Friday, August 17, 2007

Same As It Ever Was

When I was pregnant with Connor, I spent a lot of time worrying that he would do nothing but cry and I wouldn't know how to comfort him. I had heard that somewhat-regular naps and feedings might give me a place to start guessing when the inevitable crying started, but I knew it was a pipe dream to think any of those things might occur with any type of regularity. At least I thought I knew. Then Connor "popped out of my belly" and handed me a schedule of how his days should go. Some days I was really happy to know exactly what was coming next, but some days I just wanted to do something that might take us out of the house during the pre-appointed nap time. I was no match for Connor's internal clock, however- he was going to sleep when it was time to sleep, or everyone within a five-mile radius would pay dearly for it. Many times I would provide a caretaker with a schedule for Connor's day, and they would smile indulgently and say something along the lines of "We've managed to not kill one yet," and I would shrug and walk away, not able to make them understand that it wasn't Connor I was worried about. He likes things to be the same. And God help you if they're not.

As he's gotten older, he's better able to go with the flow. It's easy for me to take some precautionary measures when moving outside his comfort zone, since at least I know what he is expecting to happen at any given moment- even if it doesn't. Don't get me wrong- his sense of sameness and routine hasn't weakened at all. It's just that he's old enough now to handle things in a different way. Instead of the teeth-gnashing and clothes-rending of days past, I am instead subjected to an endless stream of questions and comments about whatever it is that is different.

For example, Chloe barfed in the car yesterday and I had to remove and clean her car seat. When I picked Connor up from school, here's how that (and other) blows to normalcy were handled.

Mom, why are you picking me up? Where's dad? Where's Chloe?
(He was there when she puked! He knows where they are!)
Where is your car? Why are you parked down there? Why not across the street?
(I had run an errand on the way to his school, so I approached it from a different direction.)
Where is Chloe's car seat? Why did you have to take it out to clean it? Why didn't you leave it in here?
Why are we going this way? Are we going to the Alleys' house?
(This happened earlier in the week. He's still trying to process that it doesn't have to happen every day just because it happened once.)
Mom- if you turn there that's where the Alleys' house is!
(One thing about his attention to detail and love of routine- he is very good with directions. I'm sure he could get home from school without my help.)
Mom- we went straight yesterday right here!
(We did, and I actually would have been disappointed if he hadn't mentioned it.)

But that's just one car ride. Every day is like this, from morning to night:

Why are we having biscuits for breakfast? Yesterday we had cereal bars!
Daddy goes straight here, Mom! Why do you have to turn!?
I can't pee yet- it's only time to brush my teeth! Then I'll kiss Daddy, then I'll pee!
Mom- don't forget to hide under the covers! Don't forget to do what you do!

So consider this fair warning- anything you do or say in front of Connor, even once, is setting a precedent that will be referenced at any and all subsequent meetings. And if you offer to watch Connor, and I mention that he likes to eat chicken nuggets around 6:30 pm, well- just go ahead and fix them. You'll thank me later.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

All the complaining and questioning? He'll make somebody a good wife someday.