As I told you in an earlier post, I am an amazing mother and have finally figured out how to get my child to sleep. Which means, if you know her, then I apparently can get ANY child to go to sleep. So I should totally write a book and make millions.
Except our routine seems to be ever evolving, so I've revised my wealth plan and instead intend to have a talk show that can be fluid and changing. Yes, soon I will be rolling naked on my bed atop crisp one hundred dollar bills.
Originally, Ainsley needed an iPhone to play her favorite songs in order for me to leave her at night. I would cuddle with her through three songs and then I'd tuck her in "snug as a bug in a rug," give her 5 "big hug, big squeeze, kiss, kiss" -es, then say "good night, I love you" over and over again as I walked out the door.
However, now Ainsley doesn't want to listen to music. I think one night she was crying and saying she just wanted me to stay (see, this is an ever evolving process and 5 months later we still have bad nights) and she didn't want any music. So instead, I asked her if she wanted to talk for awhile. She did. So we talked a little about our days, I asked her some questions and then I tucked her in "snug as a bug in a rug," gave her 5 "big hug, big squeeze, kiss, kiss" -es, then said "good night, I love you" over and over again as I walked out the door.
The next night she wanted to talk again, but instead she asked me to tell her a story.
"About what?" I asked.
"About you when you were little playing with your brother and sister," she immediately responded. Okay, way to be specific!
I often say I have a good memory, but I have trouble remembering details of my childhood. When certain things are brought up, my mind starts filling in the blanks, but getting started can be difficult.
So I told her about sharing a room with my brother when I was very small and I think even having my sister's crib in there at one point. It was a two bedroom house and we were definitely all born before we moved out of it. I told her about lining my bed with all my toys at night so they could protect me. I told her about sitting on the deck of that house with my mom and her teaching me how to count seconds between lightening and thunder and what it meant.
The next night, she asked for more stories. So again I had to dig deep and think hard. I told her about playing hide and go seek after dark on summer nights. I told her about climbing the tree in my back yard and getting stuck so many times that my mom refused to get me any more...so Uncle Levi did. I told her about walks through the woods to the creek with cousins and neighborhood friends.
After a week of this, I realized I needed to up my game. Think of real stories if I could. So every day, I try and take some time to sort through my memory and come up with at least one story about me as a child. People, try this...not easy!
But, it has been worth it. It's almost like my brain is opening up to these things now. Memories that I forgot, sometimes just race before my eyes...
-hiding in a yellow armoir when I was small enough to fit and drawing on the inside of the door
-creating the General Lee from an orange afgan and brown recliner and my brother and I jumping in through the "windows" like Bo and Luke
-learning to dive at my grandmother's small pool, which was way too shallow for diving
-hanging my feet out the car window on a trip to visit friends, losing one of my flip flops and having my dad throw the other one out
-stopping at a convenient store on the way to my grandparents on Christmas day and leaving my brand new patent leather Minnie Mouse purse on a shelf in the toy isle
-in the first house I remember, so I couldn't have been more than 6, packing my bags to run away and my mom telling me that if I was going, I'd have to leave the family the way I came into it - naked and with nothing...but also telling me that she'd miss me (honestly, the only reason I didn't go was because I couldn't imagine being naked outside)
-the teenage boy that cut our lawn when I was about 5 sitting on our couch and singing along to the Eurythmics video "Sweet Dreams Are Made of These"
-my sister stripping out of her diaper and running around our kickball field
-picking berries with my grandmother
They're all just these little snippets. No real stories. Sometimes I have to fill in with fiction where I can't remember. But Ainsley loves them. She asks me to tell her certain things over and over again. She loves the one where Carolyn takes her diaper off while we're playing kick ball and I have to chase her naked butt around to get her back in the house.
And these stories make me feel so warm. I had a great childhood made up of all these tiny little moments that are forever burned in my mind. As each one comes to mind, I remember the tears or the laughter. I remember the smells in the air, and a smile always crosses my face.
I hope that I'm giving these same little snippets to Ainsley and Freddie. Maybe not full stories, but just little memories that they can recall to my grandchildren one day. And I hope these stories always make them smile.