Monday, May 11, 2009

A Mother's day gift from Max

I used to rock Max to sleep every night.

I would sing to him while he cuddled in my arms and twisted his fingers through my hair. The soft glow of the night light would cast shadows across his sweet face as he drifted off to sleep while I sang his favorite songs.

As he got older, he wouldn't fall asleep, but would sing the familiar songs with me, then when he got tired enough, he would tell me that he was ready to go to bed.

A while ago, we decided that he was too big for his crib. We took the crib apart and put it away, replacing it with a toddler bed.

Max was thrilled with his "big boy" bed. It was right at that time that he decided that he didn't need to be rocked at night anymore.
"We not do rock a bye now. I'm also bigger."

I really missed this time with Max, and would frequently ask him if he wanted to sit in the rocking chair with me before he got in his bed.
"No, we not do rock a bye. I just go to bed."

During this time, I was growing increasingly tired of Max's sippy cups. We had an abundance of cups, but only a few lids left and he was quite picky about which ones he would use. I told him that when he turned four, he couldn't use the sippy cups anymore.
During the weeks before his fourth birthday, I reminded him frequently that after his birthday, there would be no more sippy cups, we would be getting rid of all of them. He wasn't too happy about this, and told me that I should just go buy some more.

About a week before his birthday, I got an idea.

"Hey Max, I'll tell you what. After you turn four, you can keep your sippy cup if you let me rock you in the rocking chair before you go to sleep at night."

I was partially teasing, so I was quite surprised when he agreed to this bargain.

Over the next several days, I would remind him of our deal, and he would agree every time.

The morning of his birthday, I filled up his sippy cup with milk and handed it to him with his breakfast. He handed it back to me and said,
"I not using those anymore. I'm four now ." And that night he still wouldn't sit with me in the rocking chair.

Last Friday night we had been to a wedding reception, and Max fell asleep on the way home.
I carefully lifted him out of the car, carried him to his room and put his pajamas on him. He woke up just a little, but went right back to sleep.

So I carried him over to the rocking chair, sat down and rocked. Even though he was asleep, he instinctively reached up and rubbed my hair between his fingers.

The next morning I told him what I did.
"Hey Max, last night I rocked you in the rocking chair."
He giggled and looked at me like I was crazy.
"Hey, I totally did! I cuddled with you and you played with my hair"
He laughed and walked away. I don't think he believed me.

Saturday night after he said goodnight to the family, I asked him if I could rock him again. "I won't even sing" I told him "I'll just rock you a little bit."
Much to my surprise, Max replied "No, you should sing."

I sat in the rocking chair and he cuddled in my lap. He played with my hair and sang his favorite songs with me, then gave me a big hug and kiss and went to bed.

I don't think he'll ever know how much it meant to me to be able to rock my baby.

And yes, I know he's four years old and no longer a baby, but as I've told him many times, he'll always be MY baby.

Thanks Max.


utmomof 5 said...

AHHHH!! So sweet. My 4 year old baby everyonce in awhile will let me sing her songs before bed. They will always be our babies!!

Kristina P. said...

Unlike utmom, I think you are pure evil. Genius, but evil. Tricking a 4 year-old. For shame. ;)

Why don't you cuddle with the Snuggie?

Bonnie the Boss said...

I think it is so sweet! you are very lucky!

Busty LaRue said...

That is so sweet!

Jen said...

Now that's just plumb sugar sweet.

Valerie said...

That's so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes, and I don't even know any of the participants!

Jillene said...

Aaaawwww....for sweet. I tell my kids that they will be my babies FOREVER. Even when they are married and have their own babies--they will STILL be my babies. O just looks at me and matter of factly tells me that, "SHE IS NOT A BABY. Remember how I go potty on the toilet?! That means that I am a big girl." Why do they grow up so fast?!

nhsmith55 said...

My baby is now a man with a baby of his own, and I still miss rocking him like that.
Take full advantage. Bribary for cuddles is acceptable!

Tausha said...

It's times like this when we forget about all of the icecream in each others hair, pretend birds that get loose in our house, spaghetti for dinner. Very sweet and one day even Max will be glad that you posted about that!

Karen said...

Your story reminds me of the children's book "I Love You Forever". Are you familiar with it? I used to read it to all the Mothers at the Mother's Day Tea I had when I taught preschool and I had to hand out tissues beforehand. If you haven't read it you should.....and don't forget the tissues.

Me said...

They grow up so fast...

Its the sweet moments like these that make it all worth it!

rychelle said...

this post totally reminded me of that book "love you forever" too.

i love how max bargains with you.

Jo said...

What a sweet story. So filled with the bittersweet that being mommy is. Thanks for sharing it. I am so sad he is growing up so fast, I like him just the way he is.

Melissa said...

My 17 year old played with my hair until just a few years ago! Never in public mind you! And if he would let me rock him, I totally would! Reminds me of that book "Love you forever"

Great story!

Hey It's Di said...

Those youngest have to stay the baby FOREVER! I still pull my 7 year old on my lap like he's a toddler because to me HE IS MY BABY!

I love your sweet story:)

Mae Rae said...

I have three babies. 15, 12 and 8. My youngest went through Max's stage at 4 and right back to my baby by 5. My 15 year old still puts his head on my lap for my to play with his hair. They grow up but they are still babies for ever.

Motherboard said...

My baby is 10... and I still beg for him to let me rock him.

There is nothing more amazing than rocking those baby boys.

Amber said...

Sweet! I adore max. Adore.

Belovedgoddess said...

I so miss the snuggling, my son used to entwine my hair into his hand with the ends running up his thumb, which then got stuck in his mouth. Each night he insisted I get into bed with him to snuggle. He is now 13 and still very much my baby I am lucky that he still lets me hug him.

Belovedgoddess said...

I thought about buying a rocking chair the other, then thought it's a pity my kids are grown. It's just occured to me that I'll need one for the grandbabies ;).

Maraiya said...

oh - make me cry. Very sweet.

disa said...
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