Thursday, May 17, 2012

Active vs cuddly afternoons

As I alluded to in my Savta Simcha post, some afternoons with the girlies are more quiet than others.

I have noted to many friends how my job as a mother is different than most of my peers. Well first of all, I have two delicious, gorgeous perfect children - most of my peers have a higher quantity (but certainly no higher quality, ahem). So that is probably what influences the second difference, that I work morning and afternoons. So my "parenting" is basically from 4 PM to 7 PM daily (or 9 PM, which was when I sent Sroch back to bed for the nth time tonight). The household dynamic when everyone is home for the craziest worst kvetchiest best time of day before bedtime, when the kids are tired from 8 hours of school and I'm tired from 8 hours of commute and work - well, it's very different, since that TiredTime(TM) is also the Time To Get Anything Done with the kids, be it projects, shopping, visiting with friends and so on.

It's very different.

And so some afternoons we're extroverted. Yesterday I didn't even get the girls home; on the way back from gan, I dropped one at one friend's house, one at another friend's house, and I came home and made food for sheva brachos we were co-hosting last night.

And some afternoons we're just content to cozy into our cave, the three of us (four, Abba schedule permitting). Reading on the couch, which often segues into cuddling, tickling, giggling, coloring, playing (with a 30% chance of weeping, wailing, "she grabbed it from me!"-ing). Talking about school. Today, watching old home video clips of them as babies. Eating...something (tonight: cheese on crackers, with apples on the side. Yoav and I had refried beans and salsa and cheese on crackers, but my children opted out of the jalapenos). Talking to grandparents on the computer.

And seamless, easy peaceful bedtimes. Yeah, well, eventually they go to sleep, after stories read and told, boo boos examined and comforted, noses cleaned (or not), faces washed (or not), hair brushed (or not), teeth brushed (95% of the time), sippy cups refilled, shema said once (or twice, as in "you confused me and I couldn't say it with you!"), and many, many last kisses. And last tucking-ins. This is REALLY the last time. REALLY! Okay, now THIS is the last time.

These cozy afternoons are, I think, very important for the kids' emotional health. They are basically the equivalent of a three hour hug, most of the time.

That's not too bad for my emotional health either.

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