Every morning - after surviving Morning Chaos, and after we drop oldest off at before school care - my 3 year old and I share a precious 15 minutes of alone time as we drive to daycare. And it is one of my favourite parts of the day.
Like most parents I love spending time alone with my kids on their own. They turn into different people when their sibling isn’t around…it’s not that they necessarily behave better or worse…just different.
Oldest tends to talk about herself more…telling me about her friends and her day a lot more freely than she does when her younger sister is around. I get the sense that she knows she will just be interrupted when youngest is around so doesn’t even bother.
|She is obsessed with the lines her clothes leave on her skin...|
And youngest is much calmer when on her own. Like she knows she doesn’t have to compete for my attention so can dial down the toddler attitude and just be.
|I love that smile...|
On these morning drives we talk about the day ahead:
“Am I on the toddler side or the 3-5 side today Mama?” Luckily she is usually happy with whatever the answer is.
“What am I having for breakfast/lunch/dinner today Mama?”
Or we talk about things she sees out the window:
“Look at that yellow digger Mama…that’s a big one.”
“Where are all these people going Mama? Do they all go to your work?”
“Wow…that’s a big plane Mama…is it going to Disneyland like we did?”
Or she just says whatever is on mind:
"Who lives in India?"
"Why is that car blue Mama?"
"My toe hurts."
Sometimes she plays DJ:
“Can we listen to Bleeding Love Mama?” She likes herself a little Leona Lewis…and I think that’s better than Elmo every day (until she starts to understand the lyrics of course).
“Can you turn it down?”
“Can you turn it up?”
“Is this a boy or a girl singing Mama?”
Very rarely...it gets very quiet and I look back to see this:
|Seriously...how cute is she...|
I will admit that there are times when the morning has been rough and I simply tune out the chatter and turn up the radio. I mean really…I haven’t had an caffeine yet…
But sometimes…more often these days thanks to my Project Positivity efforts…I find myself wishing I could turn up her little voice to hear her more clearly. Wishing that I could freeze this moment in time – this exact moment – take a snapshot and save it for a day in the future.
They are the moments when she is whispering to her baby doll about how much she loves her and how she will always take care of her. They are the moments where I look at her in the rear view mirror and wonder where my baby went. The moment where she catches me looking at her and smiles that killer smile.
But then…all too soon…we are at daycare and I’m always a little sad when our drive comes to an end.
And look forward to what the next morning commute will bring…