Monday, December 10, 2012
How was your weekend?
These four words are often said on Monday mornings. By coworkers. In emails between friends. On the telephone with our mothers.
I usually respond by listing off the things I did that weekend. Grocery shopping. Picking up the house. Dinner with friends (on a good weekend). Swinging at the park. Reading books with Lukas. And I always end the conversation the same way. "This weekend was too short."
It is always too short. Especially when you have a little one and you have to go back to work on Monday morning. Actually, it was probably too short when it was just me and my husband. Any time spent with my family is cherished time, but it is never quite enough. Does anyone else feel this way?
Perhaps I'm approaching the question wrong. Perhaps I need to reframe how I reiterate my weekends and share them with the world. Rather than thinking that we didn't have enough time, what if we embraced the time we did spend together and spoke of the joy that was shared in those minutes and hours of the weekend.
This weekend was fantastic.
I started the weekend early and picked Lukas up from school well before the usual time. I said YES when my son asked to listen to Bob the Builder on repeat for twenty minutes in the car, bringing him the type of joy that only a 2 year old can appreciate. I smiled watching him sing, dance and kick his feet despite being restrained in his car seat. I found myself singing along - "Can we fix it....YES WE CAN!"
We surprised daddy at work and broke him out early too. Seeing this daddy show of his son to his colleagues made me love my husband even more. He's so proud to simply be Lukas' dad. It was worth the drive home in rush hour traffic where Lukas and I sang Christmas songs together and hunted for Christmas lights. Our whole car ride was soundtracked by his voice yelling out "Lukas' side" or "mommy's side" as he pointed out the houses with Christmas lights along the different sides of the street.
That night we learned that Lukas loves white rice and will shove it in his mouth by the spoonful. I am continuously surprised by what he will and will not eat. The night ended with me and Mr. Cob reconnecting about our weeks while laying on the couch and Lukas asleep soundly in his crib.
I was lucky to spend all Saturday morning with my little man while my big man was out running errands. We didn't leave the house all morning. Instead we snuggled up watching TV, we read 3 different Dr. Seuss books on the couch, we played with dinosaurs and stuffed animals. And we had bathtime in the middle of the day. For an hour. We were both soaking wet after it was all said and done. I imagined that this is how my weekdays would feel if I was a SAHM and remembered that I probalby wouldn't find as much happiness in the simple parenting things if I was doing them every single day.
After a nap my little family of three ventured out Christmas shopping. We selected gifts for loved ones and even snuck in a few presents for Lukas without him noticing. Mr. Cob and I were so excited that we almost gave him the gift as soon as we got home but decided it would be best to wait for Christmas morning, like responsible adults. I ended that evening reading to Lukas, rocking him and laying down on the floor next time him at his request. And once the little man was asleep, my husband and I had some time together as well.
On Sunday we went on a "grand adventure"! (When's the last time you went on an adventure? I suggest you try it soon. Lukas' joy at going on an adventure overflowed into both Mr. Cob and me.) Our adventure was to the playground at the Peachtree-Dekalb airport where were watched "jumbo jets" land and take off while swinging and going down the slide. Lukas was thrilled. We finished the day by wrapping Christmas gifts, going to the Farmer's Market, shopping at an antique store and Skyping (and laughing) with our family in California.
Last night Lukas cried when I left his room. So I returned and we rocked and cuddled. I then laid down on the floor and tried to sneak out five minutes later. He cried again. Even though it was much past his bedtime, and he was exhausted from the adventuring, I think he just wasn't ready to separate from his momma. And neither was I. So I went back in for round 3 and we rocked and snuggled again. I laid on the floor longer this time, simply listening to him breathe. My heart filled with warmth remembering our weekend together. Eventually I tip-toed out of his room without waking him up.
We didn't see friends this weekend. We didn't see family. It was just my little Swan family. And it may have gone by too fast, as the days seem to do these days. There is still laundry to be done. The are dishes in the sink and leaves in the yard. But the weekend was wonderful. It was filled with enough joy to sustain me for five days until we get to do it all over again. And it may have been short, but it was full.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
It's hard to relate to a 2 year old. I wish I knew what his cries always meant. I wish I knew where his tantrums were coming from. I wish I could convince myself that what happened this morning didn't really happen. Because it's days like today where I am convinced I am doing it wrong. That I should in fact be home with my little guy.
He woke up happy enough. He jumped up in bed the second he heard me open his door. He greeted me with "momma, I pooped." Strangely enough, he did not, but I thanked him for letting me know. He asked to see daddy, so we climbed the stairs and he ran to give daddy a hug. Daddy told him to go back downstairs and let momma get him dressed for the day. And this is when the morning went downhill.
Back in his room he unzipped his jammies and held on to me as he kicked his feet out. And then he sort of lost it as I took his diaper off. He rolled on the floor naked saying "no mommy" and kept picking up the new diaper and throwing it. I tried to divert his attention by asking him if he wanted to throw the dirty diaper in the trash (something he usually loves to do). He just kept saying no mommy. And then he half heartedly hit me on the face. Hitting = automatic 2 minute time out. He marched his little naked tush and sat on the stairs. Afterwards he said he was sorry, we gave hugs and kisses and said I love yous. And then it went down hill again.
Back in his room he asked to throw away the dirty diaper. The one I had already thrown away while he was in time out. Screams. Sobs. Hot tears. Somehow I was able to get a new diaper and clothes on him as he screamed and cried. Daddy tried to reason with him, to no avail. So I did the only thing I could think, I hugged him and we rocked for about 5 minutes. I just kissed his head and hugged him tight. Eventually he calmed down and let me hold him and snuggled in to momma.
It was time to leave for school, so I carried him to the kitchen and gave him some string cheese for the ride. A few more tears where shed with the realization that we were out of waffles. But daddy did his best to convince him to go. Usually when my boys leave in the morning they both stop to hug and kiss me at the door, but Lukas didn't want mommy. He cried harder when daddy told him to hug me. I said it was OK. That they should just go.
I stood at the door as they walked down the front path. Lukas started sobbing again and mumbled something about mommy. At first we both thought he was saying "no mommy". But eventually we both realized he was yelling "I want to stay with mommy".
And this is when my heart broke a little.
Being a working mom is awful some days. Today would be one of those days.