Some days it's easy to play with William and get my work done while keeping him playing nearby and happy and everything falls into place. That happened yesterday. Oh wait, that's because I was out of the house, at my office without him for 4 hours! Other days, like today, he just seems to want some kind of interaction that I'm just not into, like wrestling or throwing a football. And he has to involve me in everything, he can't seem to just stack blocks by himself or zoom trucks around unless I'm participating. I feel bad for him that he's stuck with me and not a "sportier" mother who's more into balls and things with wheels and dirt and worms. (And then start thinking I can't wait for Lauren to get home from school so she and I can do something "girly".)
He's not talking much-he has his words, but mostly those that describe all of the above interests: "ball, truck, bus, BIG BIG ball, bird, bug, mud, dirt, fleurs, plants, rocks, red, blocks, car, I go, I fall down, whee, wow, all done, puzzle, hot, water, dog, strawberry, and shoes." And the favorite catch-all: "Eh". Cave-man talk.
I guess what I'm realizing is we're both getting ready for him to spend time at preschool. I might not be ready to pay that bill every month, but I'm ready to have a little space, otherwise, I get so exhausted here trying to keep him happy and then put him down for his nap, that when he is finally asleep and I have time to do my work (new job assignment at the office, by the way, so even more that I should be keeping track of), all I want to do is rest and not take apart the code on some web page I might get interrupted from halfway through. (So I do it in the wee hours of the night instead, and the next morning I regret staying up so late.) I head to the fridge and eat the "grown up" things I can't consume in front of him because he'd want some and would point and "eh, eh!" at me and do his caveman growl/whine because I wasn't sharing any chocolate, coffee, spicy foods which he would insist on trying and would then look horrified, spit them out and indignantly accuse me- "hot!"
Though we do have lots of little moments of giggling happy, sweet times. And bits of comedy. He tries on other people's shoes and clomps around pretending to be Daddy or Mommy or Lo. When he wants to leave the house, he can't say "let's go", so instead he charges into my closet, tugs on the sleeve of one of my pink shirts-always a Brooks Brothers dress shirt-pulls it down and drags it over to me, pulls me by the hand and gives me that look that means "let's go for a walk". .
There are tantrum moments. when he badly wants to go outside and charge out into the street to chase a truck, and I stop him from himself by bolting the front door with the deadlock where he can't reach it (he can rip the childproof door knob cover off), and he rages at the injustice of not being allowed FREEDOM to just run around by himself. And I feel bad for our neighbors who have to hear this. If I were that single, childless neighbor getting to sleep in on my day off, I'd be hating me and my screaming kid right about now. Today when this happened, I let him have his little tantrum (shutting the windows) and then after a few minutes when it died down, I distracted him by doing a puzzle with him 3 times in a row. Each time we finished, we clapped and shouted "YAY!", high-fived, and then he did the sign language for "more".
But wow, that half hour on the rug took every fiber of my being, to sit and focus on the puzzle with him and talk about it and not reach for my laptop or call someone on the phone or read a magazine. Because WOW, being present with little kids can be BORING. And I know, there are people reading this who are OFFENDED that I admitted that, people who desperately want children, who feel THEY would NEVER be bored with the wonderful magical mystery of every second with their precious child that they love so much.
But the reality? After I've read "My Truck is Stuck" for the two thousandth time, and had the same argument about why it is not a good idea to wear a long-sleeved sweatshirt on a 95 degree day, even if this sweatshirt does have "ya, ball. wed." on it, my mind does wander on to other things that I love so much...
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