Robby is learning to do something new everyday and speech is improving. He is now able to maintain understandable conversations. I love talking to him, gaining a glimpse into how his little mind works. His new independence has come at a cost. Much to my chagrin, he no longer takes a daily nap.
The loss of nap time has been difficult for me to accept. I had come to rely upon the 90 minutes as a respite, a time for me to exercise and attend to my own needs. I worried about how I would complete my work-out while Robby was awake.
Initially Robby was following me downstairs. He played on the pool table or with the cat while I rode the bicycle. Occasionally he would watch a cartoon or look at a book. He would become antsy to return upstairs after thirty minutes causing me to cut my work-outs short.
Slowly, I began to trust him upstairs while I rode the bike downstairs. I put on his favorite cartoons, make sure that he has a full cup of milk and a yummy snack. I tell him that I am going to ride the bike downstairs. Now he eagerly smiles and says, "I stay here and watch cartoons. Bye Mommy."
The first few times I left him upstairs, I was worried. I constantly ran upstairs to check on him only to find that he hadn't move from in front of the television. With time, I have begun to trust him. He enjoys the "alone" time, and I am able to complete my full work out. Until recently, we haven't had a problem with our new situation.
Yesterday I put a roast in the crock pot and changed into my riding clothes. As per our routine, I topped off his sippy cup, gave him some cheese cubes, and put Max and Ruby on the television. He promised to be a good boy while I rode.
Why, oh why, did I trust a three year old?
My mother instincts must have been triggered because I finished riding early. Thank goodness for that! I came upstairs and found Robby stirring the roast in the crock pot. He smiled, and told me that he "Helped Mommy cook." I looked into the pot to find that he had added a pound of candy corn to the cooking roast.
I heard him chanting "Candy corn makes Robby all better" as I frantically tried rinsing the sticky melted goo from our dinner. The sugary mess had embedded within the meat. I scraped away whatever was visible. I cleaned the crockpot, added new broth and hoped for the best.
As I walked past the hallway bathroom, I noticed that the floor was wet. The bathroom sink was running. The water was overflowing from the sink because a towel was covering the drain. I quickly slopped up as much water as possible while listening to my little chatterbox talk about how he went "potty like a big boy." Apparently, he even washed his hands!
After the bathroom was cleaned up, I escorted Robby to our bedroom. I turned on Dora the Explorer and walked into the closet to change my clothes. I was washing my face when I heard him yelling at the television.
I came out of the bathroom, face still dripping and covered with suds, to find Robby face to face with Dora on the television. Dora was talking about how she had the best mommy in the world. What was my little troublemaker doing? Robby was screaming back, "No Dora. Robby Mommy the best. My Mommy the best not Dora mommy."
What can I say? We ate very sweet, slightly sticky roast beef for dinner. Our bathroom carpet is still a little soggy. I gave him a big hug and told him that he is right. That his Mommy is the best Mommy in the world. I also told him that he is no longer allowed upstairs while I ride the bike downstairs.