A Good Week


This past week, Charlie’s preschool was closed, so she was home with me. Me and the Muffin together. All five days.

We didn’t do anything too spectacular. We made trips to the mall to buy Charlie new shoes and me a new purse, and then to return the purse. We made a visit to grandma’s house. We made several trips to the park and the pool. We took walks around the neighborhood. We colored and practiced letters and numbers. We watched movies. Lots of movies (I wanted to cut down on the monster movies so the Peter Pan movies and “Tinkerbell” were the movies of choice this week). We met my friend Lisa for lunch. We played with her princess dolls. And we did a lot of snuggling and laughing.

Maybe a better mother would have planned more educational or exciting things, but me? I’m a bit of a homebody anyway, and the aftermath of Irene made me reluctant to venture out onto highways if I didn’t really need to. It seemed as though there were enough things to keep us busy around here while having a fun, albeit relatively low key week– just me and my girl. If Charlie were older and needed more to keep her entertained, I would have planned more. But no matter. It felt right.

The timing of the new job that I start next week makes it feel like the end of summer and the start of a new school year (even though I’m not a teacher anymore). The community pool will close after Monday. So now we’re in the midst of enjoying a long weekend with Daddy. (Charlie gets so excited when she learns that it’s the weekend and Daddy will be home with us!)

But it just occurred to me tonight– Muffin has been home with me all week. All five days. Mostly just the two of us. And there wasn’t one day that I needed to bolt from the house flailing and screaming as soon as Greg walked in the door.

I love my girl like nobody’s business. But I would be lying if I said that 24/7 Mom Duty didn’t send me over the edge sometimes. It’s part of the reason she’s been in preschool part time even when I’ve been out of work. I look forward to the times that she’s at school and I can have some alone time and remember that I’m more than just “Charlie’s mom.”  While I haven’t always made the best use of that time, it’s helped me keep my sanity. And it’s helped me to be a better mom to her when I am home with her.

But this week was…different. I told her yesterday, “Charlie, you’ve been such a good listener this week. I am so proud of you!” I even took her to the Disney outlet store and let her pick out a toy. (She chose some clothes for her Princess Jasmine doll which I thought an odd choice for her because she usually strips the clothes off dolls immediately upon their arrival– but this set came with a little Abu.)

I had been trying to refrain from buying her new toys, so I wanted to make sure she understood that this one, she earned. As we stood in line at the store, I knelt down and asked, “Why are you getting this special present today?” And she smiled and said, “Because I was a good listener.”

Oh, she wasn’t perfect. She’s never a bad kid, but she’s just…three. And anyone with a three-year-old can tell you it ain’t always easy. Fits if I put milk on her cereal before she asks me to; tantrums if I make her do something crazy like wear real shoes to the park instead of her princess dress-up heels; tears if I take away a pen that she started to draw on a table with…you get the idea.

But this week, anytime she started to get fresh or throw a fit about something, she regrouped pretty quickly. Or at least rode it out. And so did I. Patience is definitely something I’ve had to work on, especially because Charlie does not respond well to my yelling or getting upset. Things escalate pretty quickly if I lose it, and I had to catch myself a few times this week.

Yeah, even with a three-and-a-half-year-old, the mother daughter relationship can get pretty complicated.

I’m not sure if it’s the “half” part of the three-and-a-half lending just that touch more of reasonableness, or if I’m simply learning to respond better to my daughter, or it it was maybe a little bit of both.

The snuggles and kisses this week have been plentiful and among the best because they’ve been so organic– grown from shared laughs and good days when I enjoyed her company and she enjoyed mine.

Yes. It was a good week.

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  1. Irene Landon says:

    I am so glad to spend so much time with her. She will remember that. And I Love when she hugs the phone after she talks to me!


  2. Irene Landon says:

    I meant to say I am so glad YOU spend so much time with her!


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