I've been reflecting today on motherhood and how I treat my children versus how I should be treating my children. To me, becoming a mother was an amazing gift that, at one point, I didn't think that I would ever receive. It took us three very long and heartbreaking years before Evje was conceived. I won't bore you with all of those details, but suffice it to say that when I finally became pregnant, it was a big surprise. We were so excited and so thrilled to finally become parents after such a long wait. Throughout my pregnancy, I rejoiced in every precious kick & bump that I felt. And when Evje was born, I promised myself that I would try my hardest to not be a "complaining parent", you know what I'm talking about; those parents who whine to others about their kids more often than not. The ones who jokingly say to a childless couple as they drag their screaming child out of the room, "You want a kid? Here you go, take mine, ha ha ha." I hated it when people would say things like that to me. I wanted to shake them and tell them that even when their child is screaming and doing other embarrassing things, it is their child, a precious gift from God, and they should be grateful for every moment with that child because not everybody gets to experience parenthood.
And here we are, nearly two years and a half years later, and every once in a while, I find myself being a complaining parent, or letting my temper get the better of me when Evje is being naughty. When I realize what I'm doing, I feel ashamed that I have forgotten. Forgotten the longing to become pregnant, forgotten the joy of holding our precious new baby for the first time, forgotten the love that swells my heart when she does something amazing.
In order to not forget, I want to write down some of my memories of the last few months since we have brought Elsie home from the hospital. Most of them are small and trivial, but I don't want to forget these precious moments with my precious children.
- Evje, finding every possible "blanket" that she can, covering Elsie with burp cloths, towels, rags, and doll blankets.
- Feeding baby food to Elsie while Evje sits next to me, who dips her finger into the baby food and shoves it into Elsie's mouth.
- Elsie waking up every morning with a smile on her face.
- Evje shoving a baby bottle into Elsie's belly button and exclaiming that she is feeding Elsie!
- Laying in bed on a Saturday morning and laughing so hard with Clayton because Elsie is "passing gas" so loudly. Man, that girl can toot!
- Evje holding a spray nozzle (the kind that attaches to your garden hose and you squeeze the handle to make the water come out) up to her belly button and exclaiming that she is pumping like mommy!
- Evje asking over and over and over for "chocolate milk in a baby bottle, little bit warm." That is her breakfast of choice these days, as well as a mid-afternoon snack. She'd drink it all day long if I let her.
- Evje always wanting to lay down with Elsie on the bed. I think this one has to do with Evs' obsession with blankets, but she loves loves loves to lay on the bed with her sister.
- Evje talking to Elsie in a sweet, high-pitched, baby talk voice.
- Constant battles with Evs on whether Elsie is allowed to sit in the green bouncy chair, or if Evje has currently claimed that one for herself and insists on Elsie sitting in the blue bouncy chair. Thank goodness that we have two bouncy chairs for the times that big sister is feeling selfish.
- Elsie sitting in the coveted green bouncy chair, and Evje squatting in front of her, talking in her baby talk voice, and Elsie laughing and smiling so much.
- Going for walks with the stroller, and Evje jumping out of the stroller so that she can run back, pull back the cover on Elsie's seat and talk to her.
- Elsie, who has been poked and prodded and examined for the first five months of her life in a somewhat unpleasant hospital setting, not only endures being poked and prodded by her big sister, but manages to laugh and smile while she does so.
- Finding "flowers" with Elsie in her Moses basket that Evs has picked in the backyard and so generously shared with her sister.
- Trying to encourage Elsie to drink from a bottle, while Evje is on the floor throwing a tantrum because I've told her that she needs to wait to take a bath until I'm done with Elsie, and Elsie then gags on the bottle and throws up all of the bananas that I just tried so hard to get her to swallow.
- Evje wanting to dance with Elsie, and after I've explained for the billionth time that Elsie can't stand up to dance yet, Evje is satisfied with holding Elsie's hands while she dances herself.
- While Elsie is laying on the floor on top of a blanket, Evje insisting on "wrapping up" Elsie, and proceeding to wrap Elsie up like a burrito, even though I've told her again and again not to cover up Elsie's face. I tell you, this girl has got a thing for blankets.
- Showing Evje Elsie's scar on her back from her PDA ligation, and Evje leaning forward to kiss it better.
- Me and Elsie sitting on the front porch, giggling and watching Evje run around the yard, carrying a stick, saying, "Goodbye, my daughters. See you soon, my daughters." Over and over and over. Don't ask where she got that from, we have no idea.
Those are just a few of my special memories with my sweet girls. I love these children so much, even when we have rough days. I need to remember to treat them like the precious gifts from God that they are. Even when they are both crying and I want to give up, when my patience is running thin, when I am weary of the demands of motherhood, I will always love them and I don't want to forget these precious memories.