Lamest mom ever:
Yesterday I was working and Aidan came running out of the kitchen so excited he couldn’t contain himself. He threw a handful of cookie cutters on the table.
“Cookie cutters!” I said.
“Can we do them?” he asked.
“You want to make cookies?”
It sounded like a perfect way to avoid working on the treatment I didn’t want to be working on anyway, so I ran into the kitchen and started pulling out ingredients for cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. Because I knew we had the ingredients and didn’t have to think too much about it. Because it didn’t even occur to me that chocolate chip cookies totally don’t work with cookie cutters.
We made them together. I measured, he poured. We took turns holding the mixer. He cracked an egg, I rescued it from being dropped into the wrong bowl. We both ate fists full of chocolate chips. The most exciting part came—the cookie cutters—and they didn’t work at all. We shoved the dough into the little molds of bunnies and stars and Christmas trees and watched as they sat on the cookie sheet looking like misshapen blobs.
He was excited anyway. They tasted delicious as all chocolate cookies do even if they looked ridiculous.
Cutest kid ever:
The other night we stepped out onto the porch to feel the air. It was getting warmer and almost felt like springtime. I peered down the street at our car and it looked like the light was on inside. I remembered Aidan had been switching it on and off earlier that day and decided to go down and take a look. Ordinarily I would have put Aidan inside, but he was staring at our car from the porch and said he wanted to stay there.
“Stay on the porch,” I told him. “I’ll be right back.”
I grabbed my keys and ran to the end of the block. Sure enough the light was on, so I turned it off, and while I was there, decided to move the car, since I was parked in a pile of snow and there were several empty spots in front of me that were snow-free and closer to the house. I jumped in the driver’s seat and turned on the car. As I was moving up, I looked out my window and what did I see but Aidan running down the block toward me with a huge grin on his face. My heart stopped. It was nighttime, there were no cars around, it was our block and he was on the sidewalk, but seeing him running down the street alone like that still scared the hell out of me, some sort of innate protective mommy freak-out instinct, I guess. I turned off the car and jumped out.
“Aidan, what are you doing?”
The fear in my voice must have startled him, because he froze in his tracks and his smile dropped off his face.
“Never come off the porch without me, Aidan! Please!”
He looked like he might cry.
“It’s okay, baby, I was just worried about you. That’s all.”
I picked him up and carried him back to the house. His socks were soaked.
As we got back to the porch, he said to me, “I was checking on you, Mommy.”
Every time I think of him running down the block toward me now, I go all gooey inside.
Craziest mom ever:
Today I had to get this treatment turned in and Aidan didn’t have school, so I resorted to tactics I abhor: sticking the kid in front of his favorite movie, Cars, which I have done enough times now that I can no longer deny it’s part of my repertoire.
It worked for a while. Until it didn’t. Until he came in the dining room where I was working and begged me to watch with him. So I brought my computer in the den and worked while he watched.
That worked for a while. Until it didn’t. Until he decided he needed to either be sitting in my lap, lying in my lap or climbing up my body onto my head. I told him his choices: he could watch quietly next to mommy or mommy was going back in the other room and he’d have to watch by himself.
I won’t even get into the insanity of climbing and flinging and whining and frustration that followed, except to say that at the end of it, I stormed off into the dining room with my computer and he raced after me and continued to climb up my legs and hang from my arms and demand my attention until I was so frustrated and on the verge of combustion, I screamed. Literally screamed. At the top of my lungs as if someone were trying to murder me with a knitting needle. (I was actually worried if my landlady was home she might be afraid I was being murdered.) I did it twice. And then I stopped and felt better. Aidan gazed up at me, the wild knocked right out of him, stunned into silence and docility.
“I’m sorry, baby. I just had to do that,” I said.
He gazed at me so soft and beautiful I fell in love all over again. I walked him into the den and he sat down on the couch to calmly watch the rest of the movie while I worked. It worked. My throat has felt chafed all day.
When crazy meets cute:
I’ve been playing single mom for a month and a half now and my relationship with Aidan has gone totally loony tunes. We’re completely codependent. This thing between us is like some crazy love affair gone haywire. One minute Aidan’s saying, “I love you mommy. I love you I love you I love you,” and the next he’s throwing every single crayon in the house and I’m saying, “Throw one more and I’ll take them all away. Do you want me to take away every single one of your crayons” and he’s cackling like a madman, saying, “Yes!” and I’m charging around, picking them up, shoving them into a box, looking for someplace to stash them, then collapsing somewhere unsure what I’ve accomplished with this last disciplinary measure and saying, “I love you Aidan. I love you so much,” and he’s running into my arms and saying, “I love you, Mommy. I love you so much,” and I just know there’s something fucked up about this relationship.
We’re spending too much time together and we’re driving each other insane. But we also have the greatest time.
We went to hear this great bluegrass band, the Bagboys, that plays at The Burren in Davis Square every Saturday night. We ate pizza and I had a beer and he drank watered-down orange juice and danced and clapped along to the sweet floating tunes. And we’ve started a new ritual. Every night at the end of his bath, he starts tossing his green plastic ball to me and we play catch for a few minutes in the bathroom. He’s got an amazing arm—always has—and so much strength it’s incredible. Each time he throws he lets out a gleeful yelp. Every single time.
And after he’s dried off and pajamaed, we move the game into the living room and he throws and yelps and I’ve taught him to hold his hands closer to his body so he can actually catch a few in addition to throwing like a champ and I’m catching with my right hand, catching with my left, missing the ones that ricochet off the walls or fly behind Harlan’s guitars. It is so much fun. It’s so much fun, he’s taken up running again. After a game of catch, he’ll just run and run and run around the house, sometimes with me chasing him, sometimes pulling his zebra or bee, sometimes just on his own. And at the end of all that, he’s very ready to lug his cars and bottle of milk upstairs for a few stories and climb into bed to fall right to sleep.