5 Things I’ve learned from My 3 Year Old

I have been a stay-at-home mom for almost six months and I must say it has been interesting.  My daughter is three going on sixty.  I like to tell people she’s an old lady stuck in a toddler’s body.  Sometimes, I think she is my grandmother reincarnated. Being home with her 24 hrs a day, I have learned a great deal about how the her mind works. She is very cunning, sneaky, and calculating.  She is also sarcastic and very blunt. So, her is a list of things I’ve learned from her since we’ve been tied to the hip.

1)  What I ate and liked yesterday (or even the week before) is not what I like today. – Yeah, this chick’s appetite changes like the wind.  Sometimes from one day to another or even from one hour to another.  She went from eating spaghetti and peanut butter crackers regularly to hating them overnight.  I’m like really, you were just begging for peanut butter crackers last night and now it’s yuck. This really makes grocery shopping hell.

2)  Don’t let strangers ask her questions because 3yr olds are very blunt.  –  My daughter is very quiet and to herself and doesn’t really do people.  But, every time we go the store an unknowing target approaches and start asking questions and, as I said, my daughter is very blunt and sometimes the answers can come off as mean or hurtful. This can lead to awkward  moments and glares at me. So, I try to limit the questions people ask for their sake and mine.

3)  There is no such thing as privacy or alone time. – Who knew once you had kids you would no longer be able to use the bathroom alone or even go downstairs without being followed.  I didn’t  know I would have two shadows.  IT SUCKS.  Especially when you just want to pee or poop alone.  Like really kid, this is not the time for conversations. I’m trying to concentrate here.

4)  I will watch the same movie or cartoon over and over and over again, because it’s funny (umm no it’s not kid). – I’m all for a good movie or cartoon. Heck I miss Saturday morning cartoons, but these cartoons out now are just blah.  Like really the Bubble Guppies live underwater but light fires and carry umbrellas when it rains. WHY – YOU’RE UNDER WATER?  And if I watch the Minion movie one more time…. (deep breaths, deep breaths)

5)  Don’t ever tell a child you will do or buy something and don’t because they will never forget and will never let you forget. – Kid, sometimes I just agree to the things you say so you will stop asking. I don’t really expect you to remember that two weeks ago mommy said she would buy you a Doc McStuffins’ ambulance and ask did I buy it every time I come in the house.  I also wasn’t prepared for you to ask me  are we going to the beach a thousand times a day.  But as I look back, I know I set myself up for this.

Honestly, being a stay-at-home mom is great.  I get to spend so much time with my little one and travel with her.  We wake up together and go to bed together which makes it easy to keep her on a schedule.  But, there are times when it really tests my patience and I have to remember she is three and this stage will pass.  She’s growing so fast and each day it seems like there is something new.  I know I will look back on this time and wish these moments would have lasted forever (except the not using the bathroom alone).

Eat..Play..Sleep

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.

Reflections – From the Diary of Mom

I have a two year old now.  No longer a baby but a very strong minded toddler and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Two years ago, I had the worst scare of my life.  At 30 weeks gestation, Della decided it was time to come into the world.  After spending two days in the hospital, while doctors tried to stop labor, I was rushed in for an emergency c-section.

I was there alone and scared beyond belief.  I had sent everyone home so I could “rest” (like you can really rest in a hospital).  I remember lying on the table, watching and listening to everyone rush around  tying to prepare for the birth.  I remember the nurses reassuring me everything would be fine. I remember shaking uncontrollably and my blood pressure dropping dangerously low.  I could hear the nurses asking  if I could hear them. Next thing I remember was looking over my shoulder and seeing my little lifeless baby lying on a table.

It was almost twelve hours before I finally saw my little angel.  I woke up and her dad was in the room telling me he just left from seeing her and he was scared because she was so tiny and on a respiratory. The mom in me kicked in and I made him take me to NICU.  I was still groggy from the pain meds as he wheeled me down to NICU.   When I came through the door, there she was naked and so tiny in her little bed.  She would spend the next two months in NICU.

The day the doctors came and  told me when she could go home, she stopped breathing in my arms.  The doctors thought it was nothing and said maybe her monitors came off.  In the middle of the night, I got a call saying she stopped breathing again and they wanted to do a spinal tap.  I cried like a baby because I couldn’t get to her. She had Group B Strep and would spend the next two weeks on antibiotics and very weak.

Della finally came home the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Her dad and I sat up all night watching her sleep (big mistake).  Della spent the first two months of her life at the pediatrician’s office every week, as she monitored her growth and development.  She had in home nurses and trips to specialists.  She was finally released from the under the care of her specialists at 18 months.

Now, two years later, I have a healthy and beautiful toddler.  I see myself in her.  I see her dad in her.  Every day I watch her accomplish something new and overcome all the odds the doctors said she had against her.  I  listen to her sing and talk to her stuffed animals and dolls.  I watch her jump off chairs, climb on tables, and slide down the stairs.

I am thankful.  I am thankful she is able to do all the things the doctors said she may not do.  I am thankful she is a strong willed, rambunctious, funny, and loving little girl.  I am thankful she is here. Most of all, I am thankful she chose me to be her mom.