Keeping cookies firmly in the Treat category, as well as holding nearly every other boundary, routine, and rule in place, is the rain on my parade and our salvation. Albeit enticing to imagine the untamed scene, the energy ends with the inevitable imagined horror.
We darned our threadbare bond, no longer living love interrupted, and did it with routine and hope. They don’t need to know this is another time to “get through”, so we’re “getting through” by keeping the status quo. The same way we got through the abuse, the escape, and the restart: healthy meals, naptime, together and independent play, inside and outside time, storytimes, bathtime and teeth brushing, and bedtime and “10 minutes to lights out!” And Mommy still sleeps when baby sleeps for at least one naptime each weekend.
There is still no hitting, pushing, pinching, or biting allowed. No means no. Listening ears are to remain on. Fence climbing is forbidden. A veggie must be consumed to qualify for the after-dinner Oreo. One veggie. One. oh! the inhumanity. We don’t jump on beds, stand up in the bathtub, or run naked out the front door. I’ve heard running through the neighborhood naked is not appreciated, so I’ve tried to avoid it. (Good luck with a 2-year-old boy!)
We have had many more sleepovers in Mommy’s bed. They’ve slept until I’ve dressed them many mornings, going groggy to the car. One night they had chips before dinner. We’ve watched an extra episode of Peep before going to bed, played in puddles, and magically made puney, wild backyard strawberries into plump, juicy giants.
I bet it would have been fun to jump on my bed together, holding hands, and singing Ring Around the Rosy, but we settled for giggles and snuggles on Saturday and Sunday mornings. And, that was no sacrifice. I bet it would have been fun to dance in the shower, but we settled for singing Under the Sea. And, that was no sacrifice (and a totally safer option indeed). I bet both would have loved me forever if I served dessert for dinner.
But to destructure our days would have been devastating. They are young and I am fragile. We must hang on to what we know, and what we know is that although tomorrow is unknown it is known tomorrow will include meals around a table, playtime and naptime and playtime, and storytime and bedtime. And maybe magic.