Saturday, March 27, 2010

Self-Pride and Reassurance

Today I'm pretty proud of myself. What I accomplished today was mostly because I was angry and anger gives me energy ... but still. Now that I know I can do it, I feel such relief!

Up until now, I have made it a point to bathe my daughters separately. I would bathe Piglet while Teenybop was at school, and generally Private Ryan would be the one who bathed Teenybop during the evenings. But tonight I decided that because he is leaving, (and because he is pulling away from us in preparation for leaving since he is having a tough time dealing with the thought of saying goodbye) I would do the entire night time routine on my own. The only part he really helped with was keeping Piglet occupied while I made dinner (which he usually does these days), and one other time so I could prevent my bladder from exploding.

I made the dinner, something fairly quick and simple, but still, I was able to do it and really enjoyed the time to myself in the kitchen, time to reflect on the day and just get a break from the day-to-day racket that my children produce. Once dinner was over and everyone had eaten, we put our dishes in the sink to be washed later and I took my little daughters to the bathroom. We placed a diaper for Piglet on my bed in advance to be ready, gathered a towel for each child, ran the water, and then I got scared. It was the first time I had done it completely by myself with both girls, and I just knew that Piglet would fall over in the water just as I started to shampoo Teenybop's hair or something. Inevitably, there would be screaming and a very unhappy baby ... not a good memory to start our new routine with. But it didn't happen. While Piglet had a blast splashing as much water as possible out of the tub, I quickly lathered Teenybop's head, washing and conditioning her thick hair. We got her rinsed and I soaped her loofah so that she could wash her body while I washed her sister's hair and body. Finally they were both clean, but I certainly hadn't realized how much lather two little girls could produce, so we drained the tub while I used running water and a cup to rinse away the bubbles. Once they were out of the tub and wrapped cozy in their towels, Teenybop headed to her room to dry and dress while I took Piglet to my bed to dry and diaper. All in all, the experience, while tiring for me and rather hurtful to my weak back, was very peaceful and quite enjoyable. Next time I will try to be less paranoid of mishaps and allow them more time to play and enjoy hanging out with each other at the end of their day.

Bath time over, we headed to the kitchen where Private Ryan had made rainbow cupcakes for dessert. Teenybop and I chose our Pillsbury Easy-Frost Icing flavors, (both vanilla because we are such wild, adventurous chicks) and she feasted while I shared tastes of my treat with Piglet. Then we headed to the bathroom where I planned to simultaneously get Teenybop's teeth cleaned and introduce Piglet to the toothbrush. It worked well, Piglet sat on the counter in her little seat and gnawed on her wet toothbrush while watching me clean Teenybop's teeth. Then while Teenybop had her turn to practice, I put the tiniest little bit of toothpaste on Piglet's brush, just enough for taste really, since it isn't the kind that is specifically meant for infants. Then I told her in a singsong voice to "open so big" ... and she did! I gently inserted the brush into her mouth, did a little swoop over her three little front teeth, and was out before she had time to close her mouth against the invasion. I praised her way more than she deserved, letting her know how thrilled I was that she was "such a big girl" to have her teeth brushed with no fuss. Then I repeated the process a million times until I was sure the teeth were cleaned and Teenybop had long since finished her practice session, including her gross mouthwash that makes nasty stuff wash out in the sink. I guess the introduction to toothbrushing went well ... Piglet even cried a bit when I took her toothbrush until I reassured her that we could do more tomorrow and distracted her by showing her her own reflection in the mirror.

Now it's a little after eight o'clock, they are both sound asleep and I am satisfied that the night was a success. I am hopeful for more such nights in the future though I know this will also mean lots of back pain for me ... My "mommy heart" is happy to have spent such a rare and agreeable time with Teenybop and such a long time with no tears from Piglet! The pain in my future will be worth it if there are nights like this mixed in. Then (in the future when Private Ryan is gone) it will be time to email my man, blog and clean up from what will surely be VERY long summer days, and I suspect falling into bed asleep before I hit the pillow. But if most of the days are fun and the nights are peaceful, we will get by just fine.