Today, ladies and gentlemen, something absolutely monumental took place at Chez Wonderwheel!
Words cannot do justice to the difference that heart has made. He separates in the morning without tears, he brings it to preschool and hides it in his cubby. He sleeps with it under his pillow. At night, when each of the boys picks a song “theme” for me to sing to them (I improvise a song based on their theme of choice to the same tune every night), he has been asking me to sing a song about “heart”. (Baxter? “Pokemon.”)
The heart seemed to set the stage for his successful participation in Advanced Separation 301, allowing me an unheard of transition in and out of our home when I went to both Minneapolis and San Francisco last week. Truly, it was a breeze – Lyle was perfectly happy while I was away both times and did not even make me pay for my absence upon my return! This is nothing short of miraculous.
But all of that – all of it – was a drop in the bucket compared to today. Because this boy, this child who has been completely unable to take a nap on the days we’re home together (Tues/Thurs) for many months now – despite the fact that he’ll nap 2-3 hours for everyone else – declared during lunch that he was tired and ready to nap as if it were the most natural thing in the world. As if separating from me by slipping into unconsciousness for a couple of hours wasn‘t a horrifying thought all of a sudden!
Furthermore, he willingly napped even when I explained that, due to the late start of this unexpected nap, I would have to leave the house soon to pick up his brother at school. This meant that I was going to have to leave the child monitor with our (very familiar) neighbor across the hall. He was cool with this. I showed him how, when he woke up, if I didn’t come down when he called, he was to talk into the monitor and tell the neighbor he was awake because it meant I wasn’t home yet. And still – he remained unfazed. He thought this was peachy keen, and hoped he’d get to go play with her daughter and maybe pet the cats.
So wait – not only would he separate from me and take a nap, but it was actually okay with him if I left the house during his nap and left him in the care of a neighbor, knowing that I may or may not be here when he woke up?!
Oh. my. God.
I tucked him in with the monitor close by and heart no. 55 resting in his sweet little hand, and walked carefully upstairs, sitting stock still on the couch for 10 minutes and steeling myself for the sound of his feet pounding upstairs after me, realizing he wanted to come with me to get his brother, or that he would miss me too much, didn’t want a nap after all.
But he did it. He fell asleep. A deep sleep that lasted until I came home with Baxter, whose pounding feet woke him. But I didn’t care. Because he slept for TWO HOURS! On my watch!
There’s something to be said for a child’s positive experience of being without mama for a few days and realizing that everything is still okay. She calls, she brings presents, and she always comes back.
I’m going out of town more often. That’s all there is to it.