|A rare moment awake
I enrolled A in a dance class close to our house, and she loves it. Because she's home with me now and not in daycare, we try to arrange a few playdates every month, and take trips to the library, Bounce-U, the zoo, Disneyland and Irvine Regional park. We also signed her up for weekly swim lessons which are pricey, but hopefully worth it.
|Pumpkin patch & pony rides
I am a much more relaxed parent with the second child. And since I was already a relaxed parent with her, this does have me slightly fearing that I'm too relaxed and going to leave him somewhere. Especially because he is so quiet. I'm left wondering just what I did with all my free time back when I only had one helpless, tiny infant that slept all the time. I remember thinking it was a lot of work back then, but is nothing compared to having a toddler! It takes us almost an hour to get out of the house and has left me questioning whether I will ever be on time anywhere again.
Since moving into the new home, we slept in the same bed. It was easier and gave her the extra attention I felt she needed adjusting to no longer being an only child. I feared having her sleep on her own would be a tough transition or be a lot of work, and I delayed it until my husband brought it up. It's time I thought, but feared it wouldn't be easy.
On a whim, I drew up this non-Pinterest-worthy chart and promised her an Anna dress if she could sleep in her princess bed for 5 days. I didn't expect them to be in a row, but they were. I still read to her and rubbed her back, but left while she was still awake, freeing up a very valued 30 minutes to myself each night or with my husband.
This month, I slowed down and started playing with her more. More than ever before, she has been asking "Mommy, play with me." Maybe it is because we have more free time together now since she is not in school, maybe it is because she sees my attention on her baby brother, or maybe it is due to her developmental age. Whatever the cause, with seemingly limitless boxes to unpack and a newborn, I have to admit I sometimes dreaded these words. "Not now, A" or "Mommy can't play" were uttered one too many times. When I would oblige, she seemed to ask even more the next day.
Going against what I felt was right, I found myself asking should I be playing with her at all? Isn't that for kids her own age? Remembering stories of how my Mom used to play school with me when I was four, I knew the answer was that I should be playing with her, but I was busy, wasn't I? And being told which princess to be and ordered what to say stifled my playing creativity. Then late one night, I read this article. It only reaffirmed what was in my heart, and was exactly what I needed to read. I would be lying if I said I didn't get some tears in my eyes and committed to saying yes more to play.
So now, at least once a day, I sit and play with her. She will usually assign me a proncess or the Beast and tell me "Talk like the Beast!"
On the last weekend of the month, we picked GrandpaGlennie up and went to Oak Glen. It's a small mountain town with apple orchards a short drive from where I grew up. It was so much fun for me to see her explore the petting zoo, a place I remember going as a child.
Things I don't want to forget about this month:
- Driving to the pumpkin patch listening to The Best Day with tears in my eyes. I'll never forget her excitement about hearing princesses and snow white in the lyrics and repeating it with a huge grin. The song not only reminds me of us, but also of my mother and I. She calls it "The Snow White Song" and loves to listen to it on repeat.
- How she pronounces "your" as "or."
- Saying "Oh come on!"
- Having "Charles is awake" parties
- Seeing him look up and smile at us on our evening walks
- Her conversations with Trevi, when Trevi tells her that the princess bed is hers, or that she will be going on her trip to Finland this summer
- Nicknames: Chompers, Big Man