Posted on | May 3, 2013 | 4 Comments
Last night I had a babysitter so I could go out to dinner with a friend. When I got home at 8:40, J was nearly but not-quite asleep and he bounded awake like he hadn’t seen me in days instead of hours. It took more than an hour for him to wind down and more than that for ME to wind down. I was finally asleep around midnight, only to be jolted awake at 1:45 by my youngest dog whimpering. Because AJ, my 15 year old “puppy” hasn’t been doing all that well, my first thought was that something had happened. So I rushed out of bed and ran slap into AJ, who was completely fine and utterly confused that I was out of bed. Turned out, Riley just wanted out of her kennel.
I let her outside, only to face an hour of barking to be let back in. I think I got about four hours of sleep spread out over the night, thanks to her.
At 7:00 this morning, J woke me up with a “GOOD MORNING” that quickly devolved into tears because (inexplicably) I would not allow him to eat a cupcake for breakfast. The tears melted into a full body scream fest with flailing because he needed a shower. I had to carry my 45 pound son into the shower and deal with his “SOMEONE IS KILLING A LOUD CAT” screams while I washed his hair and body. Honestly, you would have thought I was washing him with acid.
When he finally got clean, he refused to get dressed. Then he refused to walk. Then he just flat out refused everything.
By that time it was after 8 and I was at my wits end. We were arguing (yes, I argue with my 3 year old) over fastening shoes on his feet and he was sobbing with his whole body that he didn’t want to go to school and suddenly it dawned on me that I was hungry and tired and frustrated. And that’s an epically horrible combination for me. As I looked down at my tear-streaked little boy, I realized he might just feel the same.
So I quit arguing. I packed away my “IF I REACH ONE ON THIS COUNT DOWN YOU WILL NOT GET TO … (insert threat).” I set aside my inner perfectionist and tucked away my clients for the day. Then I sank down on the sofa next to the bundle of anger and leaned my head across the space between us, for just a moment, touching my forehead to his. He started to scream again, and I kissed his forehead.
“Let’s go get bagels,” I smiled.
And, wonder of wonders, he smiled back.
So we went for breakfast, the monster and I, and we giggled like the morning had never even happened.
Some days, you just have to admit defeat. Some days you have to realize that your kid needs you, needs your time, needs down time. And if you’re lucky enough to have a semi-flexible schedule, you can do what I did: throw up your hands, throw out the idea of getting to work on time, and just go eat bagels with your kid. He was gone last weekend to see his grandparents, he spent last night with a sitter… he maybe just missed, well, me. So this morning, he got a little extra me…. and that’s what we both needed.
Happy Friday, guys, from the lawyer with her kid tucked in the back corner of her office watching Imagination Movers…