**Warning: This post contains sick-inducing schmaltz**
I just went up to The Princess for the second time since putting her to bed this evening. She was singing “Mummy Daddy” to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’. It was lovely, but loud, and likely to wake her brother. Again. And then we had the following exchange:
Me: You need to try and settle down and sleep now baby, it’s late and we’ve got a busy day tomorrow. Close your eyes now and drift off to sleep.
The Princess: Mummy? I want a kiss and a cuddle.
Me: Oh go on then.
I lean over the safety barrier of her bed and squeeze my three-year-old tightly while smothering her face in kisses. I breathe in her curls and feel her spider-like eyelashes tickle my cheek. Her willowy little arms slither round my neck and squeeze me tightly.
Me: You are very, very special and I love you so very much.
The Princess: You are a very special mummy and I love you so much.
Me: *Sob, squeeze, sob* Right, time to close your eyes and have lots of lovely dreams and I’ll see you for cuddles in the morning. Night night, I love you.
The Princess: Mummy? Can I tell you something in your ear? (Whispering in my ear) Have a nice sleep and lovely dreams and I love you.
I know it is simple repetition, if I had recited the alphabet she would have said it back to me. But after a particularly crappy few days, these words from my daughter were exactly what I needed to hear. And maybe, just maybe, I’m not doing a terrible job of motherhood after all.