Sunday night, when it was approaching bedtime, Nick had a brainstorm. “Let’s switch places! I’ll be the Mom and you can be me.”
“Nick, you won’t last a day,” I said, looking up as I was getting Madeline ready for bed.
“I can do it a whole week. Can we do it? Can we?” he asked, getting more and more enchanted with the idea by the minute.
“Sure, no problem. You can finish what I need to do here. I just got your sister ready, but we need to change her sheets and the changing table cover tonight. Here’s the stuff. Have fun!” I left him alone and headed to my room to put a few things away.
I heard some struggling going on, and he came to find me a few minutes later. “Can you help me?” he asked.
I laughed. “Ahhh, it’s not so easy, is it?”
“I just can’t figure out how the sheet goes on the mattress.”
I helped him with it and away he went. Until five minutes later when he couldn’t figure out how to put the new cover on the changing table pad. I helped him with that, and then reminded him that she needed to get to bed, but needed to brush her teeth. No big deal, she’s a big fan of that.
He helped her wash up, read her a few stories, and tried to escape her room. She was having none of that. “Mom! Help, she won’t let me leave!”
“You’re fine. You’re the Mom!”
Thirty minutes later, he comes out and tells me that it’s hard being a Mom. You don’t say?!
I told him to wait until tomorrow (Monday morning), when he had to get himself ready for school, as well as her, pack his snacks, let the dog out, eat breakfast and do it all without being late for carpool. Insert one big fat eye roll here. The rest of the night, he delighted in turning off my light, telling me to go to bed, telling me to turn off my TV. Apparently I am quite bossy as the Mom.
As he was getting ready for school, Madeline woke up and I reminded him that he needed to tend to her too. He went in there and was a little exasperated that she was interrupting his get-ready-in-the-am routine. Now he knows why I have a make-up bag with deodorant in the car – I’m always last on the list!
He was eating breakfast and I asked him what was for dinner. I got a blank look in return.
“Well, you’re the Mom, right? I just want to know what you’re making for dinner.”
His eyes lit up. “Donuts! I want donuts for dinner!” Wonderful.
He quickly fell out of doing the Mom thing later when it involved more chores. Juggling. Multi-taking. Herding. You know. A regular day in the life. (And, of course, I wasn’t allowing him to have a Mom bedtime, so he didn’t think I was necessarily being completely fair. I wasn’t, but we gotta have some rules!)
So tonight I’m on the phone with The Neighbor Husband and he’s asking about cooking salmon. I mentioned that I missed having someone cook me dinner sometimes. And it’s the truth. Nick overheard me and when I hung up, he said I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen. He said he heard what I said on the phone and he was taking care of dinner. Gosh, I love that kid.
A little while later, he made me close my eyes and led me to the dining room where he had a plate for me and for his sister. He had rummaged around in the fridge and came up with macaroni and cheese, which he heated up by himself in the microwave, and applesauce with a side of goldfish. He even included my vitamins. A big glass of Diet Coke just the way I like it, full of ice and with a straw. He watched as I ate and wanted to know if it was hot enough. If it tasted good. If I wanted more. Truth be told, I can’t stand mac and cheese from the box, but as much as I dislike it, it was made with so much love, it could have been liver and onions and I would have inhaled it. Well, the theoretical liver and onions, of course, because I’m certain I would have balked at the real thing. I ate every last speck and watched with great pride as he cleared the table and helped Madeline with her food. What a sweetie.
I missed the shot with the full-on pout, but Madeline stomped off to her chair this afternoon, mad at something the babysitter wanted her to do. Or not do. She was just plain unhappy with her. The pout was too cute. Bottom lip completely stuck out and hand firmly planted on her hip as she made her way to the chair. Those teen years sure are going to be fun!