I’ve got so much to do and so little time! But I feel like I have to mention some Aidan tidbits.
Last night he had an accident at 4:30am. And wouldn’t you know it, he peed in the one spot on his mattress, right below his pillow, that wasn’t covered by our heavy-duty, industrial mattress pad.
I almost wept.
After stripping him of his pajamas and getting him into new ones and stripping the bed of everything, I put him in our bed and ran downstairs to google “pee on mattress,” while he howled, “Mommy! Mommy!” I told him I’d be a few minutes (after first saying, “I’ll be two secs” and he said, “1-2.”), then went into the kitchen to mix up a batch of dishwashing liquid and vinegar (I originally included baking soda, but it exploded, so I started over).
I also had to feed the cats, since they were hovering. I think I said something mean to them. Then I flew back upstairs, doused the mattress and climbed into bed.
It was almost five and Harlan couldn’t get back to sleep, so he decided to scrub the mattress to insure that the stain came off. I asked him to spray it with the pee stain remover we use for our cats, so he did, then scrubbed. I also got up and put the dirty sheets, blanket, mattress pad and mattress cover into the wash (mainly because today was pajama day at Aidan’s school and I knew he’d want to wear the Spiderman pajamas he’d peed on), then poured baking soda all over the stain on the mattress, climbed back into bed with Aidan, spent twenty minutes convincing him to close his eyes and try to sleep and then did so myself.
At the moment, it seems like everyday there’s some kind of first for us.
I’ve never had to clean the mattress before. When he was in diapers, there was only ever the occasional leakage and we had chux pads under the sheets, so all we’d have to do was clean our fancy organic cotton mattress pad and toss the chux. The last (and first) time he had a real accident since he went diaper-free a few weeks ago, it landed right on the waterproof pad so we were safe.
This was all new. I can’t believe it took me four and a half years to have to look up “pee on mattress”!
He’s also having all kinds of friend firsts.
Aidan has always had his best buddies: Luc, a friend from LA who moved here a year after we did. Sascha from preschool. Matteu, Luca and Ryder, and Henry, my best friends’ kids from back in Cali who he remains attached to.
But something has shifted. In preschool, his best friends were girls, but I often found him playing cars with the boys when I picked him up. He got along with everyone and they seemed to like him, but he was only attached to Sascha, Sajni and Bessie.
Now he’s got this pack of boys he roams with. When we go to the playground after school, they chase each other around, climb, decide who’s a superhero and who’s a villain, terrorize the bigger girls (or anyone) who deigns climb this metal structure they’ve designated their headquarters. And pretty often they fight. I’m talking punching each other.
One day I was horrified to learn that Aidan had scratched his friend Tyler’s face till it bled and then when his friend Diego intervened, he scratched him, too! I thought, my God, my angel’s a bully! But when I confronted him, he burst into tears and told me all the other boys had been trying to push him down the slide and when he tried to move away, they kept pulling and pushing him. This happened on top of the extremely high play structure, so I imagine getting away wasn’t easy and lashing out seemed like the only viable option.
Luckily the other moms understood. “I never imagined this happened without provocation,” Tyler’s mom said. We tried to get the kids to apologize, but they wouldn’t, so we each apologized to each others’ kids.
Luckily, Aidan seems to be adored by all the boys. When he comes to class, people call, “Aidan! Aidan!” or “Aidan, you’re on my team!” (Whatever that means.) And the mom of one little girl old me her daughter talks about Aidan all the time. It warms my heart.
On one playground date shortly after he started going to his new school, the boys Aidan first befriended, Ethan and Diego, were playing together and did not include him. I watched from the sidelines, my heart breaking, while he inched closer and closer to them, but never joined them. Finally, I got down on my knees in the sand and started building castles and a bunch of other kids—eventually including his two friends—came to join us. What can I say? I make cool sand castles.
I was amazed at how devastating it was for me to watch my son excluded and pray that those two boys would turn and invite him to play and hope if they didn’t he would still want to come to the playground and still like his new school.
There have been some nice moments.
One friend, Ethan, was out sick for a week, and when he returned, he raced straight up to Aidan and grabbed his hand. His mom told me he’d said, “I am so excited to see Aidan. He’s my best pal.”
And another mom told me her son, another Ethan, was playing with Diego and Aidan in the park, when Ethan suddenly felt left out. Diego had decided he and Aidan were superheroes and Ethan was the villain. Ethan started to cry and said, “Why are you two together?” And Aidan paused, took a step closer to him and said, “I’ll be with you, Ethan.” And everyone was happy again.
I guess all this to say it’s amazing to watch your kid grow and develop and become a little person, a complex person with dark, light, sweet, grumpy, irritating, loving and hilarious. All rolled into one.
Lately, he so often says, “Mommy, I have to tell you something.”
“Okay,” I say.
“Mommy, I just love you.”