Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A frog in the throat - TWICE in 30 mins!

While I was pregnant with Charlotte and Daniel, the husband and I  discussed about the kind of parents we would like to be for them (as would most parents) and the qualities we would like to nurture them into (as would most parents). We agreed on everything (phew!) and one of them is being hands on parents.
The work/family arrangement we have in place since they were in care at 9 months works for us. Naturally, some days are 'easier' than others for a variety of reasons. Whenever they are unwell and cannot attend, one of us will stay home and care for them. When either one of us needs to travel for work, the other parent takes over. When all four of us are unwell, we take turns lying on the bed while the other lies on the couch and watches over them. We are a great team.
Despite the arrangements, I still catch myself having a frog in the throat from time to time. If you are not familiar with this saying, imagine a frog in your throat - your throat will be dry and hoarse, finding it very difficult to speak. That was me yesterday afternoon.
I made arrangements with work so that I could finish an hour earlier and be at childcare for their Afternoon Tea at 2:15pm with their birthday cupcakes. I love reunions with my children - I call their names, they turn around, their eyes sparkle, big smiles spread across their cherub faces, they call out "mummy! mummy!", runs towards me and we share a deepest, heart-felt, physical cuddle and no one else exists for that moment...then, they "fight" for my attention.
The frog in the moment took place twice.
When I am at the childcare centre, I like to include other children in play especially those that gravitate towards us. On this occasion, many of the kids started calling me mummy and some of them even started sobbing. I believe they know that I am not their mummy and label me as such because I am a mummy. To Charlotte and Daniel. I went up to all the children who called me mummy  / were sobbing and told them EXACTLY how I feel every single day when I am at work:
"Your mummy will be here soon.
She misses you every moment that you are apart and loves you very much.
The day is almost over. She will be here soon."
Towards the end of that sentence, I almost choked because I feel that way every moment my children are not by my side. I am one of the lucky working parents who is able to go to work early (in pitch darkness at 5:45am while my kids are still in bed) so that I can pick them up just after their Afternoon Tea.
I sat with Daniel and enjoyed precious one on one time with him while he was finishing up Afternoon Tea. I know from regular updates I get from their teacher that the toddlers are expected to be independent.
When he had finished his Afternoon Tea and despite mummy by his side, he slide his chair out - held his plate - walked/bounced towards a large plastic container (which contains all the other bowls) and placed it in gently, without any prompting. When he walked back to me, I told him that there were other plates still on the table (left behind by some of his friends), he stacked them all up and deposited them gently into the container. I know this may seem insignificant BUT to me, this is another Frog in the Throat moment and tears beckoned at my eye lids because Daniel demonstrated to me his independence, helpfulness and thoughtfulness.
I was so proud of my son and cuddled him with all that I could give him before he pulled away, looked me in the eye and said "Home" while pointing towards the door. Bless him. He read my mind. I wanted and needed to be home with my cherubs who are growing up very quickly.
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