“Mama!” I hear him yell from his bedroom; his need finding me, even though I’m downstairs in the kitchen cutting an apple for my older son.
“Mama!” He yells again and I roll my eyes. I’ve specifically told him not to call for me, that I will be there shortly.
Even at six years-old, lying with him at night is a non-negotiable. I love it more than it annoys me, which I repeatedly remind myself as his calls become more insistent.
I could enjoy relaxing with him more if I didn’t feel anxious about also getting the other boys into bed. If I didn’t hear the loud tick-tock of the clock in my head, announcing with every beat that it’s getting later and later; that I won’t have any time for myself and my husband, that they will not get enough sleep, that they are stomping on my last nerve and I might just snap, ruining a perfectly good day in the very last minutes.
I finish slicing and trudge upstairs to my oldest son’s room where he is reading a Tom Green book and happy for the snack. I note that he is fully dressed, and even though I’d rather he be studying his vocabulary for a test tomorrow, I hold my tongue on both counts. He’s eleven. I need to cut him some slack. Besides, I’ve told him twice already.
I stop in my middle guy’s room to tell him to stop shooting basketballs and get in bed. He continues shooting, so I tense, preparing for battle. “Just let me make this shot!” He bargains, sensing the imminent loss of his ball. I accept his compromise thankfully, confrontation averted.
Finally, I head to my youngest son’s room. He’s hiding under his covers, preparing to jump out and shout ‘BOO!’ He does it every night. I used to feign surprise but now I just tousle his head. “Boo yourself.”
“I wasn’t supposed to call for you.” He admits. “But I did.”
“I heard you.” I say, pushing a long dark curl away from his face.
“But you took sooooo long.” He complains.
“You were supposed to be relaxing.” I scold, but not really.
He nuzzles closer, unzipping the extra sweatshirt I’m always wearing because even in the house I’m cold, and tucks his little arms in and around me.
“Stay for 10 minutes.” He coos, snuggling his face against my chest.
He still loves squishing into my boobs. Since he was three, he’s been trying to cop a feel.
“Two minutes.” I whisper, feeling my insides go mushy at the soft curve of his cheek, the long lashes, and pouty mouth. With his eyes closed, he still looks so much the baby and I tenderly kiss his fat cheek that’s not as chubby as it used to be.
“Mama!” My middle son yells. “Tickle!”
“One minute.” I call out.
My baby instinctively pulls me closer. “No, not yet.”
I pet his head and kiss him again, knowing it’s time to go, wanting to go, but afraid of the day he’ll just let me, so we cling to each other a little more.
“Mama.” I hear the voice of my oldest. “Come.”
I really want them all to be sleeping. It’s late. I’m tired. I want to relax and watch Modern Family. But I can’t stop myself from taking the moment to baby each one of them; to remind them that they’re still little and special and mine.
It’s time to go, and I gently but forcibly extract myself.
There are still two more rooms to visit.
He’s precious, Mama.
thank you. 🙂 how can i not squoosh with that face?
It’s impossible not to.
what a head of hair! 🙂
just last night I was marveling over the fact that my 4 yo let me leave her in her bed alone and leave the room without a fight. it’s the first time in YEARS that I’ve been able to leave the room without her begging me to stay and me relenting, of course. I may bitch and moan about it, but man, i love it. i love when she falls asleep on my arm, i love feeling her head get heavier and heavier as she drifts deeper and deeper. and, like you, i know it won’t last forever. it just won’t. 😦
i know!! so often i wish to just be let go easily but noo oo oo it won’t last and then i’m going to just cry!! (but my 8 and 11 year olds still must have me, so… i’m hanging in there) 🙂
Awww I know EXACTLY how that feels. I get pissed when they play around past bedtime but I also try to remember that these moments won’t last forever. You pulled my heart strings.
such a tug in ourselves… wanting a little time to ourselves but not wanting the time we’re in to change
Oh, I hate when they are faking. Especially since they look so darn cute!
i asked him to pretend to be sleeping to take a picture for this essay. 😉
love this. my 7 year old son is already over me, so when my 5 year old girl wants that extra time, I take it. because i need it. and because you’re right, it will be all over soon enough.
right? just a minute ago there were little babes.
