Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Life With Just One Kid

Nutmeg is on vacation in Wisconsin, again. Quite the jet setter, that kid. That means I'm getting a reminder of what it was like to stay home all day with just a toddler.

What was it like? Well, relaxing but a little boring at times. Mostly, it's nice to be totally in charge without having to argue my case or fight emotional battles: If I want to go to CVS, or, as today, spend a couple hours at Target, I just do it. I don't have to convince anyone to get their shoes on or that they can finish their art project later.

The nice things: More bandwidth to notice Pebbles, who has been a tad more verbal and seems to be relishing the extra attention. Today when she returned my smack on the mouth, and then grinned right up at me, I realized that she is enjoying a vacation from Nutmeg herself. Oh, and I don't have to tell you that at naptime, being all alone to work is better than trying to work with a whiny afternoon preschooler mooning around.

But the not-nice thing is that there is no one to talk to me all day. I talk to Pebbles, of course, but that's only a small step up from talking to one's dog. That may sound harsh, but come on, I talk, and mostly she has no idea what I'm talking about and does not respond. Just like talking to a dog.

I miss sharing experiences with Nutmeg. I see something funny, I point it out to her and we both laugh.

But oh, the freedom of parenting just a baby! Today, I found myself at loose ends on a nearby shopping/dining street with Pebbles sound asleep in her stroller. I hit the children's boutique and scored some bargain gifts in total serenity. Then I went to an ice cream parlor, bought myself an expensive root beer float, and read the book I supposed to be reviewing. OK, I read it for about 2 minutes before Pebbles woke up and demanded to share my float.

But for a moment there, I remembered when being a stay-at-home mom was ... relaxing! When the hours passed slowly.

Do I wish I had only had one? Ha! As my Grandma used to say to her five kids, which one of you should I NOT have had?

I never imagined how distinctly I could love two little people fished out of the same gene pool. I could not live without my Nutmeg nor my Pebbles for more than a week. And you can't make me!

p.s., I have a strange old man anecdote: Today at the gym an old man wearing a string tie asked me, "Do you want to come into my house?" When I looked up from my book, I saw he was holding a cardboard house, birdhouse size, quite intricate with several red roofs. Later today, I saw the same guy in another part of town, and he tried to talk to me again. He was still holding the house.


Bert said...

Sweet, loving story about the kids. And that man with the birdhouse sounds like a good-guy spirit from some movie or something. How cool!

Carrie said...

Hmm, perhaps. It's kinda creepy to have someone that old ogling you though, and ogling he was.