There are those moments where I feel like a total stand-in in my life, like I’m just playing a part. I have this a lot of times when I’m doing “mom things”. For some reason, I still view myself as the 22 year old who doesn’t have kids and so when I find myself doing these “mom things” I can’t help but think to myself, “Who are you fooling?” Half the time I feel like people look at my like I am Finn’s babysitter, not his mama. I don’t know why I feel like this. Sometimes I have to play back memories and remind myself, “Holy shit, you are a mom.” Sometimes the tune is more like, “You are that mom” when I am doing something I said I would never do or never let my kid do. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. In fact, I love it more and more all the time, but it still feels unreal. It’s flown by so fast that sometimes I don’t have time to come to terms with not only whatever next stage my son is in, but with what stage I am in.
Today I felt like a legit mom. Like I was meant to be in this role and this day was mine. Ours. It was Finn and I’s day. And it was a great feeling. I went to school in the morning (was 4 minutes late and my professor wouldn’t let me take the quiz… which was a bummer but I got over it fast) and then rushed over to the rec center where my son takes a music class on Thursdays so that I could be there for the last 20 minutes of it. It’s a parent-tot class. I snuck a few pictures of him singing in Grandma’s lap and throwing scarves in the air before I went in and switched places with my mom. He was so glad to see me and gave me the biggest hug. He sat on my lap and we sang songs for the next 15 minutes until his class ended. I hate that I can’t be there for his preschool class Monday through Wednesday, but I am grateful that I get to at least make it to the end of his music class on Thursdays.
After class we played on the playground for a few minutes. He loves parks and playgrounds. And there’s one right outside the rec center, of course, which means that he doesn’t want to go to music class, and he can’t wait to get out, all because of that dang distraction going in! I usually have a hard time getting him to leave the playground; we leave kicking and screaming with him in my arms 1 out of 3 times. But today, I told him we were going to the “chefraunt” (his word for restaurant which I don’t correct because it’s adorable) for lunch. He happily walked to the car with me, thankfully, giving my back a break.
We went to this cute little taco place in our small downtown with some friends (old co-workers) of mine. Finn was awesome. He was perfect. Not a complaint out of him. He sat there the whole time happily eating his fruit, the orange slices that us girls gave him out of our tea, and coloring on the recycled kids menu (from the last kid which meant NO tic-tac-toe was happening), and of course didn’t eat a bite of his cheese crisp. He wanted to hold my hand the whole time and of course my friend reminded me to cherish this moment. He got his first (temporary) tattoo and was so proud of it. Both my friends loved him and couldn’t believe how well behaved he was. He may become a regular at our weekly lunch date!
That was a huge validation for me. That he behaves well in public and that I was recognized for it. For me, it means that I’m doing something right. My kid is really, really, awesome. He’s likable. I swear, getting a compliment on your child is huge. I spend so much time doubting and punishing myself over the littlest things when it comes to parenting, that a small compliment like, “your kid is awesome” goes such a long way. It’s also incredibly assuring that I’m not the only one who sees it. ;)
We both walked back to the car with our heads held high. So high, that I wanted to keep this momentum going. I think I have shared here before that I don’t take Finn alone to places a whole lot. I don’t think I took him alone anywhere until after he was 1. With my back and health, it just didn’t happen very often and because of that, I’m sort of stunted in that department. I get such anxiety about doing it. I think of all my mom friends as superheroes because they do it all the time – some with two kids, which is completely unfathomable to me. So, anytime I can do it, I feel accomplished.
We decided to go to the library and exchange our books (I will talk more about this later). Now, the last 2 times that we went to the library it did not end well. The first time was with Dan and the second was with my mom. Both times he had to be taken out kicking and screaming. So, I was really taking a chance with this. We got to the library and Finn got to feed the books to the return-machine which he thought was cool. We stopped at the giant dollhouse that he just loves to stare at. I was alone so I couldn’t leave him there while I went and looked at books, so after a few minutes I finally coaxed him to the children’s section where he could play with blocks and I could pick out our books. It went amazing. I got his favorite train book that he keeps wanting to check out and some favorites like Skippyjon Jones and How Do Dinosaurs _______, and many others that caught my eye. Finn happily played. We’re still trying to figure out how to get him interested in picking out his own books, but at this point, I’m just happy that he’s in a library. I packed up our books and then winced when I told him it was time to go, waiting for his reaction. Amazingly, he went. Just like that! We came up to the dollhouse again and I sort of panicked about how this would be the time I wouldn’t get him to leave. I left him to the dollhouse while I ran about 20 feet away to check out the books and when I got back I told him it was time to go and again, he went willingly. He really spoiled me today. He must have known I was alone and feeling anxiety and he wanted to help mama out.
It was overall a really wonderful day. I loved going around to all of the different places with him. I felt like a mom. A good mom. And we had a good day together and I’ll never forget it.