Cody was invited to a bachelor party in Philadelphia this weekend for a close college friend. He really wanted to go and I really wanted to not be left alone here in PGH with both our kids. We asked my parents (who live along the way) if they could take one or both of the boys, and my mom said she’d love to spend some special time with Mikey.
I initially sort of wish I’d pushed to send the two-year-old…the irrational, caveman-brained toddler who eats his boogers and hands me live spiders and cries for 47-minute intervals. But we sent Mikey off to his grandparents, who planned a delightful weekend for him and texted me questions all week in anticipation of his arrival.
He’s been obsessed with wooden tokens lately (because we get them when we bring our own bags to Whole Foods and the kids get to put them in the little treasure chest by the door, marking our chosen charity to receive the $.05) and my mom bought him a boatload at Michaels.
He’s also obsessed with the numbers 8 and 18, so my mom painted the tokens with these numbers, just for him. Then, she made plans for her and my dad to take him to the antique auto museum, where I’m sure he got to look at more wheels and engine parts than he could ever begin to describe to me.
But Mikey didn’t know any of that was happening! As he heaped a bag with his brother’s babydolls, toy cars, a “dude diary,” and his beloved copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Mikey was just excited to spend time with his grandparents. He’s so comfortable at their house and they dote on him and he very rarely has meltdowns under the loving haze of their undivided attention.
This afternoon, my mom sent me a picture of him playing in a bin of kinetic sand (of course she bought him kinetic sand!), where he’d been singing and yabbering for 45 minutes. It makes me sad that we don’t live closer to them, because I have such great memories of spending time sleeping over with my grandparents, too.
Meanwhile, Alex and I are having a really quiet and uneventful weekend. Uneventful meaning…things are so predictable with him. And even when he cries for 45 minutes, I know that if I distract him with a marshmallow, I can eventually get him to stop. And if I don’t do this, he’s just going to cry. He’s not going to bang his head off the wall until he hurts himself and he’s not going to throw his body down the stairs or come after me with the sharp end of a corn-cob-holder.
It’s just so much easier to parent that kid. Maybe because I’ve been to this rodeo before? But I find myself verbally prepping him for all the upcoming transitions, and then I realize I’m just sort of bothering him while he’s trying to play trucks all by himself. He’s like, “ok, Mom. You already told me we’re going to a birthday party later. We’re good.”
I even changed my mind about what I was going to make for dinner and it didn’t matter! Then, I waited until we were done eating to decide what we’d have for dessert. Just like that! We opened the cabinet and made a choice, and it was fine and we didn’t have to make a list first or discuss it. We just ate the damn Oreos.
So this weekend is really a break from me having to be ON so much. I get to bring my B-game, and it’s more than enough parenting skill and boy! That’s relaxing.
Mikey is such a remarkable kid. He spent most of Friday describing to me the difference between a trachea and an esophagus, for heaven’s sake. I sure am glad he gets to spread this joy to other adults who love him, so Alex and I can spend a weekend where I learn more about what makes him awesome, too.