The plans were in place. The stars were aligned. My husband had the day off work. The babysitter was lined up. The company Christmas party was a GO! A Saturday night spent enjoying ourselves among adults, eating free food and winning prizes...I could hardly believe that it all came together.
Then the phone rang.
The babysitter was sick. But her younger sister graciously offered to take
her place. Which was fine with me and my husband...but Boo was devastated! It
was about 11am when I told him there was a change in plans. We were supposed to
leave at 5pm. I was trying to balance his need for advance notice of a plan
change with his tendency to obsess and fret over the change if given too much
time to think about it. We were in the car running some errands. Tears streamed
down his little face and my heart was breaking. I HATE that something so
seemingly simple can be so difficult for him to cope with. He kept repeating
that he didn't want A to come, he wanted N. He said that it wasn't fair, and
that he doesn't like it when plans change. He says changing plans is like
breaking a promise.
Over the next half hour or more, he would calm down, and then ramp up again
in cycles. He asked if Daddy could stay home with him instead. I told him Daddy
was going to the party. He asked if Grams could come. I told him it was too late
for Grams to be out. He said "It's too late for Mammo too, right?" Yes dear, and the tears
came again. Eventually he stopped worrying about it, and started watching the
clock. He managed to get excited about A coming over. When she arrived, he took
her to his room and they started playing with his hotwheels. By the
time we left, he was too involved with the babysitter to even say goodbye.
I warned the sitter that bedtime could be difficult without me there, that he
is very resistant to going to bed without his mom. He usually won't even go to
bed for Mammo! I told her to try, but not to worry about it if he really fought
against it. I was prepared to find a very tired little boy waiting for me at the
end of the night. Daddy and I had a wonderful time at the party. I enjoyed being
out with my sweetheart for the first time in a long while. We arrived back home
at about 10:30 and found our sweet Boo sound asleep in his bed! I was astounded.
I asked A if he had given her any trouble and she said that everything went
great. She said he didn't want to go to bed at first, but she told him it would
be very late before I got home. He finally agreed to lay down, telling her "I
don't want you to lay in my bed with me because you're not my mom." She checked
on him about 10 minutes later and he was sound asleep. And it was only about 45
minutes later than his normal bedtime.
Sunday morning at church, both of A's parents asked me about the evening, and
I told them that they are not allowed to move away at least until Boo is grown.
It feels pretty amazing after five and a half years to have an actual babysitter
(two, even!) whom I can call on when we want to go out, and not feel like I have
to depend solely on the generosity of family members. We've picked up one more
little piece of "typical" on our road through Boo's life. Nothing else needs to show up
under the tree to make this one of the best Christmases ever for me!