Last week I spent the whole week off from my day job and at home doing another job - the one I don’t get money for but that pays the best dividends of fulfillment you can imagine.
(Okay, I know that sounded kind of corny, but I’m working to get my writing mojo back here.)
The truth is, I feel that corny sentimentality just about every time I interact with Brandon these days. As he becomes more vocal with the things he wants to do and navigates the process of learning to play and explore, I find I’m fascinated by him.
I finally showed Brandon the movie, Up. I don’t know if it was the first time, but it was definitely the first time he really got into it. What three-year-old wouldn’t be into thousands of balloons lifting a house up to the sky to go on an adventure!?
The best part about watching it with him? Seeing him gasp every single time I rewound to the balloons lifting out of their plastic cover.
Watching him stare captivated at the screen as movie magic allows him to see the house lift off over the city, taking my son on a little adventure of his own. Where he got to watch the giant “parrot” and talking dogs and see things that I hope spark his imagination.
This weekend, we were at IKEA and they had a dog that looked like Gamma. So we got it for him and he carries Gamma around everywhere with him. It reminds me of my little brother when he was enthralled by Feivel and Little Foot - both characters that my mom made sure he got the stuffed versions of because he so clearly enjoyed them. (His daughters play with them now.)
Brandon went to his first camp. Just “half days” (if 2.5 hours is a half day :) and he did so well! At least, after the first day when he tried to do a runner after I left him. The poor camp workers were so distraught that he managed to get away from the room and all the way to the building entrance. Of course, Brandon wasn’t even upset except, perhaps, that he didn’t find me. Thankfully, another parent helped him find his way back to his camp and he left every day talking about how he went to camp and all the things he did, from painting to building fences - another recent fascination.
Camp was a success. He’ll be back in the future without a doubt!
The weekend at the start of my “vacation” saw Brandon skipping his nap on the Saturday and taking an extra long one on Sunday. Typical behaviour for a child who is getting ready to drop a nap. I was convinced I was going to have a rough week. In fact, Camp seemed to completely exhaust Brandon at the same time that he got progressively clingy throughout the week. So much so that on Thursday, he wouldn’t let me leave his room, even though he fell asleep in seconds after we got in his bed. (Matt or I lay down with Brandon for a bit at bedtimes. This is a new thing and a fairly boring story.)
Brandon laid his head on my stomach when we got into bed and fell immediately asleep. However, each time I shifted or moved to - as delicately as possible in this position - extract myself from his bed, he would push his head into my body, clearly indicating his sleepy wish that I stay. And you know what? I did. I spent a little time reading on my phone and then the sleepy mood of the room got to me and I dozed off too. I woke up sort of in enough time to go pick Matt up from work. Of course, Brandon was still sound asleep. Of course, when I shifted, he pushed that little head of his into me letting me know I was still not allowed to leave.
I wouldn’t have left him for the world. That kind of unconscious, unconditional “declaration” of love is priceless and too precious to squander. Fortunately, it was time to wake him up and we were going to hang out together anyway.
He gets more vocal all the time, expressing himself in new ways.
“hang out with mommy”
“mommy lay in bed”
“daddy lay in bed”
“mommy, count 4”
“one, two, free, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, four, free” (so close)
pointing away from the direction of his camp facility - “mommy go this way” (drop off wasn’t always a breeze)
I was reminded of just how much work it is to stay home with a child last week. Sure, I had some breaks in the way of the camp and nap times, but neither of those was long enough to get any significant things done. I have the good fortune to be able to leave my child with someone I trust who cares about him five days a week so I can go to work. Despite the days when I wish I could be home with him (and they are more than I care to count), I know that my job away from home is easy.
Being at home with him was hard work, but it was extremely rewarding. I am a very lucky mama to have such a sweet little guy. We had a great week together and I look forward to doing it again at Christmas!