Joshua, my best boy and pioneer child, has developed a new habit in the mornings. Actually, both of the kids have developed this habit.
They start every day in the bed with me.
Sometimes they come crawling in as early as 4:45 (too early) or as late as 7:15 (which might still be too early, depending on the night).
Emma asks for “mah-mows” and “Abba” (Yo Gabba Gabba, not Swedish pop music) on repeat until I oblige.
Joshua? Joshua just wants to snuggle me.
“I need to snuggle you for just one minute, Mama,” he’ll say as he scales the side of the bed, peeling back the blankets and sliding under them. He buries his face in my neck and shoulder and I curl around him and run my fingers through his messy hair.
He has no idea how long one minute actually is, but to his almost-5-year-old self, it’s practically a lifetime.
Just as quickly as he lays down he’s up again, ready to tackle the day head on, full of the kind of energy only kids and those weirdos who call themselves “morning people” wake up with.
I myself am not at all a morning person. Not even close.
But there’s something about starting each day with my children close by that makes waking up a little more…something.
It’s not exactly peaceful because once Emma’s done nursing she turns the bed into her own private trampoline and if my kidney is under her foot, so be it.
But it’s not not peaceful.
I wake up with a full heart because of the morning snuggles with Joshua and Emma. Even if it starts too early, it’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
I had a little bit of a headache after dinner tonight so before baths and bed, I went to close my eyes to see if I couldn’t get rid of it. Not long after my head hit the pillow, I heard the sounds of an energetic almost-5 year old bounding down the hallway and bursting through the door to my bedroom.
“Mama, I’m finished with dinner. I need to snuggle for just one minute.”
So he climbed in next to me for a quick snuggle before taking off to watch a cartoon before bath time.
“I love snuggling you, Mama,” he said, as he walked out the door.
“I love snuggling you too, Joshua,” I said, but I’m not sure he heard me.
When bath time came, Joshua suddenly became a child unable to listen. He wouldn’t get undressed and get in the tub. He wouldn’t even go in the bathroom. Then he did get undressed in the bathroom but instead of getting in the tub walked down the hall.
It was maddening! There were tears. Lots and lots of tears and screaming and fits and more screaming, nearly all from Joshua.
There were talks about good decisions and bad decisions and there were apologies.
Then with his tear-stained cheeks and eyes red from crying, he climbed into my lap and curled up into me for a snuggle to end his day, sort of a bookend to the way we start mine.
I held him for just one minute. Or maybe two.