It’s a good thing I’m all recharged after my Mommies’ Weekend Away. I definitely needed the extra energy this past week. With Hubs traveling for work, I’m taking care of Q-man on my own for a short while.
Solo parenting in December presents additional challenges, as I have to “accomplish Christmas” during Q’s nap time and late at night after he goes to bed. And “late at night” usually turns into “wee hours of the morning,” which usually turns into “Mommy needs a Red Bull pronto lest she pass out face first into her cereal.”
Luckily, I have a sweet little boy who is well behaved and sleeps like a champ. This almost makes up for him not eating anything except blueberries, Goldfish crackers and whatever I will let him drown in maple syrup.
A good friend took pity on me and invited us over for dinner one evening last week, and all Quinn ate was a piece of buttered toast and some sunflower seeds. He literally ate like a bird. He repeated this performance a few nights later at another good friend’s house by only eating graham crackers for dinner.
I’m trying not to spin. Really, I am. But it’s so hard. I know lots of children are picky eaters, and everyone has a story about a kid that would only eat one or two things and they turned out fine, and that makes me feel so much better.
But in that moment, at the table, after I’ve spent an hour cooking dinner (which shouldn’t have taken an hour but it does when the adult-to-toddler ratio is 1:1), and Q won’t eat anything I’ve prepared, and defeat once again settles into my chest – it’s hard to remember that lots of children won’t eat and turn out fine.
“What’s wrong with me that I can’t feed my baby?” I ask myself at two-o’-clock in the morning when I’m not even yet trying to sleep. “What am I doing wrong? Or is something really wrong with Quinn...?”
But Friday night made up for all that spin. After a long day, we got home late and decided to skip his bath. We were both exhausted and ready for some quiet snuggle time before bed. As he often does, Quinn decided that cuddled up against me in the darkness was the perfect time to amaze me with how grown-up he can be. Completely unprompted, he said to me:
“I dud you.”
That’s Quinn-ese for “I love you.” He’s never said that to me before. When Q tells his Daddy goodnight, I always tell him to say “I love you” after Hubs says it to him, so I’ve heard Q say the words many times. But he’s never directed them to me, and he’s never said them without encouragement.
There in the rocking chair with my little boy curled up in my arms the best way he can now that he’s getting so big, my heart melted.
“I love you, too, Quinn,” I told him. Love swelled in my chest, pushing out the defeat from dinner and calming the spin in my head.
“Mommy. Here,” he said, poking my shoulder in the dark.
“Yes, baby. Mommy’s here,” I assure him.
“Daddy?” He asked for the thousandth time that week. “Miss Daddy.”
The tears that had been burning my eyes finally fell at the words of a little boy missing his father. “I know, sweetie. I miss Daddy, too. And I know he misses you very much. But he’ll be home soon. I promise.”
For the two days since then, Quinn’s been saying “I dud you” constantly. I always reply with “I love you, too.” Sometimes I just say “I love you,” and Quinn will earnestly say “too” and remind me of my line.
This kid turns me into a puddle. I “dud” him so much, I can’t stand it.
Quinn’s not only sweet, but he’s also hilarious. I put him in the bathtub the other night, and as usual, all the sock fuzz from between his toes began to float freely in water. Quinn thinks it’s great fun to catch the pieces of fuzz and hand them to me. Awesome.
One particularly large fuzz floated in front of him and hovered over his belly.
“Sock fuzz. On. NENIS!!” Quinn exclaimed. I don’t know if he was more delighted that he could get out a complete sentence or that the sentence included the word “penis.” Tears gushed down my cheeks again, but this time from laughter.
Ah, what’s not to “dud?”