This year has been a transition year for me and Della. I lost my job and took her out of daycare. Because of my crazy commute to work, being in traffic almost three hours some days, my sister would pick her up from daycare because of how late I got home. By the time I did get home, we would only have an hour of mommy and me time before she had to go to bed. So, we’ve basically been adjusting to being together 24/7 and getting to know each other again. I cut back on blogging and decided to spend the time just hanging with Della. It’s been stressful for us both as we are both very stubborn people but very much worth it.
I think the hardest part has been adjusting to her eating habits. When she was in daycare, they had a schedule and she pretty much knew what she was going to eat everyday for breakfast, lunch, and snack. None of this was stuff we had at home. Her daycare served a lot of prepackaged food and we cook with mostly fresh food. Trying to get her to eat fresh food for each meal was a huge challenge. I think I heard “I don’t like that” or ” we don’t eat that at school” a billion times. I wasted so much food trying to push her to eat and because my three-year old’s attitude is a carbon copy of mine and her dad’s, it causes a lot of tense moments. Like I said, we are both stubborn people. Eventually, I gave in to some of the prepackaged foods she liked, and slowly she began to eat fresh foods again. Now, she helps me cook meals and rarely eats prepackaged ones.
One thing my little has taught me is to play more. I was so stressed out from work and the being stuck in traffic, I barely wanted or had the energy to play when I got home. Since Della was so used to get up early for daycare, she continued to get up early. I was not happy about this because I finally wanted to enjoy sleeping in for once. Heck, I thought she would sleep in since she didn’t have to go to daycare. Nope, in true kid form, she was up when the first ray of sunlight hit the window ready to play. I’m not one to talk first thing in the morning and her cheerfulness, millions of questions, and requests to play were not very welcoming. Little by little as we went outside, in the very early morning, I learned to enjoy our early morning play dates. I’ve taught her to play games, such as hopscotch, kick ball, and how to fly a kite. We’ve enjoy making stories using sidewalk chalk paint and playing school on the chalkboard in the garage. Yes, she is the teacher most of the time. We’re mostly just having fun and letting the day take us where it wants.
Bedtime plays a major part in our days. Della rarely takes naps anymore and by the end of the day, she is so worn out. When she gets tired she is not a nice or happy toddler. When it’s bed time, and we are all cuddled up, I ask her to tell me about her day. At first she wasn’t really feeling it because she didn’t know what to say. She would just say it was OK. I would ask questions about how she felt, what she did, what she ate, or what did she like best about her day. As time went by, she began to open up and express herself more. It’s all about getting to know her as a person, what she likes, her personality, and how she views the world and our time together without pushing her to share her feelings. Now, when we go to bed, she crawls in my arms and says mommy I want to tell you about my day. It feels good to hear the excitement in her voice and know that she feels comfortable talking and opening up to me about things that matter to her. I hope, as she gets old, she continues to feel she can openly talk to me about things going on in her life.
These months haven’t been all rainbows and glitter. We’ve cried, gotten on each other’s nerves, and had more personality clashes than needed, but we’ve learned to so much in the process. We’ve learned to enjoy our mommy and me moments more. We’ve learned to enjoy our free time with play instead of worry and frustration, how to communicate so we understand how the other person feels and what they need. We’ve also learned to cook so good recipes from Pinterest. But, the most important thing we’ve learned it love and enjoy life.