The past two days my little guy has been battling a random summer virus that has caused a fever, made him beyond lethargic, and much to my delight, made him down for all the cuddles.
It breaks your heart when your kids are sick. It’s also stressful and disruptive and a whole host of other things. Buuuut…since this thankfully isn’t a serious illness or anything life threatening, I’m enjoying the return of my snuggly, mama’s boy.
Lately him and I haven’t been on the same page. We’re 46 days into summer without the buffer of school, which allowed our hearts to grow fonder with a little distance. Nowadays, my patience is almost nonexistent as the saying the same three things multiple times a day for nearly two months has begun to fray my nerves. This is coupled with AJR’s whining, which is currently vying for a Guinness Book of World Records record. When those two things combine it makes for mother-son moments that are anything but sweet. A few weeks ago it reached its fever pitch when he referred to me as “the meanest mommy” followed up by a “you’re so mean, mommy.” I realize that it’s not my job to be my kids’ friends. I’m their mom so making sure I keep them safe and raise them to be decent humans is my number one priority. Still, no one wants to be told by their 4-year old that they’re the meanest mommy. Especially when in that moment I know that I wasn’t be as nice as I probably could have been.
Not to mention this awesome guy that I’ll simply refer to as “dad” who comes in and shows me up at every turn. Dad can do no wrong. He’s all fun and never says no when he’s asked to play. He administers patient discipline when necessary and never seems to nag about bedtime. No wonder AJR is all “where is daddy? I want my daddy. No, I want to be with daddy” 24/7. On the weekends, Joe and I divide and conquer when it comes to the kids since the ratio is once again balanced. However, it seems to be Olivia and I rolling on our own while the two of them nurture their budding bromance.
I want them to have their own relationship. My heart feels so full when I watch them playing baseball together in the yard or watching the Yankees game. I just didn’t think it would be at the expense of OUR relationship. I re-read this blog post about my relationship with him and how even then it was beginning to change. I teared up a little realizing that he doesn’t even request to lay in my “mommy cave” anymore. I had completely forgotten that was even a thing! It’s like all of the fears I had a year ago about him slipping away are coming to fruition.
I know it sounds silly but I need to feel needed by him. And not in the “MA! THE MEATLOAF! NOW!” sort of way. Because let’s be honest, the need for me to fulfill every demand of his is constant and never-ending. I mean that I want him to want me in the way that he used to: a way where mom is the center of his universe and only I will do.
So when he became sick and he said “I just want you to hold me, mommy” I was more than happy to oblige. I’ve been coddling him these past few days and it’s been so good for both of us. I literally carried him into the doctor’s office yesterday and he didn’t object. Here I was, holding my almost 5-year old the way that I would a five month old, and it was delightful. One day, his fever made him so sleepy that he actually fell asleep in my arms as we rocked in the chair he had as a baby but has since been moved to his sister’s room. It was insanely uncomfortable trying to hold all of those gangly boy limbs, but I didn’t dare move (except to take this picture – ha!).
I would never wish any illness on my children, but I have to admit that this was sort of wonderfully reassuring for me. While my little boy may very much be his Dad’s best buddy, I think it’s safe to say deep down he’s still a mama’s boy. For now.