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Mommy To Keep It Movin’

There was a time, not so long ago, when I was willing to give almost anything for Mac to just shut up and amuse himself for five minutes. . .

Just so I could load the dishwasher or brush my teeth without fear of him harming himself or something. . .without hearing him scream out for help in frustration over some Lego he couldn’t unclick or some train track he couldn’t assemble. . .

That time has passed.

These days he can unclick his own Legos and construct his own elaborate train tracks.  He understands (and mostly complies with) our rules about putting forks in electrical outlets, hanging on banisters, and touching the dog’s penis.

I’m free to quickly sneak away to fetch laundry, to brush my teeth, to do tequila shots in the closet. . .

Almost every morning he asks if we can “put baby on the blanket” so he can play with Teddy – pelting him with Legos and rearranging all the toys so they are just out of Teddy’s reach.  (Because everyone knows a five month old can’t be trusted with stuff).

He’s becoming a good helper too.  He can feed the dog all by himself.  He helps hold Teddy’s bottle when I’m juggling 3 different tasks.  He (usually) follows simple directions to clean up his toys or grab himself a pair of socks.

Of course I’m pleased and proud of him.  He seems to be developing as he should.  He’s even becoming better at vocalizing his frustrations often telling me “Mackinley’s feeling a little unsure” when he’s in a new situation.

And yet. . .as crazy as it sounds, all this is making my heart hurt a little. . .

I want him to be developmentally and emotionally on track.  I want him to learn independently and to take modest risks.  I certainly want to foster independence and creativity. . .

These days I’m hearing more and more frequently “Mommy to keep it moving.”

This is his way of telling me to leave him alone with his games, books, toys, even his baby brother.  He wants to play independently and wholly without my intervention.  I’m not needed to assist him.  He can do just fine in the imaginary worlds he visits – no Mommies needed or allowed.

I stand at the kitchen sink listening and watching him.  He babbles on and on in the living room, carefully arranging animals and men and fences in his toy barn.  I listen to him laugh and mumble “golly days” under his breath just like his Father would when something gets dropped or crashes.  I quietly giggle, hearing him saying thinks like “Cow uses the potty.  Cow made hooray wah-poops!”

Sometimes, after he’s been playing a while, I’ll approach him and ask if I can play too.  He looks at me seriously, squints and furrows his brow a little, “All done Mommy to play too.” He says matter-of-factly as he turns back to his game.

He’ll be three next month.  It’s true, the days can go by so slowly but the years go by too fast.

Often,  I look at Teddy and sentimentally flash back to what Mac and I were doing and how our lives were when he was Teddy’s age.

I realize Mac’s comments are the start of his need for autonomy and independence.  In the blink of an eye, Teddy will be there too.  . .

Some day very soon, I’ll be standing at the kitchen sink alone in a completely quiet house. . .children in school, visiting friends. . .more frequently away than they are at home. . .

When I think about it, my heart feels like it’s being squeezed.

If I do my job as a parent, my children will ultimately have the tools necessary to navigate this world without me.     

Of course, I desperately want this for my children. . .I just wish it didn’t have to happen so fast. . .

Mac - 4 months

Mac – 4 months

Teddy - nearly 5 months

Teddy – nearly 5 months

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Mommy To Keep It Movin’”

  1. Daisy Broomfield says:

    You made me well up! Enjoy every minute, even the really rubbish ones, because you’re right, that brilliant beginning bit goes in a flash. Honestly, when my younger son started school it was like a bereavement- I’d fight not to cry when I saw mums pushing their toddlers round the supermarket, even though I’d been so looking forward to shopping without a wriggler in tow. I can completely see why people have an “afterthought” baby when the kids start school, if only I wasn’t past it…!

    • admin says:

      I’m sorry I made you teary-eyed. I too am dreading school! I keep joking we’re going to homeschool – although, I’m pretty sure I’m way too disorganized for that sort of thing.

      I look back and realize that even though I enjoyed every moment with Mac, there was a part of me that still felt impatient to get to the next milestone. . .like everything would be easier when he could feed himself, or walk, or talk. . .It’s never “easier,” and all of it is remarkable. . .we just have to pay attention.

      I almost wrote something about possibly having another. . .I’m trying to focus on all that we are blessed with right now. . .but there is a nagging little voice. . .just one more in another year or two?. . .My Husband? Not so much. Ha!