there is nothing sweeter than cuddling with a soft, warm baby. the closeness of their warm, soft skin and the feel of their rapid breathing tickling your neck or face is what being a mother is all about.
it's these sweet, tender moments that every mother lives for. these intimate moments of reflection and quiet are ones that will forever be burned into the memory of every mother. no matter how old our children grow, i can't ever imagine forgetting what it was like to hold one of them in my arms while gently and quietly singing a lullaby just before bed. i will never forget the smell of their soft, baby fine hair just after being bathed.
this being said, i have come to a sad realization today. actually, it is a realization that has been coming slowly to the front of my brain, it's just that today i have finally accepted it. for the past, oh i don't know how long, maybe month or so, almost every time i go to put kawena to bed i will get her all cozy in a blanket and hold her close, (because that is what all babies love, right?) only to have her squirm and push away from me. when i try holding her closer she just pushes harder and gets upset. after a bit of a struggle, i finally give up and lay her in her bed thinking, "fine! i'll just put you in your bed!" she watches me as i walk out and the elated smile on her face is saying, "thank goodness, mom, that's what i wanted you to do!" i close the door behind me with mixed emotions. i am frustrated that she was fighting me, sad that she wouldn't cuddle with me, surprised and a bit hurt that she didn't need me, yet relieved that she can put herself to sleep.
it's amazing to me how different each child comes to us. they all have their own needs and wants. nani, needed us to do everything for her. now, granted, this may simply be because she was our first, and we did do everything for her, willingly. that is until we realized how dependent she was upon us. then, we tried to break all of those "bad" habits, only to find out that it was next to impossible to do. she still is the most dependent upon us.
so, along comes kale'a and we were not going to make the same "mistakes" with her. we were more conscious of the things that we did and didn't do with her. she is much more independent. again, this could be because of the different way we approached parenting with her.
whatever the differences, one thing has been the same with all three of our girls. none of them have been super cuddly. sure, they were cuddly as newborns, but once they actually started doing more than just eating , sleeping, and pooping they have been more interested in the world around them than in cuddling with me. it's something that has been a bit sad for me, but i still hold out hope that one of our babies will be a cuddler. though they haven't been big cuddlers, i have cherished the quiet moments with each of our girls, no matter how short or fleeting those moments have been!
so, long story, long... the realization that i've come to accept is that kawena goes to sleep better in her bed. that is great when we are at home and have access to her crib (it actually can be very nice when i am short on time or the girls are needing me), but does not work out so well when we aren't at home, oh say..., at church. today, i think i heard a total of 1 hour, maybe an hour and a half of our 3 hours of meetings. the little rascal, errr, i mean sweetheart, was so tired but refused to go to sleep. so, i walked the halls! once home and as soon as she was done eating lunch, i took her to her room, laid her down, and didn't hear a peep out of her!