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.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I’m back. It has been a long time I know. I have been working on a feature about gang rape in Cambodia which has kept me busy and my writing focus elsewhere. The feature will not go on line so I cannot link it here. I could blog about it but really it is such a sad and distressing subject I don’t want to dwell on it anymore. I can put some good links in for anyone who is interested in the issue and no doubt I shall write about it soon, to let off some steam. Actually I have made one friend during the project who I will keep in touch with and try to help so I am sure I may tell her story anonymously one day if she allows me, if only to raise some much needed funds for her. But right now I want to focus on something lovely instead.

I have been meaning to write about this for two weeks now. I have to document it for my girls and it will make you smile too. And then in return please share your own lovely bedtime moments. For this is what I am going to tell you about tonight, our recent bedtime routine.

Ah, before I go on I have to say that as I wrote the word ‘routine’ Jemima appeared at my side with her blanket. “You said you were coming back in a minute’ she said, “You should listen to your words because you know what you are supposed to do!” Arrrggghhhh! She’s right too. I’d tucked her in bed and said I’d be back in a minute thinking she would get distracted and cuddle up to Bella and fall asleep. Then I snuck in here to write and got caught red handed. Well this time I told her the truth. That I wanted to go and write about her to add to all the things I have written about her since she was born her life. So she’s in bed mulling over the idea of having several volumes about her life to read when she is a big girl like Mummy, and hopefully falling asleep, and I shall continue with my story. Except I can’t! Double arrrghh. It is ten to eight and I have a breastfeeding support group to attend. Humph. I shall continue... keep you if it were that exciting. But it is lovely though. I may even come back tonight if it doesn’t go on too late. Otherwise tomorrow...


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