Working titles included, “The Longest HappySad Cry of My Life” and “How long has that banana been underneath the china hutch?” But, for efficient reading, I kept it short.
This past week, I was home on vacation with Miles (hence the term “SAHMcation”) When we had Miles, I knew that I wanted to utilize some of my vacation time to just hang out with him, and soak up his awesomeness. This is my second SAHMcation; the first occurred the week after Thanksgiving, when Miles was about 7 months old.
Man, a lot changes in six months.
I remember my first SAHMcation, during the two naps a day phase, when I accomplished both an abundance of quality time with my tiny and an abundance of household drudgery (organizing the linen closet, washing the kitchen cabinets, cleaning the garage) that had loomed over our heads since I hit about 37 weeks pregnant and solidified my spot on the sofa, counting the days until I could see my toes and not belch or urinate every five minutes. When your child takes two naps that are two hours each, shit gets done.
We are on one nap a day now; granted, that nap can top out at three hours, but it’s still just one nap. And this isn’t new; we’ve been on this schedule for three months now. Also, most Saturdays are just me and the kiddo, so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with how things work when it comes to chores. It’s simple: the chores that absolutely, positively, must get done are the ones checked off the list. Well, most of them. I’ll admit that for the past six days I’ve been drying off with two hand towels after showering because no one has done the towel laundry yet (all of our cats are freeloaders, and I’ve also learned that being home with your toddler full-time causes you to lose sense of all time and space…I asked my husband on multiple occasions not only the date, but also the day of the week, and possibly even what month it was).
I didn’t have a big list of things to get done this week, other than hang with Miles. I did have a few minor things I wanted to accomplish, and I did successfully complete those tasks:
- Clean the microwave. The sloppy joe explosion seemed to be flavoring other foods I was reheating.
- Organize the bathroom cabinet, more appropriately known as “where all the q-tips go to fall out of their boxes and die beneath piles of loose bandaids and half empty bottles of lotion.”
Other things that happened on SAHMcation that I was not prepared to handle…we dropped bottles. If you have children, you know what I mean. If you don’t have children, please know that dropping bottles doesn’t involve champagne (ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD). We went off bottles, for good. Do you know how much Miles cared about this transition? Not one single bit. Do you know how much I cared about this? Enough to cry for 45 minutes while I packed his bottles up during his nap on Monday.
Yes, part of me thought, “Yippee! No more 4,873 piece bottles to scrub with our three varied-in-size brushes!” But the larger part of me, and my entire heart, thought “Oh my gosh, there goes my baby…”
And now, I understand why so many moms always wanted to hold Miles and feed him his bottle…he was still little, still tiny, and still still. The bottle dropping happened by chance, and had I known that the bottle I gave Miles at 6:30am on Monday would be his very last, ever, I would have probably cried…so it’s a good thing I didn’t know.
In addition to happysad crying while packing bottles, I also happysad cried every day after putting Miles down for his nap. Each day, I’d rock him and sing, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, the song that I’ve sung to him since he arrived in our world. Each day, he’d fall asleep in my arms, and I’d hold him just a few minutes longer than usual, and I’d just marvel at this tiny, perfect, precious boy, and I’d remember the days of teeny-tiny onesies and burps and that sweet baby smell. Each day, I’d grow more and more aware of the amazing and incredible growth that has occurred in just 13 short months.
SAHMcation was void of chores, and had its happysad moments, but I also found a new appreciation for my fellow SAHPs of toddlers because holy cow, it’s the Indy 500 around here all day, every day. I remember on my first SAHMcation, marveling at my ability to get so many things done during nap one, that I could actually nap myself – for two hours – during nap two. And I remember a girlfriend of mine telling me that she never ever got to nap (her daughter is two years older than Miles). Sister, I feel you. These kids are whirlwinds of squeals and smiles and screams and beating you in the head with wooden blocks because it’s fun. Right? RIGHT.
Our days were filled with swimming in the pool, playing at the water table, coloring (and eating crayons), fingerpainting (and eating paint), swinging, walking, running, cat chasing, dancing, singing, reading, stop and take a breath and do it all over again after naptime because MOM THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! Oh yes, it was a blast – an exhausting blast, but a blast nonetheless. I marveled each evening at the fingerpaint smeared across the floor, and the toys strewn from here to kingdom come. But you SAHPs who do it day in and day out, kudos to you, because it’s the most exhausting fun I’ve ever had (Spring Break has nothing on toddlercation, people).
I found that our house is much messier when we’re home full-time. Laundry, while folded, piled up on the couch. Bert and Ernie somehow found their way into the freezer, while my bag of frozen mixed vegetables wound up in the laundry basket under three stuffed bears and a mound of wooden blocks.
With no more b-o-t-t-l-e-s in the house, mealtime became even more important. We did pretty good most days, but there were plenty that ended with me wearing spaghetti, or zucchini being thrown at the cat (this is why I wore the same yoga pants for six days straight – why bother?) I learned that Miles takes great joy in watching me flinch as he picks up his fork, which encourages the flinging/hurling/throwing of utensils and food. That’s something they don’t tell you in birthing class: as a parent of a toddler, you’ll flinch a lot. Every time they pick up a hard toy, or a book, or their food. I also found half a banana under the china hutch tonight. I have no idea how long it was there.
Miles also cut his 7th tooth this week, and I finished a 900 page book. Yes, SAHMcation was awesome. It was beautifully, wonderfully, messily exhausting in the best ways possible. And I can’t wait to do it again.