Every time 3B heard our neighbors arrive or leave tonight he would announce, “Mommy is home!” He would also announce that every time the breadmaker would make a sound, or there would be a click, clack, clank or clunk that he could hear.
It all makes sense once you know that we had just walked Mama down to a taxi that took her to her flight to Ghana, where she’ll be all week. No, it wasn’t a big yellow taxi, but the effect was the same.
And then there were the crying jags. Two or three. But again, it’s understandable, and all I can do is hold 3B until he calms down and pray he holds me too.
There are upsides to having a chatty toddler–you know what he did at school, you know what he doesn’t want to eat for lunch (or “dunch”), and it’s heartwarming to hear him say, “I love you.”
Of course, there are downsides, like his remarkable ability to keep himself awake well into the night as he consolidates his memories of the day into his long-term memory neurons. I just spent 45 minutes listening to a fascinating soliloquy through the video monitor. It ranged from the maudlin…a final chorus or 12 of Leave Her Johnny, to the pragmatic…”after you go to the potty, you have to wash your hands in the sink,” to the heartbreaking…”You need some comfort. Want Mommy to come in and comfort you.”
On any given night, those words cause an ache in my chest. Mama and I always consider going in, and sometimes we do, depending on the circumstances. But even when we do, we remind him that we’re here, that we’ll always be here, rub him on the back, sing him a soft song, and walk out. What we really want to do is scoop 3B up, tuck him in bed with us, and snuggle all night long.
Of course, if we did that, our bed would become center stage, a trampoline, and an endless Jump Around concert.
Tonight is no different, especially because I know what 3B is going through. More than that, I feel what 3B is going through. And we’ll be feeling it together for the rest of this week. If the past is a guide, the first few days will seem long and chaotic, and then we’ll get into our new rhythm and time will seem to pass more quickly.
Until the neighbors open their door again.
How much do you think it would cost to send them to Florida for a week? Or should I just change the locks on their door?