Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I started "rocking time" back up. I did this for a while when Hermela and Meron first came home, but we slowly got out of the habit. The way it works is, each child has a night that they get to stay up a little later and rock with me in my rocking chair. We put the other kids to bed and then whoever's turn it is to rock waits for me in the chair. We usually read a book and talk and I get to tell them how special they are and spend some one on one time together (which is often scarce around here).
I found that if I schedule it in, then it happens, and if I don't, then it's hit or miss. My kids NEED it to not be hit or miss and I have found that I actually need it as well. I feel like it really helps me connect with them and refocus on all of their great qualities and how much I love them. You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you hold your infant close and gaze into their little eyes at the end of the day? Well, it's like that--except that now I have great big babies to cuddle up with. I find that it helps me to have those warm gushy feelings towards them--a feeling that can often be missed amongst the semi-chaotic pace of our family.
Each of our kids have a day of the week that they help me cook (Monday thru Saturday--oldest to youngest). So, I made their cooking day their rocking day as well. They also get to sit by me at the table that day (Colton always sits by me, but that's for other reasons :-) I found color coded magnets at the Dollar Store, so we just rotate the magnets and that way, everyone knows what's going on for that day. We also use them to rotate kitchen jobs and things like trips to the store with mom or dad or trips to my parents house.
The other thing about the rocking is that it gives me back a little of that babyhood that I've missed out on with half of our kids. Because we've adopted older children, we missed babyhood entirely. Rocking them has given me a little of that time back and even my biggest girl curls up in a ball on my lap and snuggles in. The girls talk a lot about their lives in Ethiopia and their feelings now during this time and I really feel like it's therapeutic as well as just plain fun for them.
I always say to my kids, "don't grow up too fast." Hopefully they won't grow out of rocking time too soon either.