The other night, Will fell asleep in the car on the way home and stayed sleeping after I carried him inside and put him in his bed. That left Nick and I with about 30-45 minutes of "alone time" before his bedtime.
The kid was AMAZING. He was SO funny and cute and talked Non. Stop. It made me realize:
HE WAS DYING FOR MY ATTENTION.
It occurred to me that Nick is often overshadowed by his younger brother simply because Will is, well, younger. And pretty damn adorable. And quirky.
Which doesn't mean Nick isn't. Nick, in his own right, is amazingly cute -- the near stereo-type of the six-year-old American boy, right down to the freckles on his nose and the cow-lick in his hair that just won't ever let it lie down quite right. He says crazy-smart things that sometimes hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. He cannot tell a lie (either he'll admit his fib to me out-right or the smile on his face provides a dead giveaway) and has a pretty awesome imagination.
But the total amount of minutes in any given day where Nick is the sole focus of my attention are sadly very few, and like any working Mom (or any Mom with more than one kid), I hate that. Which led me to think that maybe he could really use some one-on-one time with me, especially considering that our lives have been a little turned upside-down lately.
So I emailed the idea to my Mom and she agreed that one night next week she'd come over after work to watch Will for me so that Nick and I could have a "Mommy Date Night". (Will to get his own "Mommy Date Night" sometime shortly thereafter.) With the boys in their beds last night, I pitched the idea to them.
"Guess what? We're going to have Mommy Date Nights! Won't that be great?" I looked at their faces. They had no idea what the hell I was talking about. "Each of you gets a turn to go somewhere special -- and we'll do anything you want, you get to pick! -- with JUST MOMMY. All by yourselves. Won't that be fun?" They each appeared to be pondering this.
"Nick gets to go first because he's oldest, then it'll be Will's turn. Will, Grandma is going to come over next week to hang out with you while Nick and I go out!" I wanted each step of this to sound as fun-filled and magical as possible, but I could quickly tell by the look on Will's face that he did NOT consider this my best idea. As his face began to fall I added, "You get a GRANDMA DATE NIGHT!"
This was apparently NOT any consolation. Will's bottom lip quickly jutted out and he screwed his little eyes shut tight. He threw his head back, mouth wide open and a loud "WAAAAAH!" came out before the tears began to fall. Nick, on the other hand, was smiling excitedly.
"Will, buddy! What's wrong???" I did my best to hug him up on the top bunk.
"I -- no -- you -- can't -- LEAVE -- ME!!!" He was sobbing as if I'd just taken away his birthday cake.
"No, no, buddy, I'm not going to leave you. YOU get to have a SPECIAL NIGHT, too. And you get to hang out with GRANDMA while its Nick's turn!"
It wasn't working. In fact, each thing I said made him only cry harder.
"I get to be with YOU TOO!" He shouted. "Dad says! When you're not at work I get to be with MOMMY!!! You can't go without me!!!"
There was no consoling him. Finally I just had to say, "OK, OK. Never mind. NO DATE NIGHT." Several minutes of rubbing his back and two tissues later he was ready to be tucked into bed again.
When I sat on the edge of Nick's lower bunk to hug him goodnight he whispered, "We still get to go, right?" To which I just nodded, whispering, "What would you like to do?"
His eyes practically DANCED with excitement as he looked at me and shouted, "WE'RE GOIN' WATER SKIING!!!"