I love Eli. I love love love him. In the mornings we snuggle and have breakfast together and wrestle and read books and chase and dress-up and play hide&seek and paint and play-doh and superheroes – and I look at the clock and it isn’t even 10am yet.
So, what’s the problem? Sounds like so much fun! Well.. there is also a newborn in the house. One who now likes to nurse all the time. This is the hardest part of having an energetic 3.5 year old at home. Sometimes I flat out get – “Noooo… feed her later! She doesn’t need it!” or “Play with me first and then feed her, sound good?” and other times I get more interesting behaviour. I decided to draw some pictures to illustrate my time. He goes mental, pees on the floor intentionally (ok, just once), pretends my hair is a spiderweb for his toys, lays on my head or nursing pillow, pokes/hits/pinches Abby, pulls everything out of cupboards/laundry baskets/shelves, climbs and runs on counter tops, starts microwave or dishwasher and sometimes leaves the house if I forget to lock the door. I get impatient and snappy and frustrated and annoyed. I don’t like that side of me. I’ve “yelled” at Eli more in the past month than I have in the past 3+ years. People suggest special treats or toys that he can only use during nursing time, others suggest reading books together, talking about when he was a baby or playing toys with your free hand (free hand?). They are great ideas and they work… some of the time. The more I need to feed and bond with Abby, the needier Eli gets. I’ve been resorting to the ipad or tv more often than I’d like. How do stay-at-home parents do it?
Yes, the photos I post on Instagram are dreamy and artistic (imo), but things aren’t always so rosy. Everything looks better with a filter. Because I crave (and need) bonding time with our new muffin, we chose to send Eli two afternoons a week to a preschool and every Wednesday at our favourite childcare provider. People may think I am crazy or that I am lazy or that I am “taking the easy way out” but he loves it. I love it. We love each other more for it. He gets to be busy with friends and parks and snacks and projects. He is gaining independence, learning how to work and play with different people (and different expectations) and having fun. He isn’t stuck at home with his mom and sister 24 hours a day – and we avoid most of the above scenarios.
The best time of my day is when I pick Eli up at preschool or he comes home with dad. His eyes light up, he runs to me and gives the most delicious hugs anyone could ask for and says “I love you so so so so much!”. He is happy and proud and I enjoy my late afternoons with him with more enthusiasm then I would have if he had stayed home with me all day. xo.
Is anyone available for a playdate?