In the midst of all the toddler drama, foot stomping, temper tantrums, mischevious grins and devious smiles comes a moment like this. Bliss, at it’s purest perfection.
No, I don’t mean sleep, although there is plenty of times where bedtime can never come soon enough. This picture of restful sleep is the end of a truly wonderful afternoon and night. My toddler listened to me and perhaps more importantly I listened to her. Instead of stressing about all the things that needed to get done and how playing would mean more mess and less time I compromised with my time and listened to what she wanted. In return, it’s like she compromised her wants and listened to what I needed.
If every night could be like this I would be in heaven.
When she wanted to do a puzzle I stopped and took five minutes to do it, even though I was sorting laundry. Then she let me finish preparing the clothes for the war against stains without trying to climb up my legs. When Davis wanted to play dress up and brought me one of her princess dresses I put on one of my own (slightly fancy dresses, alas my princesses dresses are in the shop:) even though I was making supper and talking on the phone. My attention was only half on her but she was happy with that as she made me Lego flowers and sang songs.
For a change she even sat down for supper and ate instead of her usual, “I don’t like supper.” Insert foot stomps at every syllable. Of course she got bored, the child has a hard time sitting still, and after a few bites got up to play. However, when I asked her to sit and eat with me and she did. Albeit on my lap but still she sat and ate supper. She smiled and talked the whole way though and ate pretty much all of her supper.
My heart was completely overcome with happiness each time my sweet toddler laughed at her own joke or cupped my face in her hand. Pride welled up when I told her to stop shoving food in my face and she did. I found myself slowing down. I ignored the clock on the wall, the laundry that need to be finished, the stuff that has to be done before work. I enjoyed the minutes we were having together.
But the miracles didn’t stop there. Immediately after supper she happily went to the bath without the usual I’m-going-to-say-I-don’t-like-it-even-though-I-do routine. Singing away in the tub, I could hear her as I did dishes and the happiness continued to course through my body.
Bedtime was easy. Could this be a sign of things to come? Cream, pj’s then two story books. Angel asked, “Mama, will you lie with me?” And I did, for only five minutes (she needed four to go to sleep) but I wanted to stay all night.
Right now my heart is like the Grinch’s – three sizes bigger than the start of today – and if it wasn’t for my adult responsibilities I would still be cuddled up with my incredible daughter, watching her sleep, listening to her breath, cherishing every second I can. Because in a minute they are gone.
What’s left in place of that innocent toddler with big eyes and devilish grin is an adult who’s grown and doesn’t need you anymore. At least not in the same way. Those magical moments of toddler play are gone forever, left to grace the halls of your memory as faded pictures on the wall.
So with each tantrum that explodes and turns another of my hairs grey I will try my hardest to remember the beauty of tonight because there will be some more before my toddler “grows bigger and bigger.”
And the laundry that I didn’t get done can wait. My happy child is more important than clothes that didn’t get put away.