I think in words more often than not.
But sometimes an image will just stick and either inspire or haunt.
I have a haunting image stuck in my head from two nights ago.
We've really been struggling with sleep for about the past 9 days. Some nights they take 2 hours to fall asleep. Some nights they wake 2 hours before I want them up. Some nights they're up for 2-4 hours in the middle of the night. Monday night was one of those nights. Someone was howling from about 10pm until 1am.
Mainly the issue is Bronwyn though often Aeralind will piggyback on her drama.
Bronwyn is a determined little critter. She will figure things out. She will risk her life and limb to jump into the pool face first. She will throw temper tantrums when we say no (even if we don't see her. Seriously, I caught her lying by the kitchen door miserable for 5 minutes after Derek walked out one day apparently telling her she couldn't come with him). She will test authority. She wants to know that your "no" is really no. She will make the better portion of 8 nights miserable because mommy decides that it's time to get rid of the paci. It's not even about the pacifier at this point. It's about staying awake because she thinks she can.
Monday night I had enough. I was exhausted. I'm pregnant. I just wanted sleep. And, by golly, nothing would satisfy that child! I fiercely laid her down in her crib, wrapped her blanket around her, shoved her stuffed animal under her arm, and told her "NO WHINING!"
And I crushed her little spirit. I saw the look in her eyes. The hurt. I watched her little lip draw tight and tremble. And I left the room before more damage was done.
She continued her tirade for about 3 hours after that moment.
I was wrong. My attitude was wrong. My anger was wrong. My tone of voice was wrong. Yes, she's a strong-willed child. I need to break her will, but I can't crush her spirit in the meantime. Her strong-willed spirit makes her beautiful, especially when it's used to discover and preserver through difficult things.
I'm not sure how these thoughts are supposed to lead into my gratitude post, but I wanted to share them here. To be real.
Counting 2091-2119 of the Completely Undeserved Gifts Christ Gives Me Each Day
- Girls demanding to try on their not quite finished "burd" dresses
- Bronwyn obediently pulling Aeralind's thumb out of her mouth and the ensuing smiles
- Super excited "Yay!" and clapping when the girls accomplish something they this is difficult
- Lapful of snuggly babies
- 10 scattered buttons all found and applied to bird dresses
- Joy at the fountains
- Children who were breathing at 4-6 am- even if they were scream/whining
- Sweet surrendered prayer time at 5am
- All finally drifting to sleep in exhaustion
- No working pacifier distributed despite temptation
- vocabulary explosions
- being handed a toy and told "tank oo" a million times a day
- sweet visit with my sister in law and her husband
- Filling their trunk with hand-me-down goodies for theri little girl coming soon
- Taking maternity images
- Guest sleeping through crazy whiny night wakings
- Playing hard in the pool
- Bronwyn diving into the pool steps face first over and over
- Splashes with Aeralind
- Support from Nana as we struggle through sleep issues
- 2 full nights of sleep at least in the past 9
- Conviction about my anger and speech
- Reading The Strong-Willed Child
- More conviction
- Unexpectedly yummy diner
- A playdate/meeting where I could talk to grown ups and where girls who were overtired could stay awake
- This being the one UMOM meeting I could have missed in exchage for lseep
- Someone to watch the girls whil I wait out my glucose test
- Sister laughter on the couch together