My son and I are very much alike in personality. Too much alike, sometimes. We are both ridiculously stubborn (him because he’s 3, me because I’ve been doing it for 32 years). We both assume we are always “right” and know what’s best. We both like to “win” and hate giving in. Throw in my pregnancy hormones and his immature reasoning, and…yikes.
So what do you get when two stubborn people are together pretty much 24/7? And one of them is working on learning common sense, and the other is a small child?
You get tears. And frustration. And anger, annoyance, rage, whining, pouting, door-slamming, toy-throwing, mean-mugging, and a less-than-enjoyable day.
It’s not always like this; otherwise I’d probably have myself committed. Usually we get along famously. But on Those Days, where everything is a challenge and I struggle to stay polite in my words, I start counting down the minutes until Dada gets home from work. Then, at least, the two of them can go play their rough-and-tumble games and I can get a little time to myself to decompress (even if it is over the stove while cooking dinner).
On Those Days, I often skip out of story time. Dada does all the reading anyway; I just lay there and sometimes get a cuddle (or an elbow). More alone time = WIN.
But no matter how bad Those Days are, I always lay with him after story. Dada get his kisses and hugs, shuts off the lights, makes sure Bumblebee nightlight is activated, turns on the Avengers spotlight so Iron Man is on the ceiling, and then Colt and I lay together.
It’s a holdover from our nursing days, when I would often nurse him to sleep. When we stopped nursing, we transitioned to cuddling before bed. It’s my favorite thing. Especially on Those Days.
I always seem to lay with him longer on days that were particularly bad. If I give him a kiss or move slightly, he whispers, “Can you lay with me a little bit?” It’s like we both realize we need that quiet time together to sort of “mend” the relationship. Sometimes I leave before he falls asleep. Often on Those Days, I stay and watch his eyes flutter as he fights sleep. I get to see when they finally close, those gorgeous long lashes sweeping his soft cheeks. I hear the pattern of his breathing slow and deepen. I look at his angelic, sleeping face and my heart feels like it might burst. All the icky stuff of the day melts away, and all I’m left with is the love.
I treasure those nights. I know there will come a time when he won’t want Mama to lay with him. We’ll still have Those Days, but we’ll figure out another way to mend the relationship. Until then, I will savor our quiet moments at night together.