This morning, I woke up two minutes before my 5:15 silent Fitbit alarm, surprised to feel better after body aches and a pronounced one-sided sore throat the night before. I laid there for a moment, noticing a remarkable upgrade in mental health since trading in NPR for jazz over the previous 24 hours. Not a total news fast- I know we all need to stay politically aware and active and fight our behinds off. But I realized I wasn’t doing anyone any good if I ended up sitting under my dining room table in a tinfoil hat. So I set some limits.
I was deep in a project on my laptop when I heard my roommate call for me, a good 45 minutes before his usual wakeup. This was not the usual, plaintive cry of “Mom, how could you abandon me all alone in this giant bed,” but a defiant, incredulous, “Mom. MOM! MOM!?!?! What the…??”
So, my me-time cut off, I returned to the bed where he said yes, he was OK, and no, he didn’t want to go back to sleep. “Will you play with me?” I tried to explain that Mommy gets up early do get some things done, so he can get up but he’ll need to play by himself. My explanation was not accepted.
I thought I’d start with letting him help me with the laundry. His eyes lit up, remembering that his favorite fire truck shirt was dirty and might now be clean. If he could wear this shirt every day and every night, he would. I’m OK with a kid in a dirty shirt, but it hits a point where you do start to wonder about the mom.
Of course the fire truck shirt was not in the load I’d already started, so we embarked on a long journey of laundry to get that shirt clean and and dried before school. He had not counted on a multi-step process, so there were some moments of deep disappointment resulting in tears and laying spread-eagle on the floor.
On the way back upstairs, we stopped to look out the window of the back door. I pointed out that the sun was coming up. He paused, deeply taking in the sunrise. I said, “Hi, sun.” He smiled and said, “Hi, sun. Hi, sunny!” Then he waved to it. Then he said, “Do you have fire trucks for me? With ladders? And a crane and a backhoe?”
We ate breakfast while we waited for the wash: fried eggs and toast and a banana (for him) and coffee (for me). We heard the washing machine buzzer and went downstairs to put only the fire truck shirt in the dryer. He was super distressed at this point that the shirt wasn’t ready.
We came back upstairs and played with fire trucks a bit. I noticed that while he has at least ten fire trucks of various sizes, plus other trucks and cars and trains and dinosaurs and tools, he doesn’t have any people, other than his almost life-size Baby Matthew. We’re having to anthropomorphize the fire trucks themselves, as if there are no firefighters. Mental note to ask the moms what’s the best type of mini-humans to order on amazon. I told him to keep playing while I quickly dressed myself. This was not approved.
We ended up in the basement, hanging out by the dryer, waiting for that damn shirt to stop being damp.
He went to school in a fantastic mood, in his (really almost dry and definitely clean) shirt.
So that’s us today: mostly fire trucks and laundry with some highs and lows.
(photo from a different day because I didn’t catch one today. Notice the pile of fire trucks.)