Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love hurts...

Ok. I’m back to tell my story. I haven’t much to say really. It is simply that every night for the last two weeks I have had a glimpse of what it must have felt like to be Aphrodite. In the paintings I mean, not her real life. And if you leave out the men. I am talking in sensual, emotional and devotional terms here, not sexual. Sorry, what I mean is that I now know how it feels to be lavished with adoring, caressing female attention from girls who simply cannot get enough of your body. Yes, I am talking about my daughters.

Since the girls started to sleep together our bedtime routine has evolved, or regressed, depending on your parenting point of view. I no longer meditate on Jemima’s floor while she falls asleep. Instead I lie down between them both and wait for them to fall asleep. I know that many parents - though probably not my blog readers - will be shocked that I still do this with my four and a half year old daughter. Especially back in the UK where most parents I know have perfected the art of a simple ‘Night night! See you in the morning’ bedtime routine.

And while that does sound rather nice and orderly – hmmm, there are nights I would kill for it actually - just think what I would miss out on? For as I lie there between my two sweet honey pies, I get to feel like the most loved and adored and deliciously juicy woman that ever graced the earth. On one side Bella breastfeeds, mmmming and aaaahing as she goes. While she feeds, her free arm is thrown across my body and she squishes and squeezes and squidges the flesh on my tummy in her hand. Hmm, actually this is very painful and something I could do without.

When I say: ‘Gently Bella!’, she pulls off the boob (ouch), sits bolt upright and starts to stroke Jemima’s and my hair. She thinks ‘gently’ means ‘stroke hair softly’. It is very sweet. Then she throws herself on top of me, buries her head in my belly and blows big, deep, sticky raspberries. She generally has a lot of fun at the expense of my bodily flesh.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Jemima is snuggled up whispering sweet somethings in my ear. “I love you Mummy. Let’s have a conversation”

“Ssssh, its bedtime. No talking”. Short and sharp. I try to be strict. Very business like. “Oh, I love you too”

Nowit is her turn to sit up, resting (read: digging) her elbow comfortably in my ribs. Owwww... every night!

“How much do you love me?”

Here we go. You all know that game, like the book: “How much do I love you?”? I love you as much as the sky, all the water in the sea ... Last week Jemima threw herself at me so violently I had a blood blister on my lip for a week. But I actually wanted a scar to remind me forever of the words she uttered just as her forehead came crashing onto my mouth “I love you as much as all the stars in the sky Mummy!”

A few bruises later things finally quieten down and at some stage, when their breathing becomes heavy and deep, I carefully disentangle myself from the mass of hair, limbs and lips that seem to be pinning me to the spot, shake out my pins and needles and sneak out like an excited child, “James! They’re asleep! We can eat chocolate!”. Other times though I just stay put and wallow in all that love for a while. Until my legs go dead.

Or until I get kicked out. Their loving doesn’t stop once they are asleep. At least three times before we go to bed I will hear one of them yelp in their sleep as a result of some smack, squash or kick. Once I found Bella up and awake, chatting very loudly, with some of her fingers inside Jemima’s nose, to get a good grip, and some of them inside Jemima’s eyes, how else could she prise them open? Jemima slept on, unaware. I have watched Bella roll on top of Jemima and stay there, the two of them continuing to snore gently to themselves. And the cushion boundaries stacked around their mattress never go high or far enough. One of them almost always ends up on the other side of the room, asleep on the cold tile floor with one leg flung up and resting in the cupboard. Perhaps cots and child seized beds are a good idea after all. But then there’d be no room for me.


Ann-Marie Dewhurst said...

Enjoyed that! xxx

Ann-Marie Dewhurst said...

Enjoyed that! xxx

Hobo Mama said...

Children are such acrobats, aren't they? And have no sense of their own strength. My toddler's newest game, every time he sees an inch of bare skin, is to "tickle" it -- by which I mean gouge it. I have the scratch marks all up and down my legs to prove how "fun" this is, but we just have to laugh because he thinks he's being hilarious!

Love the description of your nighttime sweetness mixed with violence. I've been beaned many a time while I'm half-asleep. Sometimes by a flailing toddler fist -- sometimes by a foot!

Georgie said...

Ha Ha! yes they can get pretty violent! xxx

Jennifer L. said...

Ha! I just found your blog after searching for "Trained night crier" and I am delighted.

I have a 16.5 month old who frequently wakes during the night. I asked my pediatrician if it was normal and she asked, "Did you get our sleep flyer?" It was basically a four page article that summarizes all of the problems associated with "night awakenings from holding until asleep." The article gives eight strategies to help the trained night crier: crib, another room, security object, boring visits,'ve probably read about them all.

I enjoyed the "Love hurts" post so much. I know what you mean. Before my daughter falls asleep lately, her hand bats (hits) the other breast for another let-down. Or she'll twiddle the other nipple (fun, fun, for all!).

When my daughter was just learning to help herself to the milky-milk, she raised herself up and then just dropped her head on my mine, giving me a super fat lip that was so painful tears welled up in my eyes. Those little ones, they're fierce sometimes!

She's learning to hug right now and it's the sweetest feeling that makes up for all of the accidental night time battle wounds.

I don't ever really feel too sleep deprived since I try to go to bed early, but my memory is definitely gone. I also don't like that there is such a strong social expectation that we should be doing things differently. Are family beds more common where you are? As you know, they're mostly frowned upon in the US and probably in Britain too. "When are you going to move her out of your bed?" I answer, "When she goes to college." Just for the expression. Of course she'll move out of our bed some day.

I am looking forward to reading more of your blog!

Georgie said...

Oh the fat lips.. Jemima still manages to give me those. I love your response to the how long question - serves them right for being so nosy! Yes we are lucky that here people are so open - expats I mean - they have their own ways but they are open to everyone elses' simply because lived all over the world. And the Cambodians co-sleep so that is great. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!