It started well. I gave them a bath, brushed the blonde wisps of hair, zipped the cupcake jammies and held them while they prayed. Laid them in their beds, found Snuffy and Dimples, covered up little girls with fuzzy blankets, turned off the lights and shut the door.
Not five minutes had passed before the first "Deedeeeeeeee. I have to go pottyyyyyyyyyy."
And because there's two of them, everything has to be done twice.
Two pairs of jammies unzipped.
Two diapers off.
Two girls wanting a new roll of "paper toilet."
Diapers back on.
Jammies zipped back up.
Blankets covering two girls up.
I sank back down into the red lazy boy downstairs when, moments later,
"Deedee. I hot and cold. Deedeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Back up the stairs I went.
An hour later, we had solved these issues and more:
Dimples had "fallen" out of Ellie's cribIt was almost 10 when I went up again. Standing there in front of Ellie’s crib, exhaustion and annoyance rose up within me.
Two girls were thirsty and wanted water "right now" not in the morning
The hall light must be off, but the night light must be on
Hannah wanted to know what I had said to Ellie- "last time."
I must remember when Mommy gets home that both girls want "a big hug and a tiss"
“I give you second chances by the oceanful. Will you extend grace to her?”
So I put on the soft voice, pick her up, hold her tight and sink into the rocker in the corner. A few hymns later, I lay her drowsy body back into the bed and move on to the next little girl- who has been patiently waiting ever since I lifted Ell-Girl up.
I finish singing through Little Women, singing every quiet song whose words I can remember all of.
Then I sit, just dwelling in the quiet of the room. Wondering why I get exasperated so easily and why it can be so hard to love those closest to you.
Wondering how much soon I could have gone to bed if I had tried this grace an hour ago.
But I realize that it’s a lesson that must be learned and that I have the best Teacher possible.
And Hanni’s big blue orbs blink open, connect with mine, and close for the night.