Sunday, February 07, 2010

If I had time to myself...

If Charlie went away for a day, I would sleep through the entire night! I would read to and make crafts with the big kids all day. We would play with Polly Pockets and I would give Erik all the attention he craves. I would have full use of both of my arms.

But then I would get to missing him. I would miss his chubby thighs and toothless smile. I would miss the way his eyes light up when he sees me and the way he nuzzles into my shoulder. I would miss how he enters a jumping frenzy out of nowhere and is constantly grappling for something, anything to put in his mouth, especially if it's dirty or unsafe. I would miss peek-a-boo, I would miss his siblings doting over him, and I would miss kissing his bald head. I would miss him dearly.

Now if Erik went away for a day, we would go to Costco and Ellie could sit next to Charlie in the cart without argument. We would sample all the exotic foods. We would probably stay out all day and no one would be tantruming over it. Ellie and Charlie probably wouldn't be hit, pushed, or poked once the whole day.

But then we would get to missing that laugh. Oh, that superbly infectious laugh. There is little that I love more than his complete surrender to bliss that emanates from that laugh. And I would miss all the quirky comments and slowly constructed sentences. I would miss those long, dark eyelashes and that charming smile. I would miss that waddle, that imaginative mind, those endearing mispronunciations. I would miss that densely-packed piece of wonderful so very, very much.

If Ellie was the one to leave, Erik would finally get to be the star. He would get to choose what to play and what color plate to eat off of. He would get to answer all of my questions without being interrupted and corrected by a quicker, more articulate respondent. We could play with trains and dinosaurs and superheroes all day, with a tea party probably thrown in. I would hold him whenever Charlie slept. We would scribble and sing the alphabet song. We would be quiet sometimes.

But then it would be too quiet. Maybe even a little dull. Erik would tire of me as his sole playtime companion. Charlie would not find us quite as amusing. I would miss her good manners, her love for everyone, her desire to be good. I would miss her relentless curiosity, even the word "why?" ringing in my ears. I would miss the way she bounces with excitement over many simple things. I would miss the way she stuffs an animal under her shirt and announces her upcoming delivery every hour or so. I would miss her eager hugs and compliments on my parenting. No, I couldn't make it without her at all.

And if Kyle ever dared to stay away for a day, I would go shopping for kids' clothes, crafts, trendy accessories, home decorations, anything would do. I would read Twilight. I would watch HGTV and make pumpkin soup for dinner. This is all assuming he took the kids with him, I guess.

But before the day would be done, I would long for him, of course. I would need someone to whom I could rattle off the details of my day, who would listen and take sincere interest. I would miss his willingness to help, his amazing example of self-discipline (one I desperately need!), and his admiration of my good (imagined or real) qualities. I would miss his belly laugh, and the way the sides of his eyes get all wrinkly when he smiles. I would miss the way he dances like a crazy person and the kids are almost as entertained as me. I would miss his handiness in opening a jar, killing a spider, cleaning a toilet, and fixing the thermostat. I would miss the way he slumbers sweetly early in the evening while I whittle the hours away blogging and such, and then how he pacifies Charlie throughout the night and tends to the kids in the morning, expecting no more than a grunt of acknowledgment from me as he kisses me goodbye on his way off to work. I love how ecstatic he is to see us when he comes home. I love how much I love to see him, too. We are irritable and distracted and sometimes even exasperated with each other, and all the while so far in love we'll never look back.

8 comments:

Benitta said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

http://toddlergirls.net

Mary said...

I had a similar thought yesterday. (Sad that I'm already thinking in terms of "what if I didn't have Millie for a day". :)) Still, I think I would miss her and Barney way too much. We are so lucky.

Bethany said...

What a cute post! Very cleverly put.

Kendra said...

Thank you Tiff - I needed that post this morning. Sweet baby girl only slept a TOTAL of 45 minutes last night... and today is just going to be one of those lovely, groggy days of motherhood survival. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful for my kids and to look for the good in them - sleepless nights, dirty diapers, tantrums, and all.

Mish said...

Ooh! Ooh, me! I'll take Ellie or Charlie for a day!

Joe and Christie said...

I AM ALL VERKLEMPT, thanks a lot!!!
But I loved this post.

nimbus said...

Tiff, we all had those thoughts at one time, but truth is that it would never be the same without all of them. Let it be known that you are loved. Now when they are teenagers, this post will change. What a great daughter-in-law I have.

Bryce said...

What a sweet, sweet post, from such a great sister!