Since inheriting such a bustling social life after moving back home, I've realized that there's another transition (there's that word again!) that I didn't account for: Z and I relearning how to spend time apart. It's not that we were ever attached at the hip in WI, it's just that there was rarely anyone around to do stuff with so we just spent that time together doing family stuff or just falling asleep on the couch on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.
Yesterday, 'Rad and I spent most of the day with my parents while Z hung at home with his brother watching football. We were both doing what we wanted to do, but it felt strange that what we were doing wasn't together. I felt the need to call and check in periodically, as if the floor would cave in or the lawn spontaneously combust since our feet weren't stomping those grounds together. I resisted those urges, though, and made it back with just a "I'm heading home" call. Everything was fine of course. I forget how elastic and forgiving the bonds between Z and I are. We don't need to be on the same couch or eating lunch at the same table every day to stay tight.
Now that Connor is much more mobile, having "real" conversations with us, and turning into a little man, that old uncertainty is creeping back in. I wonder if I'm letting him get away with too much, if I need to be stricter, or if we're all doing ok and if it ain't broken don't fix it. My theory so far has been to let him explore and do what he likes as long as he's not harming anyone or anything, as long as he's not doing anything I'm strongly against, and as long as I don't see it breeding bad behaviors down the road. But how do I know what behavior begets what behavior? Then again, he's a kid and needs to feel safe and open to exploring his environment and everything in it. I just don't want to be that parent who thinks everything her kid does is cute when he's really just terrorizing everyone.
How do you find your balance with a toddler?