Friday, October 24, 2014

No Mom, No Problem

We're into Day 3, of Mrs. Blackwell's trip to the East Coast. She's off on yet another one of her bourbon-tasting tours, or a conference of some kind, I can't be bothered to remember which. 

The important point is, it's just me and the boy and, so far, so good. 

He's eating well, sleeping well and in general doing a great job of making sure I don't relax for one solid minute. 

The past couple of days have started about a half hour earlier so that I've got every last one of my ducks in a row before the boy rises and shines. 

My approach to waking up is essentially the same every single day in that I wake everyday and act like it's the first time I've had to undergo this awful process of reacquainting myself with the world. 

For his part, the boy has opted for a different approach. 

Blanket clenched firmly around his head, the
boy is obviously ready to get up and at 'em.
Yesterday, he awoke with a flourish. Bounding to his feet, requesting to be portaged downstairs and then ordering his breakfast with aplomb. Maybe it makes me a toady, but I don't mind being ordered around by the boy when he's got an grin big enough to accommodate a frisbee slapped on his face. 

So, while he was asking for Kit Kats and Apple Jacks, I ignored him, continued to smile and, a in voice dripping with glee said, "We're going to have oatmeal, with apples and bananas."

"Buu-nanas?" the boy inquired.

Now, distracted from Apple Jacks and Kit Kats, and with a bottle in hand, our morning was off and running. 

While I finished making breakfast, I handed him two little plastic batons which he promptly began to use as drum sticks. 

The most encouraging element here? He ate. And ate. And ate. The boy stuffing his face is a victory, pure satisfaction. 

He was easy to dress, didn't fight one bit, and before I knew it we were in the car heading to day care, and he was requesting "good rock n roll" — AKA The Rolling Stones — as opposed to the crap I usually play for him. 

Yes sir, this was a practically perfect, prompt and painless start to the day. 

For the sake of having a laugh, I'd like to tell you that the next day was worse and that he was the devil incarnate but, he wasn't. 

So that made it two days in a row he was a happy, chatty little breath of fresh air right from the get go. 

The evenings however, have been a bit of a challenge. 

After leaving the office, I go straight to day care to pick up the boy. I get the daily report from our day care provider which consists of what he ate, how he slept, how many times he pooped and how many of his peers he shoved to the ground. I feel embarrassment, wonder why I'm raising a bully and then get him out of there, fast. 

Once we get home, we run around the house for ten minutes, because that's what he wants to do; then I start making dinner. 

Mac and cheese. Chicken nuggets. Potato smiles. Broccoli. Peas. Chicken enchiladas. Pineapple. Frankly I don't care how unlikely the combination looks on his plate; if it goes in that mouth, we're in business. 

After about four or five bites of dinner he'll stick out his hands, palms up, and exclaim, "All done!" 

Of course, he's not all done. He's got to eat more or he's waking up at 2:30 a.m. hungry and ticked off at the world. 

So, I pull my chair closer to his and find new and interesting ways to make his food seem, well, new and interesting. 

After considerable effort, and once he's eaten what seems to be a reasonable amount, he really is all done, and he's ready to play. 
Tick. Tock. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for Mrs. Blackwell
to cease her never-ending party and return home.

I, on the other hand, am ready to sit and vegetate. To recap, I woke up, got the boy ready, dropped him off, went to work, did work, picked the boy up from day care, made (and coaxed him into eating) dinner. I'm entitled to a respite, right? (That distant noise you're hearing is the hearts of single moms everywhere breaking for me.)

And, while I want nothing more than to plant myself in a chair for 30 minutes, the boy has other designs for his evening. 

Assembling and then throwing plastic building blocks. Being given airplane rides and tossed on the couch. Being chased around the house. Dancing. 

It doesn't really matter. If it involves getting going, he's into it — until he isn't. 

With no warning these games can inexplicably turn into red cheeks and tears in no time. 

This always seems to happen just as I've forgotten how tired I am and am really getting into the action with him. Seems like a perfect time to pull the plug and throw a fit, right?

Meh, as most folks know and, as I am slowly learning, this is the international toddler sign for "I'm tired and it's probably best if I go to bed."

And on that point, we were both fully and completely on the same page.

It's like this for most problems that have crept up — a solution is usually there to be found. Except this morning when I carried the boy downstairs.

He looked around our kitchen, his hair disheveled and eyes still sleepy, and asked, "Where's mom?" 

"She'll be home soon buddy. She'll be home soon."

No comments: