Heading into Thanksgiving, I am thankful for lots of little things. Not just a little toddler, either. The other day, Darwin had a doctor appointment — right at nap time. Ugh. The last time we went to the doctor, he suddenly developed doctorphobia — there was screaming, running to the door, lots of “no no no no” and the like. It was kind of awful for everyone. So, an appointment at naptime seemed really horrible. My mom sent us a toy doctor kit, and we’d been playing with that, and watching Elmo go to the doctor on pbskids.com. But a sleepy, grumpy boy seemed like a bad idea.
So, I put him down for a nap early. And he slept! It was amazing — but the more amazing thing was the feeling I got that I was definitely doing the right thing. I had made the right choice. Seems like a pretty simple decision, right? Ha. I have learned that there are no simple decisions. Everything from footwear to surgery comes with its own unique deliberation and hindsight and worry. I couldn’t believe how surprised I was that I felt so sure of my napping decision, and what a novel feeling it was. There are so few times when I know, for sure, absolutely, that I’m making the right decision about Darwin — from feeding him (did I give him pasta this week already? Is he getting enough protein? Should I have gotten the organic grapes?), to what clothes to wear (will he be cold? Will he sweat? Will he sweat inside and then be cold outside? Do his pants fit?), to how much TV he watches (too much, I know, but that’s what America is all about) — that even just an early nap was really satisfying. Two years ago, if a mom had told me how pleased with herself she was because she decided to nap her kid early before the doctor, I would have smiled, and in my head said snidely “Yeah, but maybe you should have gotten socks that match, lady.” Or some such. Now, I realize what a rarity a no-qualms good decision is, and if a mom told me that she felt good about wiping her kid’s nose on the playground, I would commend her.
We’re off to Joe’s parents’ tomorrow, so there will be no end to the second-guessing I will do after that — did his mom think I was bad for turning on the baby Einstein video while I chopped celery? Did Darwin hug his grandfather long enough? Did he say enough words so that they know he’s talking? Did they think we’re bad parents because we didn’t make him eat more turkey? Sigh. But, at least I have that one naptime to look back on fondly. And a doctor visit that had giggles instead of screams to show for it!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!