better than ice cream

6 Aug

If you have been a (stay at home) parent for a while I am positive you can relate with the following situation.

By the time the most challenging time of the day (a.k.a. bedtime) comes to an end, I feel eager to start my children-free-time, ASAP. Do I sound DESPERATE? Hell yeah. After all I am there for them 24/7, I NEED my couple of hours alone time to unwind, relax and do something – ANYTHING – as long as it doesn’t involve them.

Yiannis is a clever boy. He senses this desperation of mine, long before I actually realize it’s kicking in. He hates going to bed (like most children) and tries to get an extension EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

It usually starts at dinner time. After he has a regular sized portion of whatever he chooses to eat he starts asking for more. I still haven’t figured out if it is ACTUAL HUNGER or just him prolonging bedtime.

After having devoured more than what his mother could eat for dinner (and that is a statement my friends), his stalling strategy continues. Now, the whining about being too tired to brush his teeth starts. By the way, this is STRICTLY the ONLY time he admits he is TIRED.  Whenever possible, I chose to withdraw myself from my 2 jewels at that point (and let N. take over) as I have usually reached the MOMMY RED ZONE by then.

I go to the kitchen (I am a foodie=the kitchen is my REFUGEE), clean up their mess & set the table for N. & myself. In these 10 minutes I try to recharge my batteries so that I can be the LOVING mom I want when I tuck them in & kiss them goodnight. It usually works.

When they are finally in bed, they start begging for more. More kisses, more cuddling, more, more, more…..

Until recently I played them the mommy-is-too-tired-and-too-hungry-and-too-dirty-and-needs-a-shower-ASAP card, gave them 5 kisses each and closed their door as fast as I could.

Two days ago, I decided to give in. I first laid next to Yianni and then I laid next to Iliana. I cuddled them, told them how much I cherish and love them, how much they really mean to me and that MY LOVE for THEM will NEVER CHANGE. Then, they practically copied what I had said and said that back to me. Although I knew these were not their words, I felt the LOVE.

Then, it hit me.

WHAT IF, I am losing the best moments of the day? What if, these 5 extra minutes make THE DIFFERENCE in THE WORLD? Right then and there I decided to stop and smell my kids….

Last night, as I laid next to Yianni, I hugged him, I inhaled him and told him: honey, this feels good. He turned to me, looked me in the eye and repeated what I had just said. Then, he added: this even feels better than ice cream…

Until next time




16 Responses to “better than ice cream”

  1. kidsrecipesandorganisedchaos August 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    That’s so beautiful! I always rush bedtime too, but recently I’ve really started to slow it down and make sure I read the extra book and give the extra kisses – although I don’t lie down with them – they’d never let me leave lol! Although for your son to say it’s better than ice-cream, well, that’s special, and maybe I need to try it ❤ Marianne x

    • wonderlandbytatu August 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Thank you Marianne!
      I thought the same exact thing. DON’T LIE DOWN – HE WILL NEVER LET YOU GO. But somehow…they don’t actually need a lot, just a few minutes of UNINTERRUPTED quality time.
      My sister has been reading to her daughters ever since her oldest was 1 (she is now 12). I admire her for that. I don’t have the patience to do it.
      And yes, the better than ice cream comment was as cute as it gets (since I know how much he loves his ice cream).

  2. Anonymous August 6, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing…

  3. sakuraandme August 6, 2013 at 12:56 pm #


    That’s so sweet, T!! 🙂

    I’ve just posted about kids too! Lol
    I loved reading to my boys at night. After I finished, that’s when they would tell me about their day at school. Before that I would get nothing! Lol
    I did this every night till my son was 12. Its like special one on one time.

    I love your posts and your children have a great mum! :). Hugs Paula xxx

    • wonderlandbytatu August 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      thank you so much for your kind words…your affection & dedication means a lot to me.
      Yes, I think I am sticking with it. I would love to have this quality one on one thing with both of my children. Especially with Yiannis who doesn’t say much anyway…
      One GIGANTIC HUG to you my friend!

      • sakuraandme August 6, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

        Haha! Thanks T. :). X

  4. momtimes4 August 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    That is so sweet. I need to do that.

  5. August 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Even better than ice cream – wow! Sweet post.
    I’m glad you are enjoying them and they you. I guess those are 5 important minutes.

  6. expatsincebirth August 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Tatu, this is beautiful! I guess in the first years we all have those moments where we just hope they’ll be over soon and we finally get our “me time”. It’s amazing: I had to do exactly the same thing. I also did give in one night and did realize that these were actually sweet, precious moments that are going to end, maybe sooner than I want… I also have these one-on-one times (not always at bedtime, because my husband likes to enjoy them as well! ;-)) sometimes during the day and try to slow down and remind that all this will be part of their memory. I don’t want them to remember a “too busy, too tired, too I-don’t-know-what” mum, but one that spends as much time as possible with them. – But they never told me that I’m better than ice cream 😉 (yet?) xxx

    • wonderlandbytatu August 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      The thing with being a stay at home parent is that you get the overdose of the quantity time that you are too tired to focus on the quality time, but at the end this is what probably makes the difference! Don’t worry, I am sure you are the better-than-ice-cream mom! It’s not really important when and where this quality time takes place, what we should not forget is that we DO have to make the time.

      • expatsincebirth August 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        Yes, Tatu, I know. I got so much quantity time that I didn’t even have the energy for quality time anymore… But when the kids start to go to school, this changes a lot. And you’ll have quality time slots 😉 – xxx

  7. elpida August 7, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    oooooooohhhhhhhhhh………so sweet…..i will try this too!! It is very important to share feelings with kids!!!!!

  8. Ice Beautiful September 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    You know I am still thinking from time to time about everything you told here. This evening routine is so familiar to me. My impatience to start the kids-free evening too. Your thoughts changed my mind and made me see everything in different light.

    • wonderlandbytatu September 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      I am happy they did!! I only hope it made you feel better. Great to see you again here! xxx

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