Today was a really hard day. The kids were all awake and downstairs by 6:30 in the morning, so naturally they were all tired and cranky beyond reason. They refused to sleep during nap and so only got worse and worse as the day went on. By late afternoon their horrible attitudes had rubbed off on Hubby and me-we were snipping at each other, the kids were crying and screaming and stomping at every turn, and bedtime couldn't come fast enough. Baby Bug goes down at 7, by which time The Bean is usually asleep and was today, so that helped, but by the time it was Monkey's turn at 8 I was so ready to put him to bed and try to relax.
As I put Monkey to bed I saw Baby Bug hanging out next to her baby gate (which we use in front of her door now that she can open and close it on her own) saying "Up! Up! Up! Mama Up!" and thought with a sigh this is going to be a long night. I helped Monkey into bed and asked him,
"Are you ready for your bedtime story?"
He looked at me, and then at Baby Bug, and said, "No, Mommy. I want to tell Baby Bug a story tonight. Can I?"
"Sure," I said, and we went over to the baby gate. Baby Bug's face lit up with delight. She turned her little face up and puckered her lips at her big brother and made a "muah" noise, signaling she was waiting for a kiss, and he leaned down and kissed her.
"Love Ooooo" Baby Bug said.
"Love you too," Monkey replied and brushed her hair out of her forehead, "Do you want me to tell you a bedtime story?"
"Yeah! Yeah!" She was so thrilled. She put her little cheek down to rest on the baby gate and looked adoringly at her big brother.
"Okay," Monkey started, "Once upon a time...." and then he paused and looked at me. "Mommy, you have to go now. This is just for Baby Bug from her big brother."
"Well, alright," I said. I kissed them both and exchanged I love yous.....and went around the corner, hiding a quarter of the way down the stairs to listen.
Monkey told Baby Bug a story about the man in the moon, and how he listens to all of your wishes. He listens to the wishes of big brothers, and baby sisters, and mommies and daddies too, and then he sprinkles moon fuzzies on you.
Baby Bug oooohed and aaaaahed at all the right places, and Monkey's voice was so animated excitedly making up the story as he went along. He ended it with a big "Theeeeeeeeeeeeee End" and Baby Bug clapped. Then monkey said to her,
"Alright baby sister, it's time for bed now. Give me a hug and a kiss."
Baby Bug made the "muah" noise, "Love you", she said.
"Love you too", replied monkey, "now go crawl in bed."
He paused, and I could hear the rustling of Baby Bug crawling into her toddler bed. "Good job Baby Bug," Monkey said. "I love you all the way up to the moon and back, baby sister."
"Night night" said Baby Bug.
"Night night, baby" said Monkey.
I heard him crawling into his own bed then, and I sat and strained to listen. All I could hear was the sound of the kids whispering quietly to their stuffed animals, and I started to cry. Next to the day my husband asked me to marry him, those were the happiest tears I have cried in my entire life. Heck, I'm crying just thinking about it. I am so proud of my boy, caring for his little sister-so proud of my sweet daughter, adoring her big brother so much. My children-for all of their noise and grumpiness-are the sweetest, most affectionate, loving children a mother was ever blessed with.
It was a wonderful day after all.