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I wonder if she knows...

...how much I love her? This was a question that hung out in my brain for awhile after I put Olivia to bed last night. This was also after she broke my heart. Let me explain...

Our normal nightly routine consists of my husband coming home, us scurrying around the kitchen to eat dinner, some rough housing with the girls and then at 7:00 we head up for baths and "vocabulary lessons" as my husband calls it. You know...teaching Olivia the names of body parts, animal sounds and counting. Typical tiger parent activity.

Last night was different though. My husband had to work late so it was just the girlies and I. We pursued the normal routine and at 7:00 on the dot, Olivia picked up her dolls and stood at the base of the stairs. {we have a baby gate} As we headed up the stairs {making pit stops along the way to talk or count - it's 12 steps, mother of god!} I decided we were going to skip baths tonight. Olivia seemed tired.

Once we arrived to her room I closed the door, set Lola on the floor next to her sister and started to change Liv into the pj and sleep sack action. She was in a great mood but then she pointed to the crib so I figured...ok, why fight it? I placed her in and she watched me contently as I picked up her room. Finally, it was time for good night kisses.

As I looked down at her in the crib...blanket tucked around her and all 63 stuffed animals strategically placed...she gazed up at me and just smiled. Cue heart breaking action to begin.

I said, "Olivia, you're my favorite toddler and I love you so much. Do you know how much I love you?"

Her reply, "Nigh, nigh mama...nigh, nigh" Still smiling.

It was then I wanted to crawl into her crib and just snuggle with her. Lola of course was content cooing on the ground and watching all of this. You see, babies fuss and getting a lot of fussing over as they should. And all the while, 6.5 months to be exact, Olivia has stood by...patiently and lovingly just waiting for her turn. And that...that my dear friends makes my eyes well up. Not because I am sad or unhappy but because she is such a sweet girl and has done so well with this adjustment period.

And sometimes, sometimes I wonder if she knows just how much I really love her. If she knows that I love her and her sister fiercely but in different ways. And as a parent, it's hard to describe and know how to express that in a way that a toddler will understand so you start scheming...scheming of ways you can spend more time, give more...to help her comprehend just how great the love is that you have for them.

Back to reality. After I heard that sweet little voice say those words; I couldn't help but keep talking to her because I didn't want to leave her alone just yet. So I reminded her how beautiful she is and smart she is but her reply was the same...

"Nigh, nigh mama...mwah."

Maybe she does know.


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