Slowing Down for an ‘Ugga Mugga’ Moment

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Forgive me for getting a bit sappy today, but if there was ever a time to do it, it’s Valentine’s Day, am I right?! Many of you may be wondering what “ugga mugga” is; or if your child is a fan of the cartoon “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” you totally get it that “ugga mugga” along with a sweet nose rub  is the Tiger family’s way of saying, “I love you,” but you may still be wondering why I’m blogging about it today. Although Baby C is a Daniel Tiger fan, we have never really used “ugga mugga” around the house, but she surprised me recently with it after I took some extra time and attention putting her to bed. I’d like to share the story and perhaps inspire you to slow down a little with your little. This mom, for one, needs all the reminders she can get.

Being a patient mom has been a huge goal of mine since day one with Baby C, our first and only child, so far. And despite generally lacking as a person in this area, I have to give myself a rare pat on the back that I do a pretty good job of keeping my voice and my temperament calm as a mom. Now that she is 2.5-going-on-12 years old, this is certainly being tested more, but I’m trying to hold strong. The struggle is so real.

Now, slowing down and really being an in-the-moment mom is not the same thing as being patient. I am not so good at this one. It’s a constant struggle, and it’s really coming into play as she has become the master at piddling and stalling. Whether going to the potty or washing hands or getting dressed, anything that takes time has become more difficult as she learns and gains independence.

Bedtime has become the ultimate standoff as she ponders which books to read, demands various toys in the bed with her and, most recently, started asking to “wock a little” in the rocking chair before bed. Each night is met with multiple, “Wait, Mommy!” requests before I leave the room.

If you’re a mom, you know there are all sorts of reasons you don’t slow down in such moments. Because routines are good and you’re told it’s best to stick to them. Because you don’t want to spoil your baby into being rocked every night in order to sleep. Because you have things to do and places to be, and those aren’t always your call. Because you’re tired. So tired!

But I took that time to “wock a little” the other night. Just a little. And when I laid her down, instead of, “Wait!” I was met with an, “Ugga mugga, Mommy.” It took me a minute to realize what she was saying since she had never used that before. But instead of cries and protests, our night ended with a nose rub. A smile. A not-so-much-a-baby-anymore drifting off peacefully to sleep. A mom heart melted.

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