Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lay down your sweet head

It was one of those days.

Starting with whining in the morning, a major fall down drag out tantrum in the public library (my four year old...not my 'terrible 2 year old' who's yet to have a tantrum to date).

The dinnertime was all of a sudden upon me and though I had had full intentions of a delicious meal planned and even had the forethought to take out chicken from the freezer that morning - the day had gotten the better of me and I laid down completely exhausted in our family room amongst piles of dinky cars, scattered puzzle pieces, couch cushions and blankets piled haphazardly from a fort that Adrian and I had built but which Finley decided to tear down minutes later.

A righteous battle had ensued.

And I had not a bit of energy to mediate.

My husband eventually came down from working all day and ordered me (kindly) to get out, go upstairs, take a break from getting annoyed at my boys relentless need to push my every already worn out buttons.

And as much as I wanted to sprint from the house and not look back I was just too tired.

A half hour passed and I sat in bed, laptop in front of me ... half-heartedly reading blogs with one ear open knowing that the peace wouldn't last long.

I could hear my husband making dinner for the boys - he had even brought me a grilled cheese to eat in bed.

And he was silently forgiven for me having to clean up 20 lbs of dog crap scattered in the back yard earlier that week.


Up came Adrian.

Up came Finley.

So I decided to make the most out of the situation have some fun on Photobooth....

And then it was time for bed.

After I read a few books to them it was time to put Finley in his crib and then I laid down with Adrian.  

He was restless.  Kicking his legs about, squirming, sitting up, laying down.

"Do you want me to sing a song to you?"

And it hit me...when was the last time I sang to my sons?  I used to sing to them every night.  

Every night.

When did I stop?

Why did I stop?

I started with Magalena Hagalena....a song my Mum used to sing to my brother and me all the time.  A silly, fun song.  I could see his smile in the street lamp light that peeked around his blinds as I sang.

"Do you want me to sing you another song?"

"What is it?"

I sang him Janis Joplin's, Mercedes Benz.  Another one that my Mum sang us as children.  And she sings it way better than I do.  But despite my raspy, cracking voice, he became quiet.  Still.

I sang him two more songs - favourites that I used to sing to him all the time.  The Kookaburra Song and Robin in the Rain.  He sang a few lines along with me in his sweet little boy voice.

He remembered.

I ended with Away in A Manger. The one I always used to put him to bed with since he was a newborn swaddled in my arms - another song that brings me back to my childhood...he yawned as I sang softly and out of key.  His body relaxed and his eyes closed.

"Bless all the dear children in thy tender care"...that line always gets to me.

And so I always say a silent prayer for all the dear children who don't have parents that cuddle and love, cherish and sing to their sweet blessings at night. Or ever.

At that moment I made a promise to myself.

I needed to start singing to my sons again at bedtime...not just for them.

But for me too.

It's Tuesday again...and time for linking up to Yeah Write.  SO much fun and SO many great writers and bloggers. Go on over, have a visit, read come great blogs over a cup of coffee or tea then return on Thursday to vote for me and 2 other favourites.  


Kim said...

I had a similar moment recently. I'd always read to the kids before bed but due to a lack of sleep and other craziness I was just cuddling with them and then putting them to bed. It bothered me so much and I got back on track. It's funny how a little thing like that can make you feel like you're doing the job.

Thanks for your comment about the report card. The all day kindergarten has been a mixed blessing. Since Deaglan is born on Christmas Eve, he is the youngest in the class - some of the kids are a full two years older than him. That's a lifetime of living when you're four. After I spoke with the principal she assured me that every kid in the class got the same form with checks in the areas the teacher needed to focus on with them. For Deaglan they checked off fine motor skills (needs help doing up his coat and learning to grip a pencil) and social/emotional development (often likes to play alone). THe principal assured me that this was all very normal for a four year old boy who is the oldest sibling in a family. I spoke to other parents who didn't quite feel as empowered to feel what I felt. They were questioning their children's abilities instead of the schools screwed up labelling system. One mother who's child was not doing well in the "cooperation" category wondered if she should get her child assessed. I told her that not cooperating was a four year old trait!

Mel said...

Oh, this is so sweet. I sing to my daughter every night. Sometimes she lets me pick the songs, others she picks them, but it is always one of my favorite times of day.
Also, I gulped back tears over your sweet thoughts of babies who don't have mommies to cuddle; it is so heartbreaking.

Kristin said...

how delicious does that sound! so good for the spirit, eh? and i can't tell you how many times i surrender to my kids (that have been nagging me while i am on my laptop), and i too have the photobooth photos to prove it! there is something about that always manages to pull me out of a funk! its one of my "reset" buttons! ; )

Galit Breen said...

Oh my heart, this is stunning. And delicious. And all that is sweet in motherhood -and marriage- broken forts and all.

Kerstin said...

This is great. Sometimes you just need a time out... and surrender. Glad your husband made dinner for you!
Mercedes Benz is my fave Janis Joplin song, your kids are lucky that you sing to them!

Jennifer said...

Despite the 20 lbs of dog poop, your husband came through in a big way! Kudos! And way to go on turning a difficult day around. Singing to the kids is my favorite way to get them to sleep. Very soothing for all of us (particularly the Savage Mother Beast ;-))

Lindsay said...

I'm reading that too! Isn't it great!?
She had me hooked in the first 2 paragraphs when she basically described ME.
20 lbs of dog poop? yikes.
Newest follower! :)

Jen said...

Oh, I know these hard days you speak of...minus the dog poop. Glad your husband came to the rescue!

Anna said...

I love everything about this post. Exhausted at the end of the day, being sent to bed by your husband for your own good (been there), having the boys come in and interrupt your time out so you joke around and make the best of it (been there too). This parenting stuff is really hard, so many ups and downs but your night ended so sweetly. Trying to think of songs I can sing to my son at night now :)

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

Beautiful post. Sing to them as long as they will let you.
(I use to sing Away in a Manger,too. Nice memories.) Ellen

Louise Ducote said...

Girl, you have a good husband! And adorable kiddos. It does get easier (mine are ten and twelve), although dogs do continue to poop. Loved this post!

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Twice I've been here from Yeah Write, and now twice I've cried. You are an incredible writer; your way with words, your ability to paint a picture and tug on heart strings. What a gift! Oh, and your husband sounds like a keeper! :)

Laura@Catharsis said...

You have a nice husband to give you a break AND a grilly in bed! I feel so guilty, but I'm not much of a singer, and I actually worry about this. I remember my mom singing to me, but I don't really sing to my boys. When I do, they start whining. I don't think I'm that bad! I just hope I'm not somehow ruining them. You stick to that singing!

Alison@Mama Wants This said...

First, yay to your thoughtful husband,

And second, yes, the singing. The act of being fully present with them at the end of the day, no matter how the day went. All is forgiven, and a new day shall begin with a song in their hearts. :)

Anonymous said...

POST SCRIPT - I sang to my 4 year old baby last night, thanks to you. When I told him I was going to sing to him instead of read, his eyes LIT UP! He loved it, and of course I couldn't think of a single thing to sing because I'm so out of practice so I sang commercials and Journey songs. Good times. Who cares. He loved it. And so did I! Thank you for the inspiration!

Leighannn said...

It was so wonderful when my daughter, who is almost two, started singing one or two words with me at bedtime.
This is a great post.

Kim said...

First of all - your husband is a gem. Taking over dinner prep AND grilled cheese in bed. (Colin: are you listening.. ahem...)

And I feel you on the music sessions. We are so used to singing our babies to bed but its good to remember how much the toddlers love it too!