These Little Munchkins

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Remember these little munchkins? It’s been a while since I’ve shared any of their adorable antics. One of the favorite activities in our house is, believe it or not, wrestling with Daddy. Often in the evenings Dan will “tackle” Abby and throw her into a fit of giggles. Then Lydia will come running in yelling, “I think I’m tough! I think I’m tough!” So Dan will “tackle” her as well asking, “You think you’re tough?” It’s a great time all around. And if the girls turn on Mommy (as they sometimes do), Daddy takes them both on at once.

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Lydia has been practically begging me to teach her to read for months. She’ll point to letters and ask, “What makes this one?” (meaning, what sound does this make?) So we’ve finally started learning letters and making some fun crafts to go with them. Crafters, as Lydia used to call them, are one of Lydia’s favorite activities. She also loves riding her tricycle, playing in the sprinkler, and blowing bubbles.

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Abby is at a really fun age, learning new words almost every day. Some words are only decipherable by me, but other words are quite clear, “No”, “Ball”, and “Daddy”. Some of our favorites are “Diapah!” (diaper), and “Ah Boo!” (I love you).

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Lydia says some pretty cute things herself. She is terrified of fireworks and thunder, so, as you might imagine, the Fourth of July was a rough night at our house. For the next several nights there were all sorts of loud sounds coming from the neighborhood. One night, Lydia asked me if there would be anymore fireworks and I told her there wouldn’t be. There weren’t any, so the next morning she came downstairs pretty happy.

“Mom, you said there wouldn’t be any fireworks and there weren’t any fireworks.”

I smiled at her and she exclaimed, “And God said, ‘Let there be quiet!’ and there was quiet!”

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As for Abby’s favorite activities lately, she loves to eat. We can plop her down anywhere with a plate of food and she will sit there and eat until the food is gone, no matter what else is going on around her. The down side is, she’ll eat anything: grass, rocks, trash, plum pits…you name it, she’ll eat it.

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These girls usually get along pretty well, although they have their rough moments. Abby is tougher than Lydia, so there have been times when I couldn’t come right away and I’ve had to tell Lydia, “Just run away from Abby and she won’t hurt you!” They love playing outside in the sand where our pool used to be and they love pretending to be mommies. I just have to make sure we have two baby dolls so they’re not fighting over the baby! Neither of these girls like going to bed at night but it is sweet to snuggle up with Lydia and ask them both about their days. Abby lays in her crib and watches as she sucks her thumb and Lydia holds my hair. They really are little munchkins and they really are very sweet.

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“Mommy, Will You Snuggle Me?”

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For several weeks now, Lydia has wanted me to snuggle with her at night. After we tuck her in and say goodnight she cries out earnestly, “Mommy, will you snuggle me?”. It’s often late and there is always much to do. I need to go downstairs, wash dishes, clean the dining room, pack Dan’s lunch, wash diapers, feed Paul, sometimes go for a run, and on a good night, spend a little time with Dan. Oh, and we try to get to bed early ourselves. The members of this family need their sleep.

But I usually try to rest with Lydia for just a little while. It’s never long enough for her, but at least it’s a little time with Mommy before the last “goodnight”. Saying, “goodnight” is always a challenge for Lydia.

A couple of weeks ago I had a hard day. It was the sort of day that leaves me worn out before lunch time, and ready to cry by nap time. By the time Dan came home from work we were all a mess, Mommy, the worst, was tired and emotional. I had already given myself a time-out earlier in the day to take a few minutes alone in my room to pray and think and try to be calm and practical instead of irritable and emotional.

Something happened, I don’t remember what, but I timed myself out again, after sending Lydia to her room to wait for me. She must have done something wrong and it sure seemed like a big deal at the time, but it must not have been anything too serious or surely I would remember what it was today.

Well I was a mess. I was frustrated with Lydia, frustrated with myself, and crying like a three-year-old having a temper tantrum. It is not good when you act younger than your children and you’re trying to parent! So I took my time-out and prayed, “God help! I’m a mess! What should I do?”. And the answer came:

“Ask for forgiveness”.

So I did. I went into Lydia’s room and told her I was sorry for getting frustrated and emotional, asking her to forgive me. We talked for a while. I cried. She told me she loved me. I asked for a hug.

I needed a hug.

She gave me a hug and then waited while I held on. After a short while she asked, “Mommy, why are you still hugging me?”

That caught me by surprise. I needed a snuggle and Lydia always wants snuggling, so I told her, “Mommy needs to snuggle right now. Will you snuggle me?”

“Ok, but only for a little while”.

“What?” My little girl didn’t want to snuggle? “Why only for a little while?”

“We have to go eat dinner soon”.

In that moment, I saw what I’d been doing to my daughter. As emotional and worn out as I was, I really felt like I needed to be held and loved by my daughter. How many nights had she expressed the same urgent need to be loved and snuggled by me, and I had said, “Ok, but only for a little while”? How many times had she graciously agreed to “just a little” snuggling so I could hurry off and do my chores.

That day, Lydia snuggled me, probably for longer than “just a little while”. And that night, I snuggled her back. Now I make it a bigger priority to snuggle with her at night for more than “just a little while”. I try not to rush off too soon. And if Lydia falls asleep before I get to snuggle her, I sneak into her room and give her a short snuggle. Not because she asks for it, and not because she’ll even know I came. Just because I love her.