Friday, February 22, 2008

Bedtime Cuddles

The last step of the boys' bedtime routine involves a five-minute cuddle with Mommy. They share a room with two twin beds, so I just go from bed to bed, praying and cuddling.

Timmy doesn't talk a whole lot about complex feelings yet. Not sure if this is his nature, or just that his language skills aren't there yet, at four-years, three-months old. Daniel, six-years-one-month, does very well discussing his feelings, and I learn so much about him during our nighttime cuddle. I love this time because the "hurry ups" are over, the day is done, the wiggles are gone, and I can just hug and gently and quietly BE with them.

Daniel needs lots of affirming words, as that's his primary love language, so I take time to whisper sweet nothings in his ear. I'll remind him of the reasons I'm proud of him, the ways he was kind during the day, and how much I love being his mommy.

Timmy's love language is physical touch, so he's not interested in talking during these times. Instead, he just wants to wrap himself around me in a tight hug and stay that way for as long as I'm interested. They are so different!

My primary love language is affirming words, and my secondary is physical touch, so I can relate to both boys' needs. I'm sure that was God's plan all along. My husband's love languages are a combination of our boys' languages too.

Emily Rose, at fourteen months, has a much simpler bedtime routine. She can't take much more than her bath, lotion and dressing, teeth cleaning (nightmare!), nursing and a short song. After all that, she clearly wants her crib and is always grateful to be left to sleep. She still wakes once or twice during the night, usually briefly. I'll nurse her one time, and for the other wake up my husband goes in to lie down on the guest bed in her room. She stays in her crib and goes right back to sleep, just because he has joined her.

I think in a way, these special nighttime cuddles are part of my need to show them that I'm more than a hurry-up-drink-your-milk-pick-up-your-toys-put-on-your-shoes kind of mommy. Hopefully, after I've left the room, their last thoughts before drifting off are of the sweet mommy, not the nagging one.

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