"But Mama I'm not tired, I want to play in my fairy garden...." she whined from the hot backseat of our car. The thrill of new tools justhersize stronger than reason. As we drive home I consider a later nap, some yard play first. Then her eyes began to droop and she gets that drunken toddler look most of us recognize at some time of day. Her head sank back against her headrest, then after a few minutes lolled all the way forward in a way that would have been painful if our drive home wasn't so short. Here we are at home.
I unbuckle the baby first. She is always guaranteed to drift asleep in the car at this time. Her hot little head wavered upright then slid down to my shoulder. I pat her back as we walk into the house, up the stairs, into the nursery. I lay her down and her eyes open, weighing the fact she is missing out on milkies against her sleepiness right now. Her eyes close, I take her little baby shoes off and cover her with a light blanket.
I go back out to the garage for the three year old. Her head is now resting against the side of the carseat and I am tempted to photograph her. I would post it to Facebook with the caption "But I'm not tired, Mama!" These funny little ironies often keep me going when the days of staying home with very small children get trying.
I unbuckle the big one and heft all thirty pounds of her against my own sweaty body. The weather is warmer than we are dressed for and we are a bit overheated. Her hair is curling up around her cheeks with perspiration and sleep. My steps are slower carrying this one, as she is the last child to secure in her bed for a nap. I love the weight of her sleeping in my arms since it is rare at this point in her life that I rock her or hold her as she sleeps.
It is harder to manage the porch steps, the front door, more stairs again. She shifts and calls for the little stuffed iguana she carries throughout her daily adventures. I ungracefully flop her down on to her bed and even as I reach for them she asks for me to take her shoes off. I pull her bed sheet up and tuck her in a bit. Her eyes flutter closed and I love her so dearly.
Holding them while they are asleep makes up for the bad morning, bad week we are having. Their soft breath on my neck as I carry them to their beds covers a clogged toilet, complaining, messes, potty accidents and the insidious way one starts whining or crying just as the first one stops.
I often find after a rough day, seeing them in their beds makes me love them so fiercely I just want to pull them back into my arms for more cuddling.
I let them sleep.
Then I chose to nap myself in order to recharge, recover and ready myself to do all of it again when they wake.
This post inspired by sleeping children and the blog Extraordinary Ordinary "Just Write" come check it out here!