I am on Day Four of my captivity. My four-year-old son has been home sick for four school days and now we’re heading into a three day weekend. This may well be my last post. Ever. I’m not sure I’m going to survive. Of course I love my son, unconditionally, and feel so sorry that he’s sick and seemingly immune to every cold remedy on the market. With both my boys, the other is seven, I treasure every moment of their growing up: on film and video. Years later. I am not a little kid parent.
For years I taught upper elementary. When my oldest started preschool he asked me repeatedly to come be a teacher at his school. When he started Kindergarten he again pleaded. And when he asked why I taught big kids instead of little, I lied. I did not think it would be good for him to hear “Because I don’t like small children.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my little cousins, and my boys friends too. It kills me every time I volunteer in preschool to have itty bitty conversations with the students who crack me up consistently. I get great joy in hearing my boys talk to the neighbor boys through the fence and the great plans they make for adventures. Their imaginations are amazing and the ability to make them laugh is effortless, both great qualities.
But, for the love of all things holy, if I have to make one more elaborate train track set up, play another round of Chutes and Ladders or wipe a teeny ass so tight everything gets squished in it, including toilet paper, I may never recover. My irritation is starting to show too, after so many days solo with the little guy. When he triumphantly throws his hands up to celebrate his victory in Candyland, I point out it’s a game of no skill. And he cheats. I’ve started threatening the end of my butt-wiping days when his birthday approaches in a month. Loudly. He’s started mimicking my exasperated sigh and saying “Are you tired? I’m exhausted” when I get frustrated with his umpteenth request. Did I mention I hate Legos?
So while treasure each and every moment, it’s usually some time away from the real time it occured. Looking back on their tiny cuteness somehow is easier when I’ve moved onto the next stage. When my youngest starts Kindergarten in the Fall, I’m sure I’ll start to nostalgically pine for these lazy, hazy, yet crazy days of early childhood when we had hours on end to play board games and build on the floor. Until then, I just hope I make it long enough to reminisce.