I posted a comment on this thread over at Ask Moxie today. Basic gist: a Moxie reader had written in about the ambivalent feelings she was having about being pregnant, and her fears about leaving her child-free life behind. She wanted people to tell her what makes being a parent worthwhile, to calm her fears a bit.
My comment was not among the most uplifting ones. I explained my circumstances and told her that it had taken me until about now to routinely see the joyful side of parenting rather than just the drudgery. My point in telling the reader that was that it can take a while to feel that deep, deep love, that bond, that selflessness—whatever you want to call it—but that it will come, and hopefully sooner for her than for me.
So wouldn't you know, when I got the kids home tonight after a sort of annoying day (job offer put off until tomorrow, many annoying phone calls at work, forgot to buy milk at lunch so had to lug the kids to the store on the way home in the rain) I got a huge, huge "this is why people have kids moment."
Maddie and Riley both said, "I love you!" Over. And over. And over.
They both talk a lot, and say things more complex than, "I love you," so I'd been puzzled by why, despite my repeated coaching and pleading, they had never managed to eke out those three little words. For whatever reason, it all clicked tonight. I was giving Maddie a hug, and I said, "I love you, Mads. Can you say 'I love you'?"
"I love you," she chirped. And then she just ran around yelling, "I love you! I love you! I love you!" Once she got going, Riley got on the bandwagon.
I don't think they really understand what it means, but I don't care. It was awesome. We were all crowing, "I love you!" until bedtime.
On a less positive parenting note, our sleep woes continue, as I mentioned in a previous post. I can't remember the last time we all slept through the night, but it's been at least a month. Riley's been waking up early, or waking up screaming in the middle of the night. Or Maddie will wake up and cry for her binky (I keep many binkies in her bed, but all of a sudden, she keeps losing them. Maybe on purpose?), then when I go in to help her, Riley wakes up. It's not that they've required a lot of attention in the night, it's just that I got used to them requiring none, so this had been hard, especially coupled with the early mornings. I think we're just in the thick of the eighteen-month sleep regression, so I'm hoping it will pass soon. Any day now would be fine.
Desperate for some kind of fix, tonight I tried asking the twins for a favor. When I tucked them in I said, "Maddie, if you wake up in the night and need binky, look around in your bed for one before you start crying for Mama, please. There are extra binkies here if you need one. [I pointed out where to find the extras.] So look before you call for Mama," and "Riley, if you wake up in the night, you don't need to cry. You can hold Froggie [his lovey], look over at YaYa [Maddie], sing yourself a song, or tell a story. Your room is safe and there is nothing to be afraid of."
We'll see how that works. Can't hurt, right? And damn, I'm tired.