Once a week, Captain Adventure has a minimum day. Where most days don’t see his bus rumbling up until almost 4:00, minimum days have him home between 1:00 and 2:30 (depending on how many of us forget it’s a minimum day and have to be called on our cell phones by an impatient bus driver to rush home from wherever we’ve gotten to so we can collect Poopsie) (hasn’t happened to me personally [yet], but he’s been here late almost every time because at least one parent forgot).
On these minimum days, well. My “working” day always ends when he gets home, because Captain Adventure has entered a highly sociable stage.
He is no longer content to sit in a corner and play by himself. He wants witnesses to his genius. He wants someone to comment on his cleverness when he colors, he wants someone to tell him how smart he is when he counts to twenty, twice!, he wants someone to applaud when he sings ‘The Wheels on the Bus.’
And by ‘someone,’ he means mommy. Daddy, as mentioned before, is currently as popular as bedtime. Pfft. We are all mommy, all the time around the old Den right now.
It’s a wonderful stage. We have a great deal of talking going on during all this, as His Majesty makes clear his wishes; and the fact that he’s interested in showing me everything (everything) he’s up to is another one of those groovy ‘typical socialization’ signs we get all thrilled about around here.
It’s progress. And it’s mostly delightful. Occasionally frustrating, because it’s only 1:30 and I still had work to do, and that work is the difference between keeping all the bills paid and not keeping all the bills paid.
But mostly delightful, because for a while there I wondered if I’d ever know what his speaking voice sounded like. I wondered if I’d ever hear him call for me, or know what he wanted without having to go through the twenty questions guessing game.
Today, from all corners of the Den, a little voice pipes out. “Mommmmmmeeeeee! Mommy, come pway wif me! Mommy, I haf it cway-ONS, Mommy, BLUE cway-ON. OH! OK! MOMMMMEEEEEEEE, come co-wor wif cway-ON, on dah ‘ap-ER!”
And if I don’t come to his side quickly enough, he seeks me out. (Locking the bathroom door has become extremely important…otherwise he, uh, will want to help, which, erm, uh…no thanks, kid, I work alone…) If I’m trying to work on the computer, he’ll make a blessed nuisance of himself…climbing into my lap, lightly stroking my cheek, saying softly and persistently, “Mommy…pway wif me…mommmmmeeeeee…pwaaaaaaaaay wif meeeeeeee…”
Even watching a video is a Social Event. My lap is his throne, from which he confidently shouts out the answers. “It’s GWEEEEN! Mommy, it a GWEEN car!”
“That’s right, buddy. It is a green car all right. You’re a smart guy.”
“Yeah. That’s right. I knowed dat! Good job!”
And he settles back against me, one arm wrapped around mine to prevent any chance of my slipping off to do anything else.
Hard to imagine I ever would want to…and hard to imagine not wanting to, as one of what I swear are only five Dora episodes in existence sears into my retinas again.
Parenting is full of such things. Wishing it would never end, simultaneously wishing it were already over. Angrily longing for the day when stuff stays where you jolly well put it, knowing I’ll miss those little shoes in the middle of the floor and topsy-turvy backpacks someday.
Not too sure I’ll miss Dora much, though.
Or her map.
Might miss Swiper a little bit, though…although why does he always throw away the stuff he swipes? Not too good a thief, if you ask me…
Sorry. Gotta run. My Lord and Master would like to watch de ODDER Dora now.
(eyeballs…melting…are we done with this stage yet?!)
Hamster Ball 2
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