My son is four years and six months old now and conversations with him are changing. He is busting out gems left and right and in some way, I can almost have some adult conversations with him. Tonight he watched his favorite movie these days: “How to train your dragon”. I know the entire movie by heart at this point so I picked up a book to read a bit while cuddling with him. Out of a sudden, he asked me, “Mommy, what are you reading?” I told him and he had a bunch of questions which was weird and cute at the same time. He is at such a funny age now, curious, speaks three languages fluently, wise at points so I can learn from him, but then he turns around and wants to fly out of the window like Toothless, the dragon in his movie.
When we walked to school the other morning, I was reciting certain terms from my anatomy final exam and explained to him why the heart makes the lub/dup sound. He turned to me and said, “I kind of like learning new things more than I like knowing things, mommy. We learn about the heart at school, too.” Joel’s humor is also developing in some witty way. The other day I asked him, “Joel, what is going on over there? With all that noise?” He answered, “Oh, nothing really, just a headless dragon that I tamed because he was trapped in an erupting volcano.”
It is getting warmer in Ottawa so we went to the playground. Joel saw a friend from school and asked how long he can play with him. I told him, “Mommy brought a book so you can play at least for two hours.” He looked at me, smiled, nodded and ran off. Five minutes later he came back and asked me, “Mommy, what are hours?”
Joel: “Life throws a lot at us.” Me: “Yeah, wow, that’s deep and so true, my love.” Joel: (pause and thinking) “Yeah, like meteors, hot lava, space junk and garbage from the garbage truck.”
Although we can drive each other crazy at points, this bond Joel and I have makes my heart melt sometimes. The other day I had a slight meltdown because this final exam was on my mind for days. I got Joel ready for bed, read him a story and we cuddled a bit in my bed. I told him that I have to study some more and he said, “Mommy, you will do fine, don’t worry. You are smart.” [I passed the exam btw!]
The other day I saw my neighbor who just had a baby on Monday. She is exhausted, red eyes, no sleep for days and she asked me if this shit is getting better eventually. I told her that only the exhaustion level slightly changes. My son can be sweet but he can also fry my brain. Especially, when I have deadlines, appointments and things that need to get done it may happen that I am dealing with decision fatigue and just say yes to pretty much everything just to keep him calm. [A little update: I have been accepted to the Ph.D. program at Carleton University; have two possible job opportunities, will self-publish my book pretty soon and have an interview here to see if I can supply innovative help with holistic nutrition/depression/suicide/linguistics/police to eventually decrease aboriginal (youth) suicide rates in Canada].
With all this going on, solo-parenting my child and him never ever stop talking, I decided to write down every single question this kid had during one single day even though this turned out to be completely intractable. The list does not include requests like “can you wipe my butt, mommy” or “I peed in my bed and now everything is wet so I need new clothes” to “My belly was sick, all the food came out so I need new clothes”. Here is the result. It is just insane what a mom has to go through. Parenting is no joke. This is the conversation from last Wednesday:
Can I have the iPad?
Can I have nail polish, too?
Can I have a muffin and a banana for breakfast?
Can you make me waffles for school?
Can I have a Kinderriegel in my lunchbox?
Can I take this toy to school?
Can I mix almond milk and apple juice?
Can I have a bite of your apple?
Can I play a bit?
Can you turn on the song Low Rider?
Can I listen to “Science”? (Sure!)
Can you help me count my money? (Why is he playing with change?)
Can I have chocolate chips or Nutella on my waffles?
Can I mix it?
Can I eat baking powder?
Can I mix it now? Is it my turn?
Can I watch “How to train my dragon 1 or 2 now?”
Can I watch Paw Patrol now?
Can I have chocolate?
Can I bring Mrs. Sweetman a waffle? (Enough with the damn WAFFLES!)
Can we play Lego?
Can we play Paw Patrol, Dragons, hide and seek?
Can we build a cave?
Can I have pasta and salmon/meat sauce for lunch/supper?
Can we go for Pho?
Can we go for Sushi?
Can we paint afterward?
Can I look at your book?
Mommy, are you writing your book?
Can we go to the bookstore? (ANYTIME!!!!, he knows me too well)
Tell me who makes you so happy when you text/talk on the phone! 😀
Can we call Oma and Opa in Germany?
Can we meet Judith and Keith? (Oma and Opa in Canada)
What time is lunch?
What is time?
Can I text your friend who makes you happy? What are emojis?
Can we go running together? (He is on his bike and I run next to him trying to work out)
Can I watch Dr. Seuss on your phone? (Out with my friend Judith for ice cream)
Can I have chocolate ice cream for lunch?
Can I have apple juice?
Can I do a magic trick for you?
Can I take my bow and arrow/slingshot/stick on the walk?
Can we go to Cabelas?
Can I wear your coat?
Can I come to your school? Where are my mittens?
Can I put my mittens in your purse? And my hat? And my scarf?
Do you have anything to drink/eat? (While at the bookstore or anywhere really)
Can I have my mittens back?
Can you hold my bow and arrow?
Can you hand me my boots?
Can you button my sweater?
Can you help me with my shoelaces?
Can I have french fries for supper?
Can we play after supper?
Can I leave the table? (this one is actually cool)
May I be excused? (and so is this one!)
Are you done with your food, mommy?
Why do you like salad so much?
Why is pepper so spicy?
Can I sleep in my jeans?
Can I take my books to bed because I still have to study?
Do I have to go to bed NOW?
Just ONE MORE EPISODE, then bed!
Can you read something to me?
One more chapter?
Can I show you my artwork?
Do I have to sleep now?
Do I have to go to school tomorrow?
Can I cuddle with you tomorrow?
Can I keep my lights on?
Can I listen to Benjamin Blümchen?
What are we going to do tomorrow, mommy?