Friday, March 13, 2015

Wednesdays with Logan

Wednesdays with Logan from Food Therapy

After being away from my blog for a while, a funny thing has occurred.  This is a food blog.  And, being a food blog, I would assume that my readers would want to know when my next food post would be.  They'd be clamoring for more recipes and more pictures of food.  Yet, when I run into people who follow my blog, the most popular sentiment is that they miss "Wednesdays with Logan".  Go figure! While it does make me question how much my food blog is contributing to its purpose, sharing recipes, it seems that my weekly Logan stories have become more popular.  Well, the wait is over.  The Logan segment begins again.

Dining at The Republic in Takoma Park. The framed poster is a perfect caption for Logan.

As I said in my last post, Wednesdays with Logan have become more like every day with Logan.  Between snow days and school delays, Logan and I have spent a lot of time together.  A lot of time.  When school is delayed for the big kids, Logan's preschool is cancelled for the day.  In fact, this week is the first full week he has had of school since Winter Break started. It has also marked the first time he has actually grumbled about having to go to school.  He says he'd rather stay home and play.  That's what preschool is for, right? Play? I am flattered, however, that he isn't bored to tears by being at home.

One of our many snow days
Having all of this time with Logan has actually yielded some nice, quality moments with him.  I won't say there aren't days when all I crave is some peace and quiet with no one talking to me for at least an hour except my own inner voice which, like Logan, never stops talking.  I've had my not so nice Mommy moments when my Greta Garbo side blurts out that I just need to be alone.  I've whined to Gary off and on for the past two months that I need a break.  I need a break from stepping on Legos, putting caps on markers, feeling guilty for not spending enough "cuddle" time with Logan, from listening to Spongebob's laugh on an endless loop, from cleaning cup after cup when I've said use the same cup all day, from the begging for snacks all day long.  Yet, I am also filling my heart with so much gratefulness that I've had this time with Logan because next school year my life will be so different as he enters kindergarten full-time.

Beware! This yard shall not be crossed.
Back in November, Logan and I became the first inhabitants of our new house.  I'd pick him up from school and we'd come to the house to meet with any and all workers who were finishing up and getting us ready to move into our new home.  The guilt ensued with every visit.  You have to understand that Logan is the type of kid who could spend 23 of his 24 hours outside.  Our old neighbors became so accustomed to his outside antics.  He refused to play in the backyard because he didn't want to miss anyone passing by outside.  In full costume, he'd ride like a speed demon on his bike with training wheels.  Weapons in hand, he'd fight trees, bushes, constantly defending our home from all predators.  And, if anyone happened to pass by, he'd give a little wave and small talk just to keep them from leaving.  So, you can imagine how our new house with hardly any street traffic and no grass in the yard was a big change for him.  No toys here.  No drive-by waves.  No neighbors to play with.  And, worst of all, no television or wifi. Aack! The horror! I was the one running scared at what to do with him.  We didn't even have furniture to sit on.  I was in fear of this tiny package of energy whose highlights centered around his social activities.  I was certain I'd have to hear whining as soon as he got in the car once he realized this was our new norm.

So, it was with surprise that Logan did not whine once about coming here after school.  In fact, quite the contrary.  He looked forward to it.  We brought his Legos, a big blanket, his coloring books and markers, and snacks.  And, honestly, it was all he needed.  This was my child who thought coloring had to be the most boring activity on the planet and would rather be with his friends than stuck indoors at home.  Now, here we were spread out on the floor with pretzels and water, coloring page after page of his coloring books and building Lego figures.  What I realized after a while is that his biggest enjoyment came from the fact that we were alone.  I had no distractions, rarely a phone call, no cooking.  I couldn't run errands because I was usually waiting on someone to meet us at the house.  He wasn't distracted by tv or needing to get outside.  It was just us for long periods of time, not just on Wednesdays.  His favorite thing to play in was a big box that had previously housed new towels for the new house.  He decorated that box with his markers and shiny stickers, spelling out L-O-G-A-N all over the darn thing.  It was a spectacular box.  He and his friend "Beary" (a stuffed bear) would get in there and talk to each other and plan their adventures.  It might sound kind of sad to some, but I thought it was fantastic.  Take away all of the exciting toys and gadgets and the imagination of a child will begin to soar.  Without really understanding why this time is fun, he placed value in our time together and his time away from his little social life.

Now, you might say to yourself how can a four-year-old possibly place value in time alone with his mom.  That's just me putting my own desires in his head. Maybe.  What I do know is that once we were all here in the house and moved in, he asked me if I knew why he liked his bedtime and his noise machine so much (we have a white noise machine in his room that he refuses to get rid of).  When I asked why he said it was because when the machine was on and I got into bed with him the noise blocked out everyone else and it was just me, him, and our books.  How can you possibly wish this child to go back to his school routine? Warms, warms, warms my heart.

Even Trader Joe's counts as a fun outing.
And, yet...and, yet.  I don't think there is a mom or dad out there that loves those moments and truly appreciates them, but also values his or her own freedom, too.  It's okay.  I'm okay with that.  I can already look back on our time and get sad that it will be over soon.  We won't have this alone time together next school year.  Logan will actually be the last of the three kids to get home in the afternoon.  When I'm in the middle of listening to him yelling at me because I'm making him go to the potty or, God forbid, brush his teeth while I'm trying to get us out of the house and he's refusing to put on his shoes and time is wasting and there are other kids to be picked up who will have a fit if they're left outside at school waiting on me with that one "weird" kid who always wants to talk to them because they are the only ones whose parents never get there on time....that's when I lose it.  All of those heart-pulling moments with Logan disappear, really vaporize, into a dark vacuum where the light cannot escape.  Breathe.  It's okay though.  By the time we are back in the car, he will manage to say or do something so sweet that all is forgotten.

One of our many selfies as we wait, wait, wait in the car for the other two to get out of school.
We have had chances to get out together and have some fun.  We've shopped at the mall, dined at a few restaurants, caught a couple of movies.  We recently saw Paddington.  Us and one other mother with her daughter.  Now, that was a real treat.  Logan loved it, and I just loved seeing London again and all of the places Gary and I got to visit a couple of years ago.  Logan has begun to look forward to Wednesdays as well.  He knows exactly what that day signifies now.  Last Tuesday he even asked if I knew that the next day was Wednesday.  When I said yes, he replied, "You know that means it's Wednesdays with Logan. Where will we go?".

Where will we go? Stay tuned to find out!