If you’ve read here a while you know how badly, how absolutely badly, I want to work from home. There are days when it is all I can do to drag myself from the bed and show up at work. Usually, I get to work around 7 so that I can leave at 3, be home by 4. Overall, that’s pretty ideal since I do have to work and that schedule gives me more time with the kids (as opposed to when I do 9-5, get home around 6 and have to go straight into homework/dinner mode). Pretty soon I’ll go back to the 9-5 hours, though, because leaving home at 6 a.m. is no fun when the sun doesn’t rise until close to or after 7. And it’ll be cold soon. Let us not start in on the cold. I’ma get a light box.
Anyway, today was one of the days that I simply didn’t have it in me to make it to work. It started with just going in late. I hadn’t prepared anything last night for today (ironing, lunch), I didn’t sleep well, and it was cold when I woke up. Again, cold trumps all. What solidified my staying home, though, was the boy’s face when he saw me. I’m usually gone by the time he wakes up. Sometimes one of the girls is up and I’ll wave a wistful bye as I head out into the semi-darkness. But today he was just so damned happy to see me. I don’t have to tell you what that does to someone who already doesn’t want to go to work.
The girls are pretty self sufficient, sometimes needing help with a button or a bow, but the boy is still needy in the dressing himself department. I dressed him while watching the awful newness that is Tom and Jerry. We laughed and kissed, giggling as we whispered non-words into each other’s ears, the sound of shbshbshsbhshbrrrrrb always funny behind a cupped hand. We played knock knock (he always answers “I me” to who’s there). When daddy called for breakfast we headed down the stairs but there was a noticeable change in him. He wanted to be carried down the stairs. He didn’t want to eat — “No, I not eat!” Just that quickly he’d gone from sweet boy giggler to we don’t need no water, let the motherfucker burn.
Ruination. I ruined his morning. You see, had I not been here throwing the routine off, he’d have been fine. But, no. I fed into my own laziness and career displeasure and used it as an excuse to have more time with them. That one extra hour was pretty eye opening. I don’t know that I’ll stay home again anytime soon.
I tried to put his shoes on him. He screamed, “Not yet.” The oldest girl said he puts his shoes on after he eats. Oh.
I tried to pick up his backpack since I’d neglected to check it the night before for any communication from his teacher. He snatched it and growled, slamming it back where it was. The middle girl said he likes to get it himself. Oh.
How do I not know these things? I may not be the primary caregiver in the mornings, but I know my child, don’t I? Maybe not. Just yesterday we made an impromptu stop at McDonald’s and I asked my husband what Z wanted. I had to ask what my own child likes to eat there. I was pretty sure, but McDonald’s visits are infrequent and when they do occur, they happen after school, while I’m at work or commuting to meet them at the subway. I am missing important moments like breakfast routines and what diarrhea-inducing fast food he prefers. I want to know what gives him the runs, dammit.
Oh, how he screamed about…everything. He yelled about the sweater he’d wear. He didn’t want the blue one, he wanted the black one with the hood. Then he didn’t want that one, he didn’t want any jacket, he was tired. He’d said he was tired earlier as I brushed his teeth. Maybe he hadn’t slept well either. That possibility, on top of my throwing off the routine, pretty much seals my going to work on time tomorrow. He was still screaming as my husband strapped him in his car seat. Great. Perfect way to start a morning. I went back to bed where I stayed pretty much the entire day.
I have no idea how this is going to work next week when he has his three-year checkup. Maybe I’ll go to work early and just meet them there. At least I won’t be ruining the morning.