Monday, December 10, 2007


I am a mother. I feel more like a mother lately. When Andrew was first born he often seemed like a toy I would play with and dress up and bathe. It felt a little like acting. Or playing house. Pretending. The feeling of motherhood is more and more real now. It might be because I have two to think of. Or maybe since Andrew is older my care for him is not only smearing him with baby-scented lotion after a bath, but also disciplining him for being naughty. He is more involved in my mothering now. He is no longer in a passive role, to be mothered on, but rather an active one, to be taught.

I made an advent calendar for him this year and each day we put up a new number. But first, he counts through the numbers that are already up. The numbers hang left to right in sets of 5. So he counts the first five, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and then on the next row, he reads them backwards: 9, 8, 7, 6. I love that we are working on this together. That I can see how we affect each other through this kind of thing.

Also, this Christmas season is making me feel very motherly. I am making sure that there is lots for him to take in. This weekend we took him to see the crazy Christmas lights in the adjoining neighborhood. Saturday he wanted to carry the Christmas tree back from the store. And then he had all kinds of ideas for decorating the tree.

So this morning I had big plans to make cookies together. He usually loves watching, helping or at least licking the beaters, but this morning he wanted to play with his trains instead. So he played trains while I baked. And then the unexpected happened. The thing you hear about, worry will happen to you, but you never really think it will.

Our bell rang. It was the UPS man, but when I buzzed to let him in, he wasn't there. I went down the stairs to catch him and saw him getting in his truck across the street. I thought I could wave him down so I stepped out into the breezeway and the door closed and locked behind me. I had locked myself out and Andrew in.

I ran into the store under our apartment and told them what happened. She called the landlord and he arrived within minutes. I will never complain about our landlord again. While I waited for him, I was standing at the locked door, ringing the bell, calling for Andrew, trying to get him to come into the hallway where I could see him. I just wanted to see that he was okay. But he wouln't come out.

They unlocked the door and I bolted upstairs. He had closed himself in his room and was playing trains. I'm not sure if he knew something was up and was comforting himself, or if he was oblivious to anything being wrong. But he was fine and I was shaken.

Then there is always the time after the scary event. What are you suppose to do? I wasn't finished with my cookies, but I sort of wanted to hang out with Andrew. So, we read books. More to settle me than anything.

I am so greatful to our neighbors and our landlord for helping me out.

Just when I thought I was getting the hang of this mothering thing, something always happens to get my attention.

Oh, and I didn't even need to chase the UPS man. He had left our package at the door.
Go figure.


thedanceofthegates said...

Once my niece locked herself in the bathroom while my mom was watching her. They held fingers under the doorway until somebody could come to help.

Isn't it interesting -- the contrast between the control we have in mothering (such as teaching and exposing our children to certain things) versus the lack of control?

Robyn said...

yup. interesting. But, also a tad frustrating! ;) Good point though. a funny dynamic.

Ms. Walker said...

oh, my gosh...scary...and really, really good that your landlord arrived soo quickly!

Tara said...

My parents drove separate cars to a church function one night when I was 3 or 4, and as usual, we were the last ones to leave the church. They both drove off thinking that the other one had me while I was in the big, dark church all by my lonesome. Real nice. I don't remember it, but I'm sure it was so traumatic that I had to block it out of my memory. It's fun to have stories to hold against our parents. Andrew will enjoy hearing this one someday. Love, TARA