Those were the last words uttered by my 3-year old son Kha-kha Sunday night as he waved good-bye. We debated all week about whether or not to leave him in Pasadena with the Grandparents and he, undoubtedly, decided for himself.
We ate dinner at Thien An with some family and transferring cars to go back to San Diego. Kha decides to hop onto the Camry (grandparent’s car) and we’re just thinking he wants to “pha”, play in the car. We bring Ha-ha’s carseat over to the Camry and he says, “khong phai, ghe cua Kha-kha”, translation “that’s not right, my carseat”. He wanted us to bring his carseat over. We asked him, “are you sure you want to stay with grandma and grandpa?” His response, “ghe cua Kha-kha”. We grab his clothes, diapers, and milk to put into the Camry. Daddy gets him into the carseat as I put his belongings into the trunk. “Mommy, mommy!” Kha yells out from the backseat. I go to the backseat and say, “Yes Kha?” And there were those words, he says to me as he waves his hand in my face, making sure I see and hear him, “Mommy, bye mommy, bye!”
I was quite devastated, he has always wanted to go with us, never has he decided on his own to leave us. Maybe he thought it was a temporary separation of being free from our scolding, time-outs, and constant nagging of “do you want to go pee?” However, it’s going to be 5 days of no Mommy and Daddy, whether or not he realizes it.
We called home after getting home to San Diego. And of course he was playing with grandpa and could care less about talking to us. We were not at all surprised…
Monday, we called Kha around 6pm. He just woke up from his nap and ate a banana. He was in very good spirits and gibberish talk. We chit chat for a while and I told him I had to go, “Bye Kha”. “Mommy? Mommy…” We chit chat for a little while longer and all of a sudden he says, “Bye Mommy, bye”. And it happens again, he has decided he is now done talking to us and wants to go do his own thing.
Bye Mommy will come sooner or later. It will be his first day of school, it will be summer camp, it will be college, it will be a new job in a different state, or it will be marriage. Those words will be uttered infinitesimally to me, to us, so I best get use to it.