Atticus is doing great at drop-off in the mornings at his school, and he hugs his friends goodbye when he leaves in the afternoon. He is less anxious in the mornings and at bedtime, and he’s waking up less at night. But those early evening hours? Specifically between 5:00 and 7:00? They are challenging. He’s more edgy and ornery at that time. If we did something once, he wants to do it every day. I thought that people were talking about babies when they mentioned the witching hour, but now I see that they were talking about toddlers.
Yesterday I tried to do several fun things with Atticus that mostly just ended with him crying. We visited his best friend, we ran around in the yard, we cooked biscuits. I tried to let him play “big car,” but he didn’t want to. When I took him inside, he wailed to play in Mommy’s car. He finally calmed down when I told him that after dinner, we could run around in the field across the street.
He had forgotten about the field by the time dinner was over, but I wanted to keep my word, so we walked over. As I let go of his hand, he turned around and grinned for me to chase him. He followed a moth, he collected tennis balls that had escaped from the nearby court, he tried to throw said balls over the fence. The court lights were on and the air was cool on my face and what is better, really, than running around a field on a September evening?
When it was time to go inside, I felt my lungs tighten, readying for a fight. “Let’s go inside, buddy. Pajamatime! Let’s walk home.” He grabbed my hand and started trotting towards our house. “Bye-bye, tennis balls!” he said.
And that is what’s saving my life this week. What’s saving your life this week?