These days I'm learning a lot about the concept of quality time vs. quantity time. I've had to work a lot this month to cover for a coworker who took a family leave. I'm very happy she'll be back next week, but the meantime has been rough. I've been working closing shifts, which means getting off work just 1 hour before I would normally put the Monkey to sleep. Then there's the business of actually getting home, which can be a craps shoot (obviously I always get there, it's just a question of when).
Anyway, since I still like to share a meal with my son and give him a bath most nights, he does end up staying up a little later than usual, but it's to me a woefully brief time period in which to catch up, play with, and generally enjoy the presence of my boy.
One ritual we've taken to is spending time in our room before lights out, just him and me snuggling, playing, and reading on my bed. This 20-minute to hour-long period is by far the best part of most of my days. It's when I get to hear all the new words he's picking up (and man they are coming on fast!), and be party to the cheeky little games he likes to play (like indicating he wants me to go to sleep only to shake me the moment I start fake snoring and then laugh hysterically at his having "woken me up").
I trip out on how quickly he's growing and learning. He loves to sing, and he's adding new song all the time to his little repertoire. Tonight we practiced singing "Happy Birthday" for his friend Sureya's party this coming Sunday. Not only does he have a good memory for words (even if his little mushmouth doesn't always pronounce them so well), I'm amazed at his ear for the melody...and for a little guy I think his pitch is pretty impressive.
After read and sing time tonight, we were just kind of lounging when I decided the light was perfect for
Today's New Activity: Introduction to Shadow Buddies
I was pretty surprised by Monkey's gleeful reaction to his new friend on the wall, especially when I made it talk. He kept looking back and forth between my hand and my shadow on the wall, and it's just fascinating watching his mind try to puzzle it out. Before long he was approaching the shadow and holding his own tiny hands up, moving them around and saying "hi" in a voice of absolute splendor.
I don't remember even being big into make believe as a child. I would have liked to have been, but I just didn't have the imagination for it. When I see my son, still at the developmental stage where simple tricks, well, trick him, my hope is that he holds onto a sense of magic and make believe for a very long time. He will have years and years of reality checks to contend with and process, but I hope his childhood progresses in such a way that he can remain carefree as long as possible. I hope he isn't the worrier I was as a child. I hope he doesn't think about grownup things. I hope I can shield him from anything that would make worry about my own well-being, or that of any other adult in his life (I've seen children who are clearly tapped into the emotions of their parents, trying to mitigate them from a young age...it's a sad and disturbing sight).
When my son goes to bed at night, my hope is that he is exhausted from his day of play and that his mind is aglow with pure possibility and pretend, that feels secure and happy, and that every night, as he drifts off to sleep, he knows that I love him more than anything else in the world.