Before I put the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway this morning, I turned around and asked the boys, "Are Mondays a little harder than every other day for us?"
Bug said, "Yeah."
Indeed they are.
Somewhere between trying to get little teeth brushed and socks on little feet, Squish fell over and bumped his face with his "guitar" (i.e., ukulele).
Yes, a ukulele. Just to keep things nice and simple in the morning, what you really want is a ukulele in the bathroom while you try brushing your toddler's teeth and putting his socks on. Everyone should try it.
When Squish fell and bumped his face, he started to cry - as anyone would. Soon enough I was on the floor of the bathroom holding him, kissing his wet cheeks, saying I was sorry he bumped his face, and yeah, crying a little.
We sat like that for a few minutes. Squish in my lap, with his pudgy little toddler feet curled in like baby feet, both of us feeling overwhelmed.
Eventually the morning regained its momentum. I got dressed. Bug got his jacket and shoes on.
I called Squish to get his jacket and shoes on.
I packed bags for school and work. I turned off lights.
I called Squish to come to the back door.
Squish insisted on playing with a train in the living room.
I told Bug he could unlock and open the back door.
I called for Squish to come get his jacket and shoes on.
Squish ignored me and played with his train.
Thinking Squish would follow us as we walked out of the apartment, I walked Bug onto the back porch. I set the school and work bags down.
I looked at Bug and said, "Stay on the back porch for a second while I pick up [Squish] to carry him out. [Bug], do you hear me? Promise to stand right where you are until I come back."
Bug, my four-and-a-half-year-old, all elbows and knees, hair flopping into his eyes, precocious creature, agreed.
I walked the thirty-five feet to get Squish, picked him up, carried him the thirty-five feet to the back door, locked the door on my way out, and looked down for Bug on the porch.
The porch was empty.
The part of the driveway I could see was empty.
One more time before I freak the eff out, "[BUG]!"
He came around the corner and looked up as if to say, "Momma? I am right here. Don't worry! You look worried. But I'm right here! I know I didn't follow directions. Okay. So I didn't follow directions. You look really upset, but I am right here."
He walked up the five steps of the back porch, and I looked down at him. I said something about having made a mistake asking him to stay on the porch and needing him to follow directions.
As I put Bug and Squish in the car, Bug recognized my silence as a sign of trouble. He said, "But Momma I didn't get hurt."
I said, "[Bug], my heart stops when I don't know where you are. My heart stops beating. That cannot happen again."
I started the car, and we sat quietly while it warmed up. I asked if Mondays are especially hard, and Bug confirmed that, yes, yes, they are really hard for this little family.
The good news is tomorrow's Tuesday.