Kaya has been my little 'mama's girl' lately...crying when I drop her off at 24hr fitness, and even when I leave her with Daddy in the evenings. Tonight, I was going to run a quick errand on the way home from the store, but when I went to hand her off to Geoff, was struck with a very definitive, "Mama! Mama!", arms outstretched.
I took her with me.
Who doesn't enjoy the sweet love of a toddler in a mini-Walgreen's shopping cart?
And the cherry, on top of the sweet-love pie, came this evening, as I was rocking her before bed. We'd read our books, drunk our milk, brushed our teeth (yes, both of our teeths), and were preparing for the time of the evening where she asks for her beloved "Schnooey und Affe" [binky and monkey] and soon thereafter, "Bett" [bed]. Tonight, however, she deviated a bit from the recent norm.
First of all, Affe got the boot tonight. Not from the bed, but from the rocker. As I handed him to her, she rejected my offer, shooing him away with her whole arm (like she does when she's telling us to go "weg" [away]). "Bett, Bett," she said, encouraging me to put her monkey back.
As we were rocking, relaxing to the soft glow of her Santa-light, she snuggled in deeper, making no indication that she wanted to go to bed anytime soon. When I asked her, she clearly verified my assumption with a defiant whine and a "Schaukel..." [rock] request. As eager as I was to head to the kitchen and adorn my brownie with the melting vanilla ice cream on the counter, I couldn't pull myself away. It's so rare that she requests to snuggle with me at night, and even less often that she nuzzles into me in a way that makes my heart melt like my ice cream. So, I stayed, stroking her hair, her cheeks, her sweet little nose. I whispered that the sandman would come, would bring her sweet dreams, and leave behind sand in her eyes for us to find in the morning. She whispered back: yeah. I told her, once again, how much I love her and how she's my "allerliebster Kuschelbaer" [most favorite snuggle bear]. Then, suddenly, I noticed her hand on my face, gently stroking my cheek, running through my hair, around my ears, over my nose, back through my hair and down my cheek. I couldn't believe it. My two year old daughter was stroking my face in way that calmed my soul. I closed my eyes and took it all in--every caress, every stroke, every ounce of love that she was sending my way. When I opened them again, I couldn't help but smile. She was looking right at me, as she had been before, a smile beginning to brew on her lips, too. "Haare," she said, running her hand through my hair.
"Was ist das?" [What is this?] I asked her, pointing to my nose.
"Nose," she said, with a big grin.
"Ja, Daddy sagt 'nose'. Was sagt Mama zu 'nose'?" I asked her. [Yeah, Daddy says nose. What does Mama say for nose?]
She paused a second and then replied, "Nase."
Ultimately, she pulled her hand back from my face, nuzzling her head into my arm once again. I didn't want to go, but knew that I couldn't put bedtime off forever. I explained to her, naturally in German, that it was about time to sleep and that I was going to put her in her bed soon. "Schaukel," she responded again. This time, I pulled an old trick out of my pocket, telling her that I would put her in bed and leave, but that I would return after a bit to rock later.
"Verstehst du?" I asked her. [Do you understand?]
She didn't say anything in response, but I knew she understood.
After rocking for a few more minutes, I heard a quiet little "Bett" [bed] escape her lips.
I satiated her Mama need for the moment, and she, my need for love and connection.
True symbiosis, this mother-daughter thing. True biology at work.