Monday, January 18, 2010

Just the two of us

Jeremy went to Puerto Rico on Thursday for his brother's wedding and he took Magdalena with him. They get back today, which means I was absent from my youngest child for four nights and almost five days. That's kind of a big deal, considering the previous record for longest kid separation was from Miriam, for 24 hours, one time, almost two years ago. I really couldn't tell you the longest I've ever been apart from Magdalena - four hours, maybe? So the last few days have been an adjustment.

But not altogether an unwelcome one. I don't mean this to be an indictment of Magdalena and the everyday tasks she complicates, but maybe it kind of is. Miriam and I had a really special extended weekend in which we:

-played Candyland without having to put up barriers so Magdalena couldn't come and destroy the stack of cards, or swat at our gamepieces. This was pure heaven for Miriam.

-cooked together, without worrying about Magdalena climbing up on the stool behind Miriam and burning herself on the stove.

-cleaned the house (well, that was mostly me), AND IT STAYED CLEAN. You know, because there was no tiny person in residence to strew things about the house at random. Other highlights included the part where I got to scrub the toilet without a "helper" dipping her hands in the bowl as well as the part where I vacuumed without having to maneuver around a toddler who always manages to sit herself down and camp in that one spot I really need to get to.

-went to Wegman's to eat a slice of pizza and a special frosted sugar cookie at their cafe, AND sat upstairs, AND sat at one of those tall tables. Those last two are pretty much impossible when Magdalena is with us.

-went to the library and read as many books as Miriam wanted, and I didn't have to take frequent breaks to chase a one-year-old through the stacks. Also on our special library trip, on the way back to the parking garage, we took the stairs instead of the elevator because we didn't have Magdalena - and thus the stroller - with us. This was Miriam's suggestion, which shows that she was really getting the hang of this "just Mom and me" stuff.

It was so great to just reconnect with Miriam. It really made me realize how much my interactions with her are colored by Magdalena, and I mean that in both a negative and a positive way. I realized that Miriam often (like, really often) suffers from the impatience I am experiencing because of her little sister. I feel bad about that. It's not fair to her.

But I also realized that Magdalena cheers and enlivens our days. Even when Miriam and I were having fun interacting, just the two of us, it almost felt like we were moping around and being too serious because the background squawks and pitter-patter of tiny, busy, mischievous feet was missing.

I knew we were really missing Magdalena, first of all when Miriam set aside the gumdrop from the top of her special frosted sugar cookie for Magdalena, "for when she gets back," and second of all when I found myself going into her room once in a while to just gaze at the empty crib.

So even though it means no more sitting upstairs at the tall tables at Wegman's, I'll be glad to have my littlest girl back.


B-Rad said...

I served my mission Puerto Rico. I'll have to ask Jeremy what he thought about the place. Good for him to take care of Magdalena all by himself.

Aimee said...

Wow, I am so impressed that your husband took Magdalena to Puerto Rico! I don't think I can foresee a day when my husband voluntarily takes our little one away for five days. Maybe if we add another I can see him taking Jameson. I am glad you had fun and got to reconnect with Miriam. I can imagine the bond between you two is a special one!

Bridget said...

Aimee, it is impressive. We just figured that since Magdalena doesn't need a plane ticket yet, and since his whole family would be on hand in PR to help him take care of her, why not take her? I always get "stuck" with the kids here while he goes out of town. So this was a really fun break for me.

The Ensign's said...

I agree it's nice to miss your kids every now and then.

Trina said...

If it was because Magdalena was free or not. Still very impressive. That age is not easy or very fun to be on a plane with. As much as they HELP with everything at home, they really make travel fun! What a fun was to spend time with Miriam! Pretty sure that both of my kids are about to be a little abandoned in a couple months. Hopefully we'll be able to figure out a way to give them each some one-on-on time.

Jeanerbee said...

We're trying to do a once monthly alone day with Eli, alternating which parent gets to go out with him for much the same realizations that you had about how little brother influences our relationship with him - both good and bad, and it's just nice to reconnect with him alone. That is seriously amazing that Jeremy took a one year old with him for five days though! How did she do?

Liz Johnson said...

That's fantastic. I'm so glad that you got that break, and that Jeremy got some one-on-one time with Magdalena. Every time I get some alone time with one of my kids, I'm amazed at how much more I enjoy them and actually do quality things, rather than just attempting to control the chaos. Very nice, indeed. :)

Alli E. said...

Completely understood!! Especially the barriers so we can play games!! And especially that our little one brightens our day, too!!

Alli E. said...

I mean cheers and enlivens! You know what I mean!!

Eevi said...

Few weeks ago, I made a comment to Troy about how boring life would feel without Saku. Yet, it is so nice to have few hours to ourselves every now and then.
I love how lively Magdalena is.

Kat Clark said...

This was a sweet post. I totally know what you mean about getting to reconnect with the older child. It must have been a nice break. And how lucky are you that your husband even took the little one? What a great man!

Kristen said...

How awesome! A mixed review for the "should I have another kid?" question. :)


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