Clingers

Maybe there’s something in the water or in the air. Or maybe my kids just sense that something BIG is about to happen in our family (for my own sake, I keep hoping the BIG happens soon, but here we sit, waiting as patiently as we can for Baby No.3’s natural, in her-or-his-own-good-time arrival but with no signs of anything happening soon). Whatever it is, there’s been a fair amount of clinging going on lately in the Welsch household.

Raegan is going on, I’m pretty sure, two months strong of major Daddy attachment. Ben is still her No.1, go-to-guy person these days and her favorite place to be when she’s not running around or climbing something is in her daddy’s arms. She nestles in so nicely to his torso when he scoops her up and uses her left arm to latch herself securely to his sleeve as they tool about the house and the yard. Some days she seems to be a permanent fixture there. And seeing as I don’t really have a defined waist these days, I don’t really mind that she’d rather be riding around on him than me. My back and my hips probably prefer it, actually. What strikes me as most interesting, however, is just how much her brother has begun his own form of clinging.

As you know, we our children are early risers, so our days often start around 6 or before. We do our darnedest, however, to make the children wait until at least 6:30 before doing our Good Mornings routine. It’s a simple idea we got from our sleep book about using a dramatic wake up. Even when the kids are clearly waking up too early, you still “decide” when the day starts by waiting until a designated time at which you start flipping on lights, throwing open curtains, and singing “GOOD MORNING!” like you mean it. Supposedly it signals to them that it is not their crying, wandering, etc. that has started the day – you have. Considering that most days my kids are still up well before I’d prefer, I’m not sure how helpful this charade has been, but it’s part of our morning routine at this point, and so “Good Mornings!” we do.

Because I have been so sick and so not sleeping well this pregnancy, I pretty much let Ben take over the Good Morning thing some time ago. Then I would hide under the covers for another 5-10 minutes before dragging myself downstairs to start the day. Once summer hit and I finished teaching, I started staying in bed to try to go back to sleep while he and the noisemakers did breakfast and early morning play together. This is when I began to notice HD’s own form of attachment.

At first he would just wish me a good sleep and go with Dad and Raegan. But then, on the occasional morning, he would come in, ask me how my sleep was and then ask me to come play with him or have breakfast with him. If I declined or told him Mama needed to rest some more, his little bottom lip would come out and his beautiful big eyes would take on that certain sad puppy quality (seeing as the phrase “whip a pout” exists in my own family, it is not hard to discern where he might have picked up this skill). Pouting aside, he would still go downstairs and be just fine. Then, in the last two weeks, when he would come in our room for his early morning bathroom break (that I often blame as the catalyst of our family’s early waking routine), he suddenly started asking Ben if Mama would come and do Good Mornings for him.

I have no idea why the sudden change or preference for me to be the one to greet him for the day, but I’ve been hoisting my big belly up in the hazy, early morning darkness to do just that. And he loves it. He hears me coming because I poke my head in Raegan’s nook first (she greets me, I kid you not, with questioning arms and a, “Where’s Daddy????” every single day. I should also mention that, for some reason, she sounds mildly French when saying this. Why? I don’t know.). I then open his door next at which point he rolls/flips out of his bed, yells “Mama!” and is ready to start the day. As for me? If it was a particularly rough night with too many bathroom breaks, bizarre dreams, and extended periods of Awake, I crawl back in bed, again causing my Little Man to pout. He much prefers the mornings when I join them downstairs for some playtime and breakfast before I sneak back up for a morning nap while they hang out with Dad (thank God for my teacher-by-trade husband and the fact that we are having a summer baby!).

Am I thrilled to be on call for musical joy and sunshine each morning? Quite honestly, I’d rather have some quiet time and coffee first, but when my sweet, sweet just-about-to-turn-four-years-old son is that delighted to have me get him up for the day (he still asks Ben almost every morning if Mama can do Good Mornings and then says, “OK. Thanks!” before heading back to his room to wait for me), I can’t really say it’s that bad of a gig. And since I know the BIG changes are in fact happening sooner than later, if there’s anything I can do to help ground or comfort either of the older two, then I am happy to do so (dark circles and all).

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