“Mommy, I was happier before.” said Kai a propos of absolutely nothing. He does this a lot – starts a thought in his head and then starts talking to be about it as if I were there from the beginning. I know developmentally he’s processing that we are two separate people, that Mommy is not just an extension of Kai, and that he’s at the end of that – where he gets it, but it makes him a bit anxious…and still, I think he thinks I can read his mind.
Well, sometimes I can.
“You mean before when I wasn’t working?” I intuited.
“Yeah…” he sighed.
“But you’re at school all day,” I said, “and I’m home to get you off the bus every single day. We spend the same amount of time together if I were working or not.”
I saw him working that out in his head…and I also know that its not entirely a true statement. Yes, hours of the day, we’re together the same…but I’m not *with* him in this hours as I used to be. I used to do all my “me” stuff when he was at preschool. All day preschool. Then, I’d get the kids off the bus and I’d be in kid-time. Kid Zoned.
Now, I get home from work, I get kids off the bus…and I’m a bit more frazzled. A bit less present.
Kai’s no dummy.
“I wish you were home ALL DAY.” he finally says.
“I don’t,” I tell him, “I’m happier working. I like working. It’s really interesting work, like how you learn stuff at school. But, how about we try to do more together after school, sound good?”
“Okay…” he said skeptically.
I’m trying. I blocked out 4pm-6pm in RED on my Google Calendar. It says FOCUS ON KIDS. I can’t put anything else in there. Our laundry situation is a bit dire, but I’m trying to ignore that and just be with Kai. Soon enough he won’t want me there, present with him, he’ll have homework or practice or just want to be on his computer ignoring me. I’ll do laundry then.