Fridays are Rory’s day at home.
We cook our lunch together (Rory LOVES cooking), eat together side by side at our island breakfast bar (“It’s nice sitting together like this, Mama”), and he asks me questions. Lots of questions.
He’s at such a lovely age. An age where he’s truly learnt how to express himself with language, how to be descriptive in order to describe or explain something to me exactly as he intends it. An age where I get a great insight into his thoughts. “Can you tell me how people are made?” “Why can’t I have blue blood?” “I want to see a picture of the tubes that make poo WITH the poo coming out” – THAT was an interesting google search.
Sam truthfully pointed out to me that what with our four months of nomadic living-between-families lifestyle whilst our building work was going on, then straight afterwards having a baby, suddenly half a year has flown by. And that’s half a year of quality Rory time we’ve sort of skipped. When Arlo was the same age, we had nothing going on. No preschool yet, no house moves, no big plans. Just me and him together, day after day. I know that changes naturally as you have more children, but it does feel like we’ve missed out on a bit of Rory during what has been a very busy year. And he’s changed so much during that time.
He’s at an age where he really bloody loves me. He asks for cuddles, he frequently proclaims his love for me in his sweet high little voice that still hints of his babyhood. At pick up time from preschool, I watch his little bouncing form as he does a happy dance all the way to the door – he loves me so much he cannot hide how excited he is to be reunited. It is a great age. A really great age. And without even really thinking about it, I’ve tipped the balance so he’s spending MORE time away from me.
I’m applying for schools for Rory this year. He will start in September. School! Already! It’s come around so much faster than it did with Arlo (partly an Oct baby VS Summer baby thing). And I know once he starts school, I will lose him a bit.
You don’t lose them exactly, but you lose the freedom of time with them. From September, for the duration of his school ‘career’, I won’t have him during weekday day times anymore. Like with Arlo, our time will become limited to weekends and school holidays. And no one-on-one time together.
Just the thought of that makes me a bit tearful, because it really does mark the end of their babyhood. The end of those simple days where you hang out doing not very much at all or just have a chat whilst walking in the park. Simple days, enjoying their newly acquired conversation and learning about who they are. He’ll be an actual MAN once he finishes full time education. There is, literally, no getting these days back.
At the beginning of the school year, I eagerly signed Rory up for four preschool sessions a week, five hours a day. I guess I had my ‘work’ head on and was thinking I could use all the time I can get, but that’s not really happening during preschool hours now that the baby is getting more wakeful, and by the time he’s mobile, work time during the day will be practically non-existent.
We’re past the stage where I craved one-on-one time with my newborn. That time was lovely, slow and peaceful. But now I’m filled with the urge to cram in every day, every second, with my preschooler before school claims him. You only get to do this once, and I am so so lucky that my job allows me to be at home with them.
On Fridays, Rory gets my conversation uninterrupted. Fridays are lovely, easy, simple. On Fridays, we learn about each other. When I look back, I know that it will be THESE days that I wish I could go back to.
And so, I’m taking back our fourth day at preschool. I’m taking back my time with my son and giving us more Fridays.