This is my FIRST contribution to part of a weekly feature called The Monday Snapshot over at PAIL.
This morning did not go well. When it was time for Daniel to get dressed, I found him reclining on the couch, and he told me he didn’t want to go to daycare and that he didn’t feel good. I cuddled him for a minute and asked him if his tummy hurt and if he needed to throw up. He said no, but that he wanted to stay home. Me too, kid.
His little face looked up at me slyly, and he smiled and repeated that he wanted to stay home. I decided that he was “telling a story” as they say to get out of going to daycare. He didn’t feel warm and hadn’t thrown up since Friday. We had a talk about things we have to do vs things we want to do and that mommy and daddy needed to go to work and he needed to go to daycare.
I told him again to get dressed. He refused and the situation deteriorated quickly. Next thing I knew, Jimmy was holding a screaming child while I struggled to dress him.
We were livid. He was livid. I wondered how a 3 foot tall little person could have so much anger at 3.5 years. I wondered how adults in their mid-thirties could have so much anger at a 3.5 year old. I carried my sobbing, raging child to the car and strapped him in, feeling defeated and miserable.
I tried to make amends on the trip to day care. I told him he would have fun. He would go outside and play with his friends and before he knew it, I would be there to pick him up.
Daniel replied, “No sir. No SIR. I will NOT have fun.”
“Fine, ” I sighed.
In his class, his lips trembled, and his face was still flushed from crying. I cuddled him and told him I loved him and left, feeling like whatever creature makes cockroaches look like higher life forms. There’s something about those little woebegone faces that make Mondays extra hard.
I had just pulled into a parking space at work when my cell rang. It was day care. Daniel had thrown up. The policy is that a child has to throw up twice before you must come get them. Having arrived late and left early due to illness on Friday, I hoped to snatch a little time in the office.
Forty-five minutes later, another call from day care. Daniel had thrown up again.
When I got to his class, Daniel, dressed in too-short pants and odd shoes, ran to me, telling me he had “throwed up.” He was so happy to see me. I felt like shit. He really had been sick. I assumed this morning’s obstinance had been from reluctance to change out of his new, cozy Thomas pajamas and desire to stay home and play with his toys.
I took him home, helped him into his Thomas pajamas and gave him juice. I explained to him that mommy needed to do a little work. He played in the kitchen for a little while but soon brought his trains to the dining room table where I was sitting with my laptop.
He played with his trains but decided that my laptop was more fun, joining me in my chair and pressing keys. So sweet. So little. Still so much a baby though he’s almost 4 (WTF?). I felt humbled that he wanted to be with me, cuddle with me after our awful morning.
In between emails and conference calls, we snuggled and goofed off. I apologized to him repeatedly and tried to get him to eat a little bit.
I hope it made up for this morning in some tiny way.