Monday, July 23, 2012

small things {snuggles}

small things #49 ... snuggles

Poor little Lydia was tired.  She was running on fumes.  She was grumpy.  She was a mess.

Much of the day had been spent with me asking her to do things and her saying, "no".  Nothing wears me out more than a too-tired-to-obey toddler.

With an hour until dinner time, I decided to try to distract my baby girl with some snuggle time and maybe a book.  If we could burn up some time cuddling, maybe she wouldn't burn out entirely.

I headed for the futon and invited her to join me.

"No.  I wanna play a game."  Her eyes flashed at me.

"Come here first.  I want to give you a hug."

"No.  I wanna game."  She glared.

I patted my lap and asked her again.  "Come sit with me a minute."

"No!  I.  Wanna.  Game."  She stomped one foot defiantly.

I had an image flicker in my mind of the number of times God has patiently called my name and patted His lap, inviting me to sit with Him for a bit.  And all the times, I've stomped my feet and said, "No!  I wanna do my own thing."  In the same way that God knows what is best for me, I knew my girl needed a cuddle.

"Come here, please," I said more firmly.  Less of an invitation and more of a request.

Liddy's lower lip scrunched up and she squared her shoulders.  She wasn't coming willingly.  Her determined little chin quivered and she shuffled a few steps in my direction.

I softened my words and held out my hands to her.  She hesitated and then leaned into me.  Not quite on my lap, but close.  As I put my arms around her, I felt her body tense and she mumbled something about not wanting to sit with me.

I pulled her onto my lap.   And the screaming began.

For the next several minutes, she writhed, kicked, shrieked, growled and howled.  It was loud and awful.  She yelled, "Stop it, Mommy!" repeatedly as I sat there with one hand across her lap and the other hand rubbing her back.  As I "forced" her to cuddle with me, hot tears ran down her red face and her hair clung to her damp forehead.  I rocked her and whispered to her as her tantrum rolled.  (Yes ... this is the same sweet girl who held my hand as we napped.  ...sigh...)

Her older siblings each peeked up the stairs; worried, curious eyes asked silently, "what's wrong?" I smiled and nodded at them, trying to reassure them that Lydia was okay ... or at least she would be soon.  (I had mini-flashbacks to similar "cuddle" sessions with my other babies and the venomous faces they would make at me as I held them.  Not my most favorite mommy-memories.)

Soon, sweet Liddy's protests quieted, to be replaced by deep, trembling sighs and wet sniffles.  She buried her drippy face into my shirt and let me fill with love all those ugly, angry places she had emptied with her tears.

"You are a sweet girl.  You are kind.  You are loving.  
You are smart.  You are so strong.  
I love you and Daddy loves you.  
You are funny.  You are silly.  You are special.  
You are precious to me."

As she looked up at me with her teary, bleary eyes, we talked about how Mommy was the boss and how much I love when she does the right and helpful thing.  She nodded and answered, "Yes, Mommy."

Finally there was a smile and a giggle as I stole a few more snuggles and kisses.  Then she started in with squealing and laughter as I wrestled her for, "one more zerbert ... one more tickle ... one more smooch!"  As she scampered off my lap, she was a rejuvinated little person with her love-tank topped off.

Again, I was reminded of the renewal and refreshment that comes with putting aside my "I wanna do's" and sitting a bit with Jesus.  Why do I fight Him so?  Why do I dig in my heels and put up my wall?  Why do I throw my own little tantrum when He asks me to obey?

Without fail, my times spent with God produce the same peace and quiet.  He tops off my tank as well with words of love and truth.

"You are a sweet girl.  You are kind.  You are loving.  
You are smart.  You are so strong.  
I love you.  
You are funny.  You are silly.  You are special.  
You are precious to me."

Lydia spent the rest of her day blessing me with kisses and hugs.  She told me all about how much she loves "the people" (us) and how much "the people" love her.  She smiled and giggled shyly when I stole a kiss at bedtime.  The toddle transformation was tremendous!

Snuggles ... sometimes they're sweet and sometimes they're sweaty.  But they almost always yield a special intimacy.  With my kids and with God.


  1. It's not easy being a little's not easy being a mom. xoxox

  2. I love how you drew the parallels with Christ.

  3. You're right. Come to think of it I'm not any different than Lydia either. :)


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