My youngest daughter, Smush, is this wonderfully affectionate little ball of squishy goodness. She smiles all the time, laughs at her big sisters’ antics, and can literally fix any problem with one grin. And then she enters attack mode.
It’s completely unexpected. One minute she’s smiling and playfully batting at your face; the next, she’s pulling your hair until there are remnants of it in her hands, and clawing your face until she leaves a trail of baby scratches.
All this, in an attempt to give a kiss. Because once she has clung to your face for dear life, she pulls in and opens her mouth as wide as it can possibly get, then plants a wet one on you. Literally.
While losing hair at the root and sporting facial graffiti from her sharp little nails is not my ideal way to bond with my baby, I do adore her kisses.
For the past week, all three of my children have been sick. In other words: I’m exhausted. Goo was
homicidal cranky, Punkin was tired and melancholy. Smush barely slept for 4 days straight. It is weeks like those that make me jealous of couples without kids. What I would have given for a chance to rest, or complete a thought, or just breathe.
And then Smush enters attack mode. And within seconds, I’m reminded of why the sleepless nights are worth it, why unsuccessfully spraying every touchable surface in disinfectant is an important part of (at least some of) my days. I am not a perfect mom. I never wear pearls when I vacuum. I forgot that I was supposed to bake cupcakes for my daughter’s kindergarten class and bought them from the store. Sometimes I yell. And more often than not, bedtime is one of my favorite parts of the day. But so are the times when Smush enters attack mode. Parenting is a roller coaster ride (on the good days). Hold on tight.