't stay under the warm covers another minute. She wants freedom. About to begin her third day of full-fledged walking, there's no stopping her. I stumble to the playroom, change her, then let her loose while I lie on the floor, trying to steal at least more rest, if not more sleep.

She crawls on me, laughs at me, pulls my hair, and basically just charms the sleepiness right out of me. God, she's wonderful!

For another hour, before Daniel wakes up, I enjoy her sweetness, her newly-developed stacking ability, and her pride at having learned how to use the Geo-Track train remote control. She loves the boys' toys, but hardly ever picks up a doll, except to briefly hug it and throw it down.

After awhile, Daniel stumbles in, looking all sweet and sleepy-eyed. Though he's not usually a cuddler, if you scoop him up right away, while he's still a tad sleepy, you can get a good, five-minute cuddle in.

He's very attentive to Emily, and she's quite smitten with him too. He takes over being her main attraction, so I lie on the playroom couch, resting and observing. Fully awake now, I revel in my love for them. It's a perfect, warm and cozy morning, even though it's in the single digits outside.

My joyful morning continued, when Timmy stumbled in twenty minutes later. Now HE is a cuddler! Together, we cuddled on the couch, arms and legs intertwined, watching the antics of the other two. My husband and I feel so lucky to have at least one child who will cuddle for as long as we're interested.

With bellies still to fill, I force myself to break the spell and get up. They're all somewhat skinny kids, and even though it's probably genetic (we're thin also) I still feel it my duty to fatten them up, though it never seems to work. The two younger ones are only in the twenty-fifth percentile.

Timothy, despite my trying many different foods, will only breakfast on chocolate milk and a few pieces of dry Cherrios. But that's another post.

As the day wore on, the joy it began with, slowly but steadily, turned to angst. We have money worries, and though I usually give them to God, today I took them back from Him and let them spoil my day.

The dinner table did nothing to help my mood. No surprise there. Emily and Timothy wanted to eat just roast. I, who am nothing short of the whole-grain police, was not happy. Emily was finally coaxed into adding leftover whole wheat spaghetti to her menu, while Timmy succumbed to adding five apple slices and a few raisins. I know - don't tell me - I'm not supposed to cater to their eating whims.

Bathtime had its own troubles; they didn't want to get in, then they didn't want to get out. Emily got shampoo in her eyes and then kept trying to put her face in the water. She wailed upon exiting, and being the washcloth sucker that she is, had to be given a clean, wet washcloth to suck before calming down enough for me to dress her.

My husband, usually a second-shift worker, was on a different schedule this week, so he was available to take over - so I could go have a quick primal scream in my bedroom.

But no angst after that. The day ended in cuddles and sweet nothings, whispered into sleepy ears.

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