Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a Good Life! I'm Dianne, a 30-something mommy of 2 wanting to use my words to inspire my daughters, and others, to live a good life.
My good life in photos.
When the clock strikes 9pm at my house, you can almost hear the cherub angels singing a chorus of “Hallelujah” from Heaven. It is at this time when everyone in my house except ME is in their beds asleep for the night. I use this time for a myriad of things… (more…)
Being that it is summertime, I’ve been on the search for toddler classes to keep Dylann occupied. I’m thankful to have summers off so that I can do this with her. I go back to work in August, and there are very few toddler programs that take place in the late afternoon/evening. (Why is that, by the way? I know there are working parents out there that want to enrich their children’s learning experiences, too.)
The Main Library in our area has a toddler story time that takes place once a week, and it’s FREE! We tried it out last week, and it went pretty well. There were lots of little ones around Dylann’s age group, which was great as she needs to be around people her age more. We sang songs with funny actions, read books, had play time, and even made a simple art project. I really only had 2 BIG issues with the program:
A part of the play area smelled like urine.
The toys looked like they hadn’t been cleaned. Like ever.
Maybe it was the carpet, or perhaps a little one was running around with soiled underpants, but the smell was very present and almost overwhelming. I tried very hard to keep Dylann away from the area, which was hard because it was near the play kitchen which is her favorite thing in the world.
I found some of the toys to be sticky, and the clothes on the dolls were stained. It just means that the toys are well-loved, right? Ew.
When I spoke to David about it later that evening, he said he was surprised I even stayed for the whole class. I’m not a neat freak or anything, nor am I OCD about germs, but I do have a tendency to get grossed out easily. And, of course I wouldn’t want my daughter to contract anything from playing with dirty toys. But the truth is I loved seeing her in a new environment – using her imagination somewhere other than in the comfort of our living room. She had so much fun watching the other kids and exploring. (Not to mention it was very refreshing for me to get out of the house.)
I don’t think we will be going back, sadly. I think what did it for me was when my husband said, “If it was you who had to work in a place that smelled like urine and that had dirty object that you had to handle, you wouldn’t do it. So why would you subject our daughter to it?” He has a point.
Am I being too OCD? Are my standards set too high? Should I just let it go and focus on the fact that she enjoys going to the class?
I guess for now I am continuing to search for other venues. Let’s hope she didn’t contract anything from being in that room for an hour. I’ve heard hand-foot-mouth is so not fun.
“I need a break.”
Both girls were crying. One didn’t want to take a bath and the other just wanted to be held. My husband had just gotten out of the shower after a long day at work and an hour commute home. In traffic.
I walked downstairs and sat on the couch, listening to my husband stomp around in the room above. I hear the bath running and him trying to coax #1 into the tub. He runs back to #2 to give her the pacifier. It works for 10 seconds. She is crying again. He puts white noise on. #1 is now screaming, “Mommy!”
I just wanted 10 minutes to myself.
Feeling defeated, I walk back upstairs after 3, pick up the baby, and go over to tub with my fake smile and my best mommy voice.
“Wow! You’re taking a bath, Dylann? What a good girl! Now you’re going to be all clean!”
She stops crying, looks up at my with red, puffy eyes and says, “Yeah.” She grins.
Then something happens between that moment and after #2 is done with her bath. I feel anger, resentment, and exhaustion rising from within. And it all comes out. There is yelling and tears and screams. There is also confusion and hurt. Somehow we had forgotten that the kids were in the room.
#1 is confused and scared. She puts her hand on my face and repeats, “Stop talking!”
I can’t even begin to describe the million thoughts that went through my mind in that one moment. My two-year-old knows something is wrong. Does she get it? Does she really understand? I see the fear in her eyes. Mommy and daddy don’t talk to each other like this.
What ensued next further perpetuated my guilt and affirmed my belief that we had scarred her for life. She wouldn’t look at me, at either of us. We asked for hugs, she turned her back. She never does that. She didn’t say anything for a while, and she didn’t want to go to bed, even when we offered her her bottle – usually a source of comfort and sure-fire way to get her to go to sleep.
I woke my husband up later that night to apologize. There were more tears, but the yelling was replaced with words of forgiveness. We promised to try and be slow to anger, more understanding, and more loving. We promised to try and never fight in front of our children again. The way they will view the world will be dependent on what they see going on in front of their eyes. And we agreed that we don’t want harsh words and raised voices to be their normal.
Parenthood can bring out the worst, though it demands the very best. It will push you to your limits, and also expand your heart to territories unknown. But I think overall it has made my husband and I want to become better versions of ourselves. I see so much of ourselves in our daughter – in the way she talks, reacts, laughs, and loves. Being her parents has shown us what it is to love and be loved unconditionally.
I know there will be more days like this, where we forget how to be kind and patient, when our voices are full of anger and resentment and tiredness. Hopefully those days will be few, and our children’s normal will consist mostly of laughter and light and love.
We’re working on it.
There is an eerie sort of calm that has just come over my house at this moment. Both my girls just happen to be napping. At the same time. Finally, some time to myself! My first instinct is to pick up my purse and head over to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Oh, wait. The girls would have to come with me, huh? Forgive me, I’m still somewhat new to this whole mom-of-two thing. Today was the first time I took both girls out by myself. We took a short trip to the library for a Learn and Play class we signed up for this summer. It was our first time, and I was excited for Dylann to get the chance to be around other kids for once. (Is it normal that 2 of her dolls are named after her 20-something year old cousins? That’s her crew nowadays.) The whole “getting ready” process took a total of 2 hours. That included changing and feeding both of them, packing our things, taking a shower (people without kids take this for granted), making coffee, and getting everything and everyone loaded into the car. We arrived at the library 30 minutes early, which was good because just getting them out of the car and into the sling and stroller took a while. But we got to the door with 10 minutes to spare! The