Elbows and Knees

One of the many reasons I began this blog was because of my awful memory and the precious reality of my little loves.  So I determined to write some of these things for my review later, for their eventual reading pleasure, and for my family.  So with that in mind – here’s another little blog about my tiny people.

Nighttime with my girls is an adventure.  The bedtime ritual is hilarious and exhausting and oh so specific for Grace (we literally have exact phrases we must say in a proper order or it all falls apart).  Once they are fed, bathed, dressed, teeth brushed, prayers prayed, water fetched, and finally quiet,  Justin and I typically collapse on the sofa completely spent.

And I confess, I am one of those moms who waivers on how much I allow our kids into our bed.  When we were childless, this is one of those things I arrogantly stated – “We will never be those people with kids between us in bed.”  But the reality is much more lax, and it started when Grace was so sick as an infant.  We try to never let our kids, no matter how sick or insistent, begin the night in our bed.  They, and we, just sleep better in their own space.  And we try to move them to their bed if they wake up in the night.  But some mornings, like this morning, that ideal flies out of the window and I’m stuck between the elbows and knees of two children.

Each of our girls sleeps in a certain way.  Grace sucks her right thumb while her left arm is wrapped around Eeyo’s neck and her hand scratches his left eye.  For real.  We actually have to patch the eye with band aids because it is worn down to the stuffing.  So as long as she has him, she can sleep almost anywhere.  We kept a childproof doorknob on the inside of her door until she was potty trained (at 3) because she is a night-wanderer.

One night I woke up and she was silently standing in the corner of our room watching me.  Hair in her face. Silent.  Nightgown on.  Straight out of a Stephen King novel.

Another night I woke up and Justin was sitting on the edge of our bed.  I knew this because he was flooded in light from our hallway.  It was 3:20 am.  I asked him what was going on.  He told me that he was working up the courage to walk around and check out the house – all he knew was every light was on.  We went out of our room together and literally, every light was on and Grace was sitting at the kitchen table quietly eating cereal out of a box.

So for obvious reasons we kept her corralled in her room until we were forced by her miniscule bladder to remove the childproof doorknob.

Rebekah is a snuggle-bug.  Even as a tiny baby she would scoot up to her bumper and sleep with her face and body pressed against the bumper (which increased this momma’s prayer life).  When she joins us in bed, she will scoot over until she is attached to us like a leech – her little arms and legs even tucked underneath.  Hilarious but absolutely not conducive to parental sleep (we are terrified to roll over her).  She sucks the two middle fingers of her left hand and we have loved that little sucking noise since she was an infant.  She is still stuck in a baby bed, and we are eternally grateful for that thing, so at this point we’re not sure if she will join her sister in nightly wandering or stay put.

They are both loud sleepers (which Justin says comes from me but I’m not so sure about that) and both radiate heat like my oven in mid-summer.  Most of the time, when Grace speaks up from right beside my head or Bekah cries loud enough for me to hear, I am so asleep that putting them in our bed just seems the easiest solution to get back to sleep as soon as possible.  But the reality is that sleeping with them in our bed is only really sleeping for the two of them (and Justin – who could sleep through a war).  I always end up hearing every movement, forced half-off the bed, sweating, with a sore back and circles under my eyes the next morning.

But there are moments, like early this morning, when I wake up to Bekah’s face right above mine – big brown eyes staring.  When my eyes opened she laughed and threw herself backwards onto her back, kicking her feet up in the air, then rolling directly into Justin’s side.  It was hysterical.  Or Grace, after pretending to sleep for minutes, will peek an eye open and say “Rebekah – be still – we’re sleeping!” in her most authoritative tone.

And in those moments, I love my kids with everything that is in me.  And I have to acknowledge that there will come a day where I will miss the elbows and knees in my bed.  So I snuggle close and give kisses and we begin a stealth campaign to wake daddy up so he’ll make us breakfast.




  1. That is such a sweet post. Those little girls will love reading it when they are all grown up and have little ones of their own.
    I can recall you singing in the back seat of the car coming down here about everything we passed on the highway. I kept thinking , “that sure is a long song” then it dawned on me, you were singing about everything along the way.
    You are a precious young mother.


    1. Oh Bebe I think of that story ALL THE TIME. Grace sings everything. Anything she sees. Any thought that pops into her head. She sings constantly about the world around her! She really is my mini-me! Thank you for commenting – I love you guys!


  2. Very funny and sweet, sweet, SWEET, Jen! Awesome writing! And from a loving parent’s heart, too… Do you suppose God loves hearing *us* singing our “all-the-time-and-everywhere” songs, too? Bet He does! He sings over us (Zeph. 3:17), and is singing over *you* right now, too — I just know it! Even *I* can hear it. From here;-)

    p s I’m tickled to know that one of your little ones & I “share” the same name! – gracie

    pps You are *sooo* right about having to get all the phrases in the “exact” order — every time I sub a kindergarten class, I experience that same thing (but am not sure I could handle it every *night*, too!).


  3. Man those girls are precious. Something about this reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes– the majority of the time they’re loud and kinda crazy and all over the place, but it’s those precious little snuggly moments that are the best. I love you and them!


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