The countdown – a small victory

I apologize for being away for so long. I felt like I was on a roll with my blog when that roll splattered on the wall. I only had about 5 months until my deadline to complete my childbirth educator certification when it hit me. What did this mean? Well, I still have one more labor to observe, a 6 hour (minimum) childbirth series to teach and get evaluated, oh and take my exam! E e e e k! I had my priorities all wrong! I love writing, but the truth is that it takes up a lot of time, the time I need to be investing into my childbirth endeavors. Let me stop here before I go any further. I wanted to quickly explain why I’ve been MIA, and then get to what brought me on here to break my no-writing streak. So, onto why I’m on here.

Monday mornings are already difficult because as 100% of the adult population would answer (don’t quote me on my statistics) when asked how their weekend was, “It was too short.” So how was my weekend? Oh it was just fantastic, BUT it was too short. Anyways, I had about 25 minutes left until I had to get up and start getting ready for work when I felt Little Nugget sneak into bed with me. He cuddled up next to me and called for me. All I gave him was a grunt. You know when you’re still not awake enough to even talk? I was trying to milk those last 20 minutes of freedom when Little Nugget stated, “Mom I wan leche.” Here I was “milking” my last glorious 18 minutes and he wanted me to get up and get him actual milk. Oh boy! “Not yet papa,” I I replied as softly as I could to try and exert as little energy as possible. Then, my alarm went off. My phone vibrated and then followed Little Nugget exclaiming, “Was that mom??” The fact that I had to extend my arm to snooze it for my last 15 minutes of shut-eye was already too much, so I didn’t reply to him. With a little bit of a whine to his tone, he repeated, “Mom I waaan leche.” I wasn’t irritated or angry or anything really, I was actually enjoying his company. He hardly ever stays that still in bed with me. However, this didn’t mean I was going to spend my last 10 minutes before having to get ready for work getting him his milk. If push came to shove, dad would get him his milk. Thank God for dad, but he was in the living room!

My alarm went off again. Game over. My Monday had officially began. I got up and Little Nugget asked what was going on. I let him know that I was going to start getting ready for work. He L O S T it! I instantly pushed him over the edge by giving him the ugly truth, the edge where pressing the reset button is almost impossible, where his response to everything you try and explain to him is “WHY?!!” with loud heartbreaking cries. I attempted to explain that I needed to go to work to help pay bills, help provide, help take care of us. How did I expect my two-year-old to understand these explanations? The bottom line was that I wasn’t staying home to get him his milk and watch TV with him like I had over the weekend. My momma heart was a little broken, but because I had pushed my time so far, I didn’t have much leeway to make up for the discomfort I had caused my little ray of sunshine which was at the moment a big puddle of tears. It was time to get creative.

I don’t know how my brain thought of this as it feels as though my creativity dramatically decreased once I became a mother. It was as if I allowed my child self to come up with a solution, and I am extremely happy that it did because what happened next was better than any spanking or yelling could have accomplished. It’s not word for word but it went a little bit like this,
“Papa, this Saturday and Sunday we can spend our days together. Ok?” (I’d say he was intrigued by what I had put on the table because he stopped crying.)
“Today, when I pick you up from Aba’s house, after I get off of work, we’ll come home and make a countdown.” (This was new. Some keys words that I saw sparked his interested were ‘make’ and ‘countdown’. He likes making things and ‘countdown’ was a new word for him.)
“You have five days left before we get to Saturday.” (I held up all five fingers and showed him.)
“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Then, guess what? It’s SATURDAY and we get to have fun together!!” (I tried making it sound as appealing as possible. He definitely got the point.)

I think the countdown is actually what got me through my Monday. Knowing that I had something fun planned with Little Nugget, something new, had me excited all day. It also helped my guilty momma heart feel alright. It wasn’t a bandage covering the guilt, but more like the meditation it needed to understand that I am a good mom and I still have the creativity that I once had, it’s just buried somewhere underneath it all.

The best part of this was that we made it up as we went. It was one big learning experience, and Little Nugget didn't even know it. Every number, minus '4' has a shape in it. LN handed me the colors he wanted me to use naming each color as he gave it to me. He also helped me color them in. He decided when we were done decorating that number. We spelled out the name of each number in English and Spanish, and as a finishing touch, I traced the number of fingers that corresponded to that number.
The best part of this was that we made it up as we went. It was one big learning experience, and Little Nugget didn’t even know it. Every number, except ‘4’, has a shape in it. Little Nugget handed me the colors he wanted me to use naming each color as he gave it to me. He also helped me color them in. He decided when we were done decorating each number. We spelled out the name of each number in English and Spanish, and as a finishing touch, I traced the number of fingers that corresponded to that number. He helped me tape each number up on the door. The idea is that every day around the same time, he’ll get to tear one number down helping him see how many more days left until the weekend. (Sorry for so many “numbers”.)
He must have enjoyed making the countdown because he never so willing to just stand there and take a picture.
He must have enjoyed making the countdown because he is never so willing to take a picture.
I'm including this one because Little Nugget loves to take pictures, and he took this one.
I’m including this one because Little Nugget loves to be the photographer, and he took this one.

 

Cheers to the small victories!

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