Fridays used to provide many frustrating moments as a parent. I would say from the start of school, a new school, this year through about February, I dreaded Fridays. Most people look forward to Fridays. They symbolize the end of the work week and the potential for rest, but I would wake up and think, ‘Oh dear stars, it’s Friday…again.’
The end of the work week also meant the end of the school week, and this would turn my child into a puddle of crying cooked noodles at the thought of getting any part of the normal morning routine accomplished. Just at the thought!
For six months, I got up early and got ready before I had to get Little Guy up. I had realistic expectations which included knowing that I would have to select an outfit for my child, help him get dressed, brush his teeth for him and damn near feed him breakfast. Fortunately, he insists on feeding himself.
Not too long ago, things changed. Fridays now seem like a normal day where Little Guy gets ready on his own. He doesn’t collapse to the floor when I ask for him to put his coat on and the little bugger even gets dressed on his own. He’s even made me breakfast a couple times and politely waited for me at the table until I sat down and had my napkin on my lap.
The last two Fridays have gotten even better. When I have come downstairs to make breakfast, Little Guy has put away the rack of clean dishes, among other things that contribute to the household, such as opening the blinds. I didn’t ask him to. He did it on his own. He thought it up on his own that he can do a few things around the house to help out. I used to beg for this. I used to cry for help, beyond exhaustion and feeling over-overwhelmed at taking care of our basic needs to keep the house going during the few hours I spent awake and at home.
Last Friday, I cried tears of joy with a bit of wistfulness. I felt wistful because my baby’s not my baby anymore. He’s getting so big so fast and that provides me joy. I feel joy that a little part of him understands that he is part of the household and that I appreciate his help and the ways he has found to go above and beyond my usual expectations. He does his own laundry and puts it away. He cleans his own bathroom with little assistance.
I rewarded him last week with a hug, many thanks, and fifty cents. He deserved it. In addition to putting away clean dishes, he had made his bed that day, too and gotten his bag ready for his planned evening activities. We didn’t fight. He didn’t cry. We smiled and left the house on time. Fantastic!