Today I told you yes, we could paint your nails when you asked me in your sweet, toddler way. “But,” I added, “Not until your brother is in bed.” You were happy, I was happy, all good. In due course your baby brother went to sleep and today, it took a while. When I finally got him down I headed straight to the kitchen and started peeling and chopping potato, tidying the bench, putting away shopping. All those things I could see needed doing.
It suddenly struck me, as I diced some eggplant, that I hadn’t done your nails. You hadn’t asked – but you might, any minute, and what would I say?
I’m sorry honey but I don’t have time. I have so much to do because I’m mum and dad while your daddy is away at work. I can’t leave any jobs ’til later’, because later – once you’re in bed for the night and your brother is too – I will still have lots to do until at some point I will finally sit and relax for an hour before I go to bed.
And all that would be true. My ‘to do’ list is never ever complete. I look around and constantly see things I need to do, things that need to be done and, as the sole adult in the house, if I don’t do them they don’t get done. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts.
So I sighed and hoped you wouldn’t ask and finished prepping the eggplant.
And then I stopped again and looked around and wondered which, of any of these competing priorities, mattered most to me? Which was most important?
Suddenly it was easy to wipe my hands and go get your nail polish. Call out to you and ask if you were ready to have your nails done. Your excitement was real and contagious and you were so, so pleased with your ‘so cool’ pink nails. And we sat together on the couch while they dried and I knew I’d made the right choice.
I won’t always be able to choose these little, fun things to do over house jobs that need to be done. But I promise, wherever, whenever I can, I absolutely always will.
I will choose you.
I love you.
Love mamma x