What a wonderful weekend I just had! I feel like I got some QUALITY time with the kids, focusing on their laughter and having fun on their level. It’s been a while since I felt I’d connected with them, and it was awesome to spend so much time enjoying their smiles.
I think because of daycare, I’ve been feeling especially disconnected from Daniel lately. Last week, when Mark went to pick him up, his teacher made an offhand comment about how Daniel just never smiles. It was like a blow in the gut for us because everyone who’s ever met the Dashbot knows that his defining feature is his smile. My father calls him “Smilin’ Daniel” because the kid just never stops.
But after she said that, I looked closer, and I realised that it takes him a long time after he gets home from nursery to actually show any happy emotion. He just seems worn out and tired and sad.
So this weekend, I wanted to bond with him again – show him that even though he is in daycare during the week, he is still the center of my whole world.
We spent lots of time cuddling together. I made it my mission to get down on the ground and play, crawling after him and making him squeal with delight. I practiced walking with him (he’s getting so close!) and ran all over the place carrying him in my arms so he would bounce and giggle excitedly. I cooed at him and sang him songs and tried to be “in the moment” as much as possible.
On Saturday, Mark took both boys out to Animal Kingdom to give me a chance to clean the house and get some writing done. The whole time they were gone, I missed them like crazy, and it made me even more determined to have some extra time together.
I let Daniel in our bedroom, which I never do, because it was freshly cleaned and re-arranged so that there is far less for him to get into. Now that he can’t hurt himself, I’m happy for him to wander around and open drawers. I’ve also taken to letting him crawl around on the bed on his own, figuring out how far he can go before he falls off. He’s getting SO good. I only had to rescue him once, and I caught him just before his face smashed the ground. Wahey! Progress!
On Sunday we met up with friends at Hollywood Studios to walk around and catch the Muppets in 3D. Dexter had an absolute ball, while Daniel just kind of took it in his stride. He’s still too little for Disney to hold much thrill.
But he still had fun watching the awesome Mulch, Sweat and Shears band play their set while mommy, daddy and Dexter boogied around the street.
And when we hit up the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground, he was ALL OVER IT. While Dexter was having fun sliding down the steep slide, Daniel was exploring his own rocky area and enjoying a bit of autonomy out of adult arms.
After a few hours at the park, we made our way home and relaxed a little while before Dexter went to bed and Mark had to do some work. I had an unexpected bonus few hours with Daniel all to myself. Instead of just playing on my phone and letting him do his thing, I decided to just go to bed early and watch a film and have a cuddle.
I put Stardust on our bedroom TV, and Daniel and I just had some fun. He wandered the bed, and I stopped him from throwing himself overboard. We cuddled under the covers, and I paused the movie a few times so I could gaze into his eyes while I nursed him closely.
Eventually, the boy was all tuckered out, and even though it was past midnight, and Mark hadn’t yet come to bed, I turned out the light and we went to sleep.
It was 4:30 before Mark eventually joined us, exhausted and with still more work to accomplish. Another hour went by before a bang on the door let us know that Dexter had joined the party, and I was suddenly completely at peace with Daniel in one arm, Dexter in the other and my loving husband just beyond.
This morning, when I took the kids to daycare, it was with a happy smile on my face, knowing that my kids were all right. And if Daniel isn’t smiling so much as school, he’s still okay. Because he is loved and cherished, and both of my boys are happy and content at home.