Yesterday (I didn’t get to write) was 1 day over my estimated due date. I’m tired, having a hard time falling asleep, and I’ve started to swell. I’m ready. Baby is not. I am also feeling some guilt because I really want to take this early maternity leave to organize, clean up, and rest. These things are obviously impossible to do with a toddler in the house. Liam has his school, ROOTS, that he is more than happy to go to play, but he is also having some heavy mommy clinginess. While I thought it was because he senses the baby coming, I’ve been told by my mom friends that all of the 2ish year olds (particularly the boys it seems) are going through the same sounding phase. Mommy can’t move to their peripheral vision without it being a panic attack. Liam has perfected the lip pout, too, turning his whole face into the tragedy mask and whimpering, “Mama…Mama…”
I feel guilty dropping Liam off at school when I’m home. I know I need to take care of myself too, but I am also aware that one of the hardest parts of having a new baby will be missing my Liam. Knowing this, I am reluctant not to spend every last possible second with him, whiny and mischeivous or not.
This day was a compromise for me. I had an appointment in the afternoon, so I told myself that Liam and I would have a special morning and then I’d bring him to school in time to play a little and nap. The special morning I had planned was a pancake breakfast (check!) and then a walk somewhere cool or near water as the day was heating up.
The walk didn’t happen as I had hoped. It has just become impossible to move at a pace fast enough to herd a toddler like Liam. Absolutely impossible. And it’s like a sprinting race in track, the further you start out in back the harder it is to come up from behind to win. And it’s not always Liam being a mischeivous monkey, sometimes it’s just me going upstairs and not remembering everything I went up for, causing my pregnant behind to waddle back up those stairs again…and again. But other times it’s me getting his clothes from his bedroom dresser and then walking into the master bathroom and finding my son has shimmied up onto the toilet, then used the toilet roll handle on the side of the sink to step up and into the sink. Where he has turned on the faucet full blast and stomped his feet around, spraying water across the entire bathroom and drenching himself. I’m fairly certain that’s not a Safety First situation at all.
After dirtying towels to dry the bathroom (grumble, grumble, laundry, grumble…) I realized that it was once again WAY TOO QUIET. Liam had been placed downstairs to play in his toyroom. Sometimes, sometimes, him being quiet in the playroom is actually him stacking blocks or playing with puzzle pieces. Most often, it means he’s no longer in the playroom and there’s another, more imminent, reason for this silence.
I started down the stairs and called, “Liam?” To which I hear the reply, “Oh, HI, Mommy!” and see his little head pop up from within the pack and play which had been infantized (set up with changing table gear, sun shade, and higher sleeping pad). This wasn’t the first time he had climbed from the couch next to the pack and play and into the new baby’s sleeper. Even though I had known it was confusing for him since he had been using that pack and play to sleep in when we travelled, I had tried to explain that the new baby was going to sleep in there and get their diaper changed there.
Taken aback by the cuteness of his “Oh, HI, Mommy,” and the gopher-like popping up from the crib, I paused on the step, processing what to say. He beat me to the punch.
“I Baby! I sleep!” He pronounced proudly, laying back down in the crib. He showed me how he was clearly a perfect candidate for this new contraption. Oh gosh, how could I argue with that?
I finished my stair trek and crossed over to the pack and play, where Liam was peering up and telling me again, “I Baby! I sleep!”
“Liam…sweetie…I’m afraid you’re too big for this crib. You are too heavy and you might break this.” He let me pick him up and seemed to accept this.
Until about 5 minutes later. We talked about how his new baby doll could sleep in the pack and play because the baby wasn’t too heavy. He found his doll in the stroller, hugged it, patted it’s back and when I turned my attention to packing him a lunch in the kitchen I found him joining his baby doll in the pack and play again. So adorable I had to take pictures, all the while contradicting myself by explaining he’d have to get out because he was too heavy. Really, though, the pack and play is going to have to be moved in a new location as that is the best solution with dealing with a toddler you can’t reason with. New location must not have any climbing apparatus within a five foot radius.