Yeah, so, getting everyone ready in the morning is a massive undertaking. Even when David is home, it involves planning to make sure everyone has the time they need to get ready.
When David is traveling, and it’s just me and The Boy, the planning becomes even more important. The problem is The Boy isn’t really into planning.
David travels for work every few months. During this time, Calvin and I have kinda worked out a little routine. I shower the night before. I wake up and walk the dog in the backyard before Calvin wakes up. Then I get Calvin ready, and then I get ready. I stand in the bathroom and do all things I need to do to make myself presentable to society, while Calvin plays with cars or trains down by my feet.
It was business as usual this morning. I took the dog out back. I got Calvin ready and then I started my process. Then The Boy walked into the bathroom holding a book. (The Boy is obsessed with reading right now.) He tried to hand it to me, but I was putting on makeup so I didn’t take it.
“I see you’ve got your book,” I said. “But I can’t right now.”
When I didn’t take the book, he sat down and started crying. I instantly realized I was being a huge asshole and an awful parent. I just made him feel like I don’t have time for him. It reminded me of those old Church of Latter Day Saints ads that used to be on TV all the time during cartoons in the 70s. Do you know these? Probably the most famous one involves a kid who breaks a window and then confesses. The ads were all about telling the truth and being a good parent — you know, shit like that. There was an ad in which a kid runs into the house and says, “Mom! Dad! I got straight A’s,” and the parents snap, “Don’t slam the door.” (My smart friend Malaika found it online for me.) That was me this morning. This adorable little creature wants me to read to him, and I’m acting like getting ready for work is more important.
I was so ashamed of myself. That’s not the parent I want to be. I immediately stopped what I was doing and sat down next to Calvin.
“I’m sorry, Calvin. I always have time for you,” I said. “Let’s read.”
I started reading “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus” right there on the bathroom floor, and he was all smiles. When I finished the book, he took my hand and led me into his room, and we read a few more books.
Sure, I was late to work, but you know what? Work is just work. Calvin is my life, and I will never make him feel like I’ve got something more important to do than spend time with him. Valuable parenting lesson learned.
And now, here’s some cute Calvin photos for you.