Last night (like most Thursdays) I came home about 6:30, tired from a long week of taking care of other people’s kids. Roo informed me that Tadpole’s teacher had complained that he had been “not listening well” all day at school and then laughing in the face of his teacher when he was chastised. He has been testing limits at home and at school lately, which can be pretty unpleasant to be around. I didn’t have any plans for today (my day home with Tad), and we’re still getting used to Roo not being around for our Friday adventures. I went to bed questioning the wisdom of continuing this Fridays at home thing this year. It has been fabulous for the last 3 1/2 years, but I started to wonder if these days it is for my benefit more than Tad’s. He loves school and would likely have fun being there one more day a week. I could start looking for additional work for Fridays, or could get a lot done around the house while he is at school. And if he is going to be an atrociously-behaved kid and I don’t yet have a plan for what activities we’re going to do, how much fun are we really going to have?
But after all of my worry, today has (so far) reminded me why I wanted these Fridays off in the first place.
Tad slept in a little this morning, which always helps me get over my Thursday-night grumpiness. Over cereal he asked, “can we make waffles?,” and I remembered that one of the great things about Fridays is that I can say yes. So we got out the waffle mix, made a mess in the kitchen, and had waffles for our second breakfast.
We took our time getting dressed, and even had some time to play “the lump game.” For those of you who have not heard of this game, it’s the best ever. One person lies on the bed, completely covered by a sheet. The other person comes over and says, “what’s this lump on the bed? Oh, well, I guess I’ll just go to sleep” and lies on top of the first person. Much giggling and rolling around on the bed ensues. Then it’s the other person’s turn. Sleepy mommas may note that the parent’s job in this game can consist almost entirely of lying on the bed and giggling. As an added bonus, Tad still has an adorable lisp, so we end up playing the “yump game.”
We finally got ourselves dressed and out the door and went to preschool storytime at a nearby library. In the last few weeks Tad has become really interested in reading and it was so cool to see all of the ways that he could contribute to storytime that he couldn’t have just a little while ago. I’m sure he does similar kinds of activities at school, but I love that I get to see him do them on Fridays.
After storytime we went to the library’s amazing play area. It reminds me of several kids’ museums that we’ve been to, with themed play areas (a kitchen with play food, a grocery store with cash registers, a garden with mulch and veggies to “plant”, etc). Tad had one meltdown (when I insisted he needed to put the mail carrier outfit away before we went to play with something else) and we had to leave the play area for a while. But when we came back he had lots of fun and was a much better listener. He “delivered mail” (correctly matching the numbers on the letters with the numbers on the mailboxes) and put on a puppet show. We read a bunch of books, and my heart melted when he insisted that I had to not only sit right next to him, but wrap my arm around him tightly.
We came home for lunch, over which we discussed vegetarianism. Then I was cleaning up from lunch and turned around to find Tad trying to cut a hole in his shirt with kid scissors. I said, “Tad, we only cut paper. And we always sit down when we’re using scissors.” He looked up at me and said (with complete sincerity), “is that our rule or the government’s rule?”
And now we’re both taking a break, which is another nice part about Fridays–a little bit of time on my own at home to read or nap or get caught up on chores. Our current compromise (since Tad has given up naps and tends to destroy his room if we do
quiet rest time”) is that we get little handheld video players from the library. They have Mister Rogers or Sesame Street on them and he sits in his room with one for about an hour. We’ve been pretty anti-screen time so far, but figure that 3 hours a week (naptime on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) won’t rot his brain too much. And it has been fun to get reacquanted with Mister Rogers and his friends. Tad’s current obsession is a video of factory tours in which he can watch crayons, wooden toys, towels and toilets (!) being made.
So the next Thursday when I come home grumpy and wondering what I’ll do with the kid the next day I need to remember that this is often how things go, with Thursday night grumpiness turning into lots of fun on Friday. And it wouldn’t hurt to remember that some of this grumpiness is probably not about Tad at all and is really about my nervousness as we head into TTC attempt #5.