Working Mom Moments: My kids are always with me
The first sound I hear from my toddler as he wakes up in the cold, dark morning. It isn’t a loud or ferocious “roar,” it is a faint whisper.
I let him carry on for a bit as I move as fast as I can to finish getting myself ready for work. I finish applying my make-up and I listen intently to my boy’s imagination come to life at this very early hour.
There is a full rendition of the A, B, C’s, more roaring, then out of nowhere he starts singing “Happy Birthday.”
I walk into his room. The nightlight bulb has burned out so his room is completely dark. I am impressed that he has been entertaining himself as long as he has without being able to see a thing.
I say “good morning” and he politely asks me to turn his lamp off and turn his Christmas tree lights on instead.
We climb into the rocking chair next to the tree… The same rocking chair where I held him as a newborn. Today he fills my lap, his head resting on my shoulder, arms wrapped around my neck and cold little boy feet tucked close between the two of us.
He asks me if it’s a “school day” and I tell him that it is. He starts sharing with me what fun activities he is going to do with his best pals. Then he asks me what Santa’s middle name is.
I am eating up every word and I’m hanging on to every second knowing at this point I’m probably behind schedule and will soon be rushing around the house in a panic trying to get out the door. I’m going to be behind for the grind; daycare drop-off, the congested commute to the office, and be at my desk by 8 a.m.
I don’t want to tell him he has to get down from my lap and get out of his spaceship PJs and into his jeans and sneakers. I don’t want to ask him 10,000 times before we leave the house if he has to go potty before we take off. I don’t want to do my hair and put on my business suit and heels. I don’t want to leave this moment.
I want my 2-and-three-quarters little dude to stay perched right where he is and I want to let his creative toddler mind transport our conversation anywhere it wants to go. I want to be present and I don’t want to snap to reality.
But I do. I forge on to the numerous tasks ahead starting with a battle to get him dressed, then I start in with the “do you have to go potty” questioning. 1 down… 9,999 to go.
I get his granola bar and water to tide him over until breakfast at school. Since he was so sweet this morning I accept his request to eat the bar in his bed and watch his favorite cartoon on the portable DVD player so I can finish getting ready.
He has an accident seconds later.
Now I’m stripping his sheets with a toothbrush hanging from my mouth and half dressed. By now time is slipping away from me and I can’t get us all out the door fast enough. I rush to daycare, get Baby Sis situated in her room and then I stop in with my son to his room. He greets his best friend with a booming hello and they start playing with the vigor and enthusiasm that only two little toddlers can possess.
I tell him to have a great day and I kiss the top of his head. As I pull away I whisper, “I love you, Buddy.” He stops playing for a nanosecond and looks up at me to reply, “I love you too, Mom.”
I’m out the door in a flash, commuting to work and behind my desk at 7:59 a.m. I’m instantly busy and in a completely new world than the one I just left at home. I’m in my element then all at once I have a lull in the bustle and I’m taken right back to my son’s tree-lit room.
I can smell his chestnut brown hair and I can feel his soft skin and cold little boy feet. I can hear his funny little voice and I chuckle to myself remembering his dialogue. I may be in a new world from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., five days a week, but my whole world is always with me.
And you better believe come 5 p.m. I’m racing back to that sweet little boy and my baby girl as fast as I can. Of course I know I’m either walking into an evening of laughs and more precious moments or an evening of meltdowns and timeouts. Either way, I’ll take it.
Kendra is a full-time working mom to a precocious two-year old boy, 11 month old baby girl and wife to her long-time sweetheart. At “My Full-Thyme Life” (http://myfullthymelife.blogspot.com) she writes about how she attempts to balance her cherished roles and all the fun along the way.