I rarely thank god that it's Friday, but this week I am! We made it through our first week in our new Freiburg routine; Papa at work and Mama at home with Edwin. Granted, this won't be our routine forever, but while we look for a suitable childcare solution (daycare spaces are very hard to come by here, as are apartments) I have returned to my solo-parenting daytime duties. It wasn't that long ago that I was home with Eddie full-time, from birth until 14 months when he started part-time daycare, and then a couple days a week until he starting going full-time to daycare at 18 months. A lot changes though in 9 months in the life of a toddler, and 27-month-old-Eddie is a whole different can of worms.
These days feel more intense, interesting and exhausting (I think there will always be an element of exhaustion when it comes to motherhood, no?). We go on adventures, and chat, he can help me do laundry or load the dishwasher, carry home the bread from the bakery, and he notices all the wonderful little details around us that I might otherwise miss. He's funny and bright, and having the time of his life—for about five minutes. Then there's the flip side, he drags the laundry across the balcony, pushes buttons on the dishwasher while it's running, drops the bread on the way home from the bakery, ignores me and my commands to "Stop and wait for Mama!". He's whiny, mischievous, and says no to anything and everything I suggest or offer—for about the next five minutes. We seem to oscillate between these two Eddies quite frequently throughout the day.
I guess that's being two years old, right?! (Please agree here!)
It's a little bit like living with a crazy person, the days are exhausting not just because of our outings and the general physical nature of being with a toddler, but more so emotionally, the ups and downs of his absolute most wonderful self juxtaposed with his strong will and determination to be his most oppositional self. My back is also taking a beating with all the picking up I have to do... "Mama, I wanna pick you up." He really means he wants me to pick him up, but sometimes the other version sounds so much more inviting.
In all honesty, I'm really thrilled that we've been given this time together again. When he was at daycare in Montreal, I always felt guilty that I wasn't spending enough time with him—a common feeling for working moms, I'm sure. The situation now is good though, I know it's not going to last forever, so we are making the most of it. We're working through the difficult moments that happen for all of us as we grow and learn new things, and basking in the amazingness of tractors, chasing pigeons and comforting "pick you ups".
Ahhh, life with a 2 year old...