Mommy Guilt (or, How did he grow up so fast?)

It’s month end again and I’m wrapping up last month’s sales. It’s only one or two nights and it happens just 12 times a year, so it’s really not that bad. But it usually means I come home late, well after The Boy has gone to bed.

Last night was one of those nights. He was asleep by the time I got home (and probably by the time I left work), so I didn’t interact with him very much. He cried out a few times and I went into his room to check on him, but as he was never awake, he probably didn’t realize I was there.

He woke around midnight with terrible teething pains. Cute Husband was still awake and I was already asleep, so I heard Cute Husband tending to him before I had a chance to roll out of bed. But the lights were on, which only means there is activity The Boy is missing. Cute Husband took him into the family room to turn off the lights and prove the rest of the house was already asleep, and on the way back to his room, The Boy saw my sleeping figure and did not want to return to bed. Cute Husband brought him to his bedroom and closed the door, and I could hear the little one banging against the door, wailing and throwing things. I felt so bad.

After a few minutes, he settled down and was asleep again.

This morning, he awoke around 4:30 or so. He was still sleepy, but he didn’t want to go back to sleep. Cute Husband brought him into our room and cuddled him for a little while… until he saw me and decided I would make a better pillow than his dad. By 5:15, he announced he was thirsty (“Mill! Mill!”) and did not want to lie down anymore (“Up! Up!”), so I rolled out of bed (really, I was pushed) and led him to the kitchen for breakfast.

He went to the pantry, took out the box of Cheerios, and put it on his little table. Then he got a bowl from the cupboard, put it on the table, crawled into his chair and made a motion to let me know that I needed to put Cheerios into his bowl. I know we’ve been working with him on this for months now, but how did he grow up so fast?

Just a year ago, he pushed himself into sitting position on his own. Twelve months before that he was still wriggling about and kicking my internal organs. And now he is too long to stretch out sideways on his mattress (longways is still good), can peer into his top dresser drawer to tell me which shirt he would rather wear, puts away his shoes and dirty clothes (though bargaining is sometimes required for him to do the latter), climbs on and off the couch with the greatest of ease, and communicates well enough to let us know what he wants.

Clearly, he continues to amaze me every day – and I almost feel like I’ve missed everything. It’s times like these when I wish I could stay with him and soak in every second of his toddlerhood, but it’s simply not an option when there are bills to pay.

Sometimes I think the Women’s Movement was the worst thing to happen to motherhood.


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