Monday, April 16, 2007

Home Again Home Again, Jiggety Jig

Sometimes, when I get home from a trip, I am so exhausted, and I am just the world's worst crank. Yet other times, when I get home from a trip, I'm still exhausted, but I find I have a lot more patience with Ben.

Maybe I'll put in a DVD, and Ben lets me take a nap while he watches it. Then later, when I'm making dinner, Ben checks the fridge for chocolate milk (not there) but finds his partially eaten pbj from yesterday, and carrot and celery sticks from today's lunch and says "Oh, I can eat these." And instead of saying, "Um, NO, I'm making noodles for dinner..." I say "Are you really hungry?" and he laughs, and says "Oh yes, I'm aaaaalways hungry!" We talk about going out for a walk to look at flowers after dinner. And even though I napped way longer than I intended, and it's after 7:00, I say, yes, a short walk after dinner to look at flowers would be nice.

I make noodles and Ben eats them and shares his carrots and celery with me. We put on our boots and coats and go outside for a walk. Ben picks a strawberry blossom (he puts it on Buddy's grave) and we pick Forget-Me-Nots and Candy Tuft and rosemary blossoms and head back into the house to put them in water.

Now it's after 8:00 and Ben has school tomorrow, but he needs a bath, so I fill the tub and tell him this is just a short bath with no toys. He says "Well, you could sit on my step stool and we could talk about stuff." "Stuff," like if the bathtub was a space ship. Or a double space ship. Or a "three" space ship. I teach him the word "triple."

When the bath's done he stays in the tub to watch the last drops swirl down the drain. Dried, dressed, and teeth brushed, we crawl under the covers for stories: a two year old issue of "Your Big Backyard" titled "Hoo! Here Come the Chimps" We read it form cover to cover. He's asleep by 9:15.

My husband is working the graveyard shift all week. By the time he gets home tomorrow morning he'll have been up for over 24 hours. During the 4 days I was away, I averaged about 4 hours of sleep each night. I am as amazed by my patience today as you probably are, maybe more as I know how I can be. I only hope I can keep riding this wave. Things run much smoother when I'm not so concerned about rules or schedules or, hey, nutrition. Pick your battles is my new mantra. Have fun with this delightful child. Enjoy him. He is precious and will not be a puppy forever.

"What's this machine called?" Ben asked earlier this evening.
"Uh, a post-it note dispenser?" I answered.
"Well, where are all its gears?!"
That's my boy.

still life with post-it note dispenser and flowers


Biby Cletus said...

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Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

NotSoSage said...

Wow, TFM. You made me cry.

I was thinking, yesterday, on our walk home from daycare, that some days Mme L's meandering drives me crazy, and then there are days like yesterday where all I see is beauty. My little toddler in a yellow raincoat and rainboots with her hands in her pockets and her hair blowing in the wind. I tried to capture that moment by taking a photo, but my cell phone was out of batteries. Perhaps it's for the best, though. Perhaps it's better that it lives in my mind's eye for me to call up instead of just being another trophy in a frame.

I'm so glad you're here.

theflyingmum said...

Well, NSS, now we're even, because I was a drippy mess yesterday while I watched the June Callwood video! And I am sooo glad you're here too. You know, I wish I could just relax more with Ben. Yesterday was so calm, so easy. Last night there were no nightmares, no bed wetting, and he's sleeping so well right now that I just betcha I'll have to go in and wake him up to get ready for school. I mean this as a good thing, as opposed to the mornings where he's up before I can have my first cup of tea.

nowheymama said...

I love the talking about "stuff" at bedtime. Even if it is a stalling technique, it's nice to hear about school and K's friends. Or, you know, the ins and outs of the Star Wars movie plots.

Triple fzerk, I just punctured my hand with a fork.

theflyingmum said...

And the number one reason why you should not handle cutlery while blogging is...

Anonymous said...

Oh hell, I'm laughing my 'a' off about the cutlery thing...
You poor thing.
Thangs for visiting my Flying Mum, and I am getting happier.
This is a lovely post, and I wish I could share your bout of patience - mine has deserted me completely, BUT I can still enjoy my 4 yr old telling me she's going to marry one of her classmates because he's so 'handsome' (???), or my 6 year old asking me why I smell like a horse (I assume it was the chamomile tea??)

Alpha DogMa said...

Great post. Can you email me? I'm alpha(dot)dogma(at)gmail(dot)com
I've a few questions to ask you based upon two allusions you've made here. I need some advice about something.

Beck said...

The Boy monologues. All day. Someday, he may host some late night talk show. Too bad for me I'll have lost my mind by then and won't appreciate it...