Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creature Of Habit

I know I've said it before, but my little girl is SUCH a creature of habit.

She displays this character trait in many ways throughout our day, but bedtime is when we really see that Nora likes things to be a.certain.way. Always. Everytime. Every night.

For example, we have a bedtime routine that occurs most nights when we are home together as a family. We start to settle down after bath around 8:15. Kids are cleans, jammies are on, Liam has his last bottle.

The routine continues as Nora's teeth get brushed. Sometimes I do it, sometimes Jonathan does. Typically while one is brushing teeth, the other is putting Liam to bed.

We pick up any toys that are laying around in Nora's room, set up Nora's heater, and turn out the lights. The light from the bathroom gives us just what we need to get Nora settled in her bed.

Her sheep pillow has a particular place in the bed. Her bear has a designated spot as does her baby. Finally, she has her blanket that we must cover her up with.

Jonathan starts with prayers. Then I pray, and if Nora is in the mood, she'll pray too.

After prayers, we give last minute kisses. These evolve. They started out back in the day quite simply. Just smooches on the cheek, one for Momma, one for Daddy. We'd whisper I love you and head out the room.

Now we have what we call "sticky kisses." Nora asks us to get stuck when we kiss goodnight so Jonathan and I take turns getting stuck to Nora's cheeks.

As we walk out into the hall and shut the door, Jonathan and I wait in anticipation for what we know is inevitable. "Momma." That's what we hear most nights. Sometimes it's "Daddy." If it's me, I open the door to see that Nora has thrown her blanket off and needs me to cover her up again with the blanket. That's all she needs, just to be recovered.

Most nights this covering up of the blanket happens just once. However, some nights she tries to push the limits and will call us several times. We go back in and tell her that it's the last time. She smiles, looks up while we tuck her in, then rolls on her side to fall asleep.

If I'm honest, sometimes the repetition and the going back in for the 5th time can be quite frustrating. It's my selfishness, I know, because I'm tired and I just want the girl to go to sleep.

I realize that this "creature of habit" is who she is, and it probably frustrates me because she is just like me in so many ways. It's scary.

Over time, say the past few months, I have also come to the realization that Nora will not always like things just the way she does now. She has proven this over and over again over the past two and a half years. Her dislikes change. Her likes changes. And right now, I need to cherish the routine, the repetition, because in an instant, these things will be gone and we will have moved on to something else. And I will miss the things that we are doing now.

She will not always call "Momma" or "Daddy" once we leave the room.

It honestly won't be long before her beloved white blanket is just too small to cover up her little body.

I know pillow, baby, and bear will be cast aside in coming years.

But, my love for my girl won't change.

And I pray her love for her Momma and Daddy won't either.

I hope we're a habit she can't break!


Tina said...

Aw! What a sweet post. I got a little teary-eyed reading it. :)

Melanie said...

So sweet Casey. I need to remember this more and cherish all the moments-- even the difficult ones.