I had a talk with my son tonight as i was putting him to sleep. Normally, i am very edgy by the time it is his bedtime, and i think it makes my 4 year old son feel hurt and unwanted, thus more clingy.
But tonight, tormented with guilt for only spending 5 minutes of one on one time with him yesterday and none today, i offered to read him a story.
I admit, i’m not consistent with bedtime routines for my son, sometimes i bathe him, sometimes i sing a song, or read a story or just leave him on the couch watching tv until he dozes off.
Tonight i bathed him, he brushed his teeth, and i read him 2 new stories. I’ve been downloading pdf stories for him lately, and he enjoys them more than real books. I guess he is not like me in that aspect.
Anyway, after reading him the story,
He told me “i was so happy when you played with the blocks with me today, do you remember?”
I said “that was yesterday. And i only played with you for 5 minutes. Today i didn’t play with you at all“.
Wanting desperately to make him happy, though he seemed content enough cuddling with me, i asked him “why didn’t you want to play uno with me today or yesterday?”
He said “because i don’t like uno, or monopoly or snakes and ladders. I only play them with you because you like them”
My heart melted right then, and i said “what do you like to play with me?”
He said “i like to color with you and play with blocks”
I said “why didn’t you tell me? I want to know what you like so that i can make you happy”
Do you know what he answered? “i already know what you like. You like flowers, butterflies, the color purple, watching youtube videos, and reading”
Yep. That pretty much sums it up. I’ve been absorbed in a new novel for the past 2 days that i didn’t notice i wasn’t giving him much attention.
Anyway, i answered “and i know what you like. You like animals and dragons and dinosaurs and the color orange”
He said “yes”
I asked “do you like to read?”
He said “no”
Oh well, at least he likes to play educational games, which he did today instead of watching cartoons.
I asked my final question, the one that haunts me day and night “do you think im a good mom?”
He said “yes”
I said “why?”
He said “because inti habibi” (which is arabic for i love you)
I said “and i think you are the best son in the world”
He made my day.
All the exhaustion and guilt and exhasperation that comes with parenting.
It’s moments like these that make all my insecurities shrivel in comparison to the swelling of my heart.