Ryan and Jon left for the hospital this morning, so Nathan and I are on our own, at least until Beeba and Zayde come by this afternoon.
We went to Sara and Isaac’s house this morning and had a great time playing with Isaac’s trucks and with Isaac’s super-cool Flintstone-style car and with Isaac’s surprisingly cooperative cat. Nathan was in a great mood. Isaac was having a bit of a rough day – sometimes it’s just hard to be a toddler – and Nathan was once again extremely solicitous, soothing Isaac in the way that Nathan knows best, by bringing him trucks. The whole play date was so successful that I started feeling kind of cocky. I even said to Sara at one point that I thought that Ryan was overly worried about how Nathan would react to her being gone.
Then we got home and I started making lunch and Nathan started sobbing when I didn’t cut up his toast into little pieces. Our subsequent conversation went something like this:
Me: “I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Can you tell me what’s wrong? Can you tell me how you’re feeling?”
Nathan: (Sobbing, with tears streaming down his face) “I’m feeling great.”
Me: “Usually when people cry, they aren’t feeling great. Usually when people cry they’re feeling sad or scared or angry. Are you feeling sad or scared or angry?”
Nathan: (Starting to calm down) “No.”
Me: “Can you tell me why you’re crying then?”
Nathan: (Taking a deep, shuddery breath) “I’m crying … I’m crying because Mommy went to the hospital.”
Me: “Do you miss Mommy.”
Me: “I know. I miss Mommy, too. But I promise that she’ll come back as soon as she can. Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital so the doctors could help her have the baby. She’ll come back as soon as she can. And in the meantime, someone will always be here to take care of you. Like me or Beeba or Zayde and Grandma and Gramps are coming in two days as well. And if you’re scared or have any questions you should tell me, OK?”
Me: “Do you have any questions right now?”
Nathan: “When is Mommy coming home?”
Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t know. Having a baby can take quite a while. But Mommy will be home as soon as she can. Do you have any other questions.”
Nathan: “When will Mommy be home?”
Me: “I’m sorry, I just don’t know, but I promise she’ll come back and there’s nothing to worry about.”
Nathan: “I don’t have any more questions right now.”
Now he’s upstairs in his crib, supposedly taking a nap, which I don’t think is going to happen. At various points he’s called out heart-wrenching things like, “Auntie, I’m scared!” and “Auntie, can you come take care of me?” I’d feel very guilty except that he doesn’t sound at all scared and he’s also yelling things like, “Auntie, can you get me the book light?” and “Auntie, I’m all done my my nap!” with equal frequency.
I’ll probably still go up and get him in a second, though. I think this nap is a lost cause.