Well first let me say he is so darn cute I would have a hard time saying no to him!! I too have a cuddle bug for a youngest and I find it so easy to give in to him because I know all that, mommy you are the best, will be coming to an end very soon!!
stop that!! i refuse to let it end. i still have to go snuggle the older boys too. they are under my spell. bahaha
So cute. You know there’s a book called that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-vDYOpkoWE
omg – i did know this book but samuel jackson reading it is hilarious!!
I thought so too. I love that video.
“Even at six years-old, lying with him at night is a non-negotiable.” Your six-year-old and my five-year old are cut from the same cloth. Kind of you, I’m torn between enjoying the snuggle time and feeling incredibly antsy every night.
i feel torn too. i love it and often i want to just hug and leave.
I love this post! I am so right there with you as I go through this every night with my kids too! My daughter is 7 and still has so much of her baby-ness and my son is 11 but still loves to cuddle with his mama as if he were 3. I crave my own time and always think, “when are they gonna just grab a kiss and then put themselves to bed!” But then, I just snuggle back cause my babies keep getting bigger and one day they may not want to snuggle so much. At least I hope that’s not the case. Hopefully we just change the snuggle time to earlier in the day so I can get more me time! 🙂
Thank you! It’s the same internal tug of war every night. I want to snuggle, i want to bottle them, but i want to run away too, downstairs, get some ice cream, relaxxxx. so hard. i try to remember to appreciate it all. and i do so love that my 8 and 11 year old still need me. i’d cry and complain more if they didn’t. but yes! to earlier bedtimes – that would make everything better.
Wonderful! Takes me back…
Thank you! 🙂
Awww. My kids don’t do that. I can see how it would be good and bad. Every once in a while my youngest gets all lovey and huggy. I do really enjoy those infrequent moments.
it is so so sweet. but then they need to go to sleep.
Seems I remember reading a post about this sort of dance before…love it! I don’t know how my husband stopped visiting their rooms, and am sure he can’t believe I still do (2 teens)
oh i’ll never stop visiting either. no matter how much i complain. 🙂
I love the pictures you post of your littlest guy. That hair is amazing, and I wouldn’t be able to resist that face either!
he’s a snuggler. 🙂
I still have to do the 5 minute “sleep” with my 10yo. But I never had more than one that needed bedtime attention at a time, since my boys are 7 years apart. Loved the photos, so cute!
it’s like a marathon for me. my husband goes in to each one too, but they must have me. not that i’m complaining about that, i’d certainly be crying if it was the other way. still, sometimes.. it’s a bit exhausting. but not complaining! 😉
I just love your boys! 🙂
aww thanks!! and nice to see you again! 🙂
My 7 year old begs for cuddles every night too! Like you, I relish it, knowing that this will soon pass.
i know it so well.
D’awwww… I hope no one finds this blog post to torture your youngest with in the future, especially the part about squishing into your boobs, hahaha!
ha! it’s not the first post i’ve written about it. two years ago i wrote this one.. 😉
Oh nooooo… reminds me of the “Friends” when Rachel had to babysit her boss’ kid and he wouldn’t stop trying to grope her…
I hope your kid knows better than to openly compare yours to his girlfriend’s when he gets to that, haha!
that would be quite scary.
My three year old daughter often calls asking for “one last hug.” I too sometimes wish she’d just go to sleep so I can have some “me time.” But I also realize that these days won’t last forever.
Damn you parenting and your mixed emotions!
ha! so true!
How could you resist? I certainly couldn’t. 🙂
impossible!! the degree of annoying is offset by overwhelming cuteness.
A sweet tribute to your kiddos and bedtime routines and how those extra snuggles won’t last. I am a parent of three who can relate to “…they are stomping on my last nerve and I might just snap, ruining a perfectly good day in the very last minutes.” Well said! I bet my stats are 50% on keeping my cool and losing it. 🙂
same! the later it gets the harder it gets for me. all my sweet intentions kind of dissolve as the clock turns 9.
“I wasn’t supposed to call for you.” He admits. “But I did.”
It’s tough being annoyed with him. It just doesn’t stick. 🙂
I had two kids in my bed last night because papa is away. I right there with you!