I have a love/hate relationship with Monday mornings. While the popular notion is to dread Mondays, what with the beginning of the work week and all, I see Mondays in a different light. After four straight days of full-on family togetherness, Monday is the day I welcome a little bit of peace and quiet into my life. Mike goes to work, the children go to school, and I go to my happy place.
The part I hate is actually getting my little man off to school. Let me tell you, there is nothing peaceful about it.
To say that Eli has some separation issues is akin to saying that Howard Stern has a little bit of a potty mouth. He's crafty about it, though. He has just enough of an issue to make my life difficult and wracked with guilt, but not enough to make it impossible to go anywhere or do anything. He cries. He plants his feet like a donkey just outside his classroom door. Sometimes I get him in the door, thinking I'm scot-free, only to have him bolt for the hallway and tackle me behind the knees. Sometimes I spend what little pre-coffee energy I have peeling him off my body, only to have him reattach the limb I just unstuck. He's a giant octopus of love and neediness, that boy. When the mission is finally accomplished, he cries as if I've left him as an orphan. For about 30 seconds, or approximately enough time for me to feel like an asshole for wanting a little bit of time to myself. And then life goes on.
I want to feel bad for him. I want to empathize. A good part of me does feel guilty. But mostly all I can think is, "That little shit." I don't know, I guess my patience ran out a year ago. It's hard to stay patient when the kid spends every waking hour that he's not in school keeping tabs on me.
Where are you, momma? I can't see you, momma. I miss you when you're gone, momma! For pete's sake, son, I just went upstairs to put some socks on.
Having an older sister who practically ran from the car into school doesn't help his situation. That girl would fly solo around the world right now and she might think to call me once or twice. But only if she was out of money or to remind me to DVR the new iCarly. They are so different, and while he has many qualities that are radically different from his sister that I do so love, this is not one of them.
Like anything, I know it's a phase. Any behavior, good or bad, doesn't last forever. I know I won't have to peel him off of me to send him to high school, but I have a feeling he's the kind of kid that will need a few extra hugs when he leaves for college. Then again, he'll probably be my commuter. He already told me he's never leaving home. And he'll still need those extra hugs.
For now, I'll thank my lucky stars that he's in a school that's loving and understanding, and yet firm. I won't be getting any phone calls to come pick him up because they can handle it. I'll give thanks for Sunday school teachers who put up with his antics out of the goodness of their hearts, not because they're getting paid to deal with it. But if you have any suggestions of how to make this phase go away just a little sooner? I think all of us would be forever grateful.
Eli, not enjoying his field trip to the pumpkin patch because he's too busy keeping track of my every single move.