I lost my patience with this one last night. I raised my voice. A behavior that used to be my norm; but she doesn’t remember. Boy, am I glad she doesn’t remember.
Changing your base code isn’t easy. The voices of mine still linger in the back of my mind.

I want more for my children. When they grow to hear the echoes of my words in their subconscious, I want it to be only words of love and encouragement. Not the things that pick away at their sense of self.

It’s bedtime and the baby is asleep. I’ve just settled into a bath. My first real bath since her brother was born. She walks in to brush her teeth, sees the tub and skips over.

“I wish I could have a bath with you” she says, her hand reaching toward the water.

“It’s time for bed.” I answer, moving her hand away. It’s been a long week, and I am sad and tired. I want to be left alone.
“But I want to take a bath.”
“Maybe tomorrow you can take a bath. Right now it’s time to go to sleep.”
She turns her lips downward and starts to whine. Not again. I can’t handle that sound right now.
“Please,” I plead with her. “This is my bath. I need this moment in order to be a good mommy. Go to bed.”
She reaches for the water again.
“STOP!”
I’ve gone too far. Tears well up and she lets out a soul-crushing sob before darting to her room. Down the hall her brother cries. She’s woken him up. I sigh and drain the tub.

It’s the middle of the night and little feet shuffle into the bathroom. Her little voice whispers.
“It’s just me,” She shuts the door to my room before turning on the light. She knows the light would wake her brother up. He is sleeping soundly.
I walk in as she is washing her hands and hug her. I apologize for raising my voice.
“Do you want to know why I cried?” She asks.
“Why?”

“Because it scared me.”

“I’m sorry I scared you. I didn’t mean to. I’m still learning how to be a good mommy” I tell her.
“Why?”

“Because I was never shown how.”
“Oh.” She wraps her arms tighter around me. “It’s okay.” And then, “Can I sleep in your bed?”
In my head, I imagine feet in the small of my back and sweaty sheets. I’m touched out today.
In my head, I say no and send her to her own room.
In my head, I am a little girl asking to curl up with my mom on the couch, or play with my hair. She sends me away.
In my head, I think of her older sister who no longer asks to climb into my bed.
‘It goes too fast.’ applies to the bigger littles too.
“Sure, you can sleep with me,” I say out loud. We wiggle our way under the comforter and I hand her a pillow.

“Thanks for sharing mom,” she whispers as she pulls the blanket up to her chin. She curls up against me and we drift off to sleep. I wake up in the morning without feet in the small of my back.
There was more room in the bed than I’d thought.