That chunk of time between putting dinner on the table and tiptoeing out of the little boy’s room goes fast and furious, but
He eats, bits and pieces (more on the floor than in his mouth). Doesn’t sit long, runs around, whizzes by now and then to show us something, allows me to stick a forkful in as he makes his pit stop, then on the road again. We don’t fight it, ’cause we’re tired, and I want to sit and eat, and I’m sure over the course of the day he gets enough good food (right? I hope?).
One of us clears the table, mostly. And does the dishes, kind of, sometimes. (Sometimes – often – tomorrow morning seems like a better time.)
The other one goes upstairs with the boy. A bath (I’m always just as wet. And why is it SO hard to just let me wash his hair!?), chasing and wrangling into a diaper (no, really, these jammies are just fine – and the only clean ones, so…), the tooth brushing fight (PLEASE let mommy/daddy have a turn).
And then…then we pick stories. The dinner tidying parent comes and joins. We cuddle up together. We read, and rock, and sing and pray. And suddenly the frustration of the last hour melts away, and I am reminded that THIS is what matters, and why I don’t care that my jeans are still damp and my feet are cold from the waterworks of bath time.
Last night, as he was trying to draw out bedtime and postpone my exit, he says
“Prayers mommy. Prayers.”
“We just prayed Haydon.”
“More prayers. Prayers.”
So I tell him “You can talk to Jesus by yourself, without Mommy, anytime you want to.”
I squeeze him tight. I lay him in his crib.
In his little sing song voice, he’s saying
“Jesus, Jesus. Jesus, Jesus.”
“Goodnight, my big boy,” I say.
“Goodnight, little mummy.”