I would never wish an illness upon anyone, but when I found out my mother-in-law had food poisoning last Sunday night, I was pumped! Cooper spends Mondays with my in-laws, so the alternate care option was Matt or I staying home. I thought I would have to cage fight Matt for the stay-at-home parent spot (I would win), but he had a busy week, and I looked desperate. I pondered "working from home," but anyone with a kid knows those days end right around 6 months post-partum. #Gingerbaby has a strong affinity for the delete button on my laptop, and conference calls with a shouter are all but impossible. I decided to just call it a vacation day, knowing full-well parenting is not a vacation. At least this time, I'd have someone to keep me company (See: Daycation: Alone Time With An Extrovert).
My mind immediately raced to a gameplan for Monday. What could we do to fill every second of the day with learning activities, field trips, art projects and playtime? This was my big chance to be a stay-at-home mom. #Gingerbaby would look back on this as the single greatest day of his life. The day his mom was the coolest, most attentive mom in the world.
And then he threw bananas during breakfast. OK kid, let's do this.
Life is messy and so was our day. We went to Target twice because mom-brain. Did you know that other people go to Target during the week in the middle of the day? Seeing other people there was like discovering your first grade teacher doesn't live at the school. How stay-at-home moms don't spend all the money is beyond me.
We had an impromptu play date with #Gingerbaby's Fairy Godmother and her daughter, G. We tried to go to the local mall's play area, which turns out doesn't exist. We ended up at the park by my house, watching Coop chase G and G ignore Coop. During lunch at my house, G requested hummus, which we didn't have. It was on the list for the first Target trip and one of the many reasons for the second.
Coop usually does scheduled naps in the crib, but he napped in my arms because snuggles. He woke up, and we watched Ellen together. He won't sit still for Daniel Tiger or Puffin Rock or any of the other animated crap, but he loves Ellen and The Nightly News with Lester Holt (who doesn't?). I sobbed quietly into his soft red hair, as Ellen gave a sick child and his mom a new car and a boatload of cash. #Gingerbaby wasn't as emotionally moved, but he did hold my hand and fart.
By the end of the day, I felt like I should do something domestic. I caught a recipe for Ritz Cracker Chicken Fingers on Rachael Ray, and thought I'd try making it for dinner. Cue second trip to Target. I made it, I burned it, and Matt picked up Noodles for us on the way home.
I enjoyed my glass of wine on the couch and reflected on the day. Coop won't remember it because 1) he thinks remotes are telephones and 2) nothing extraordinary happened. I, however, will remember it as one of the best days ever. All the cuddles and giggles, all the messes and poops. I took a break from work-life and relaxed in Cooper's life.
I don't know the last time I saw my son on a Monday at 2pm. It should look a lot like Saturday or Sunday, but the rarity of a Monday made it special. I highly recommend working parents take a random day to do a bunch of nothing with their kids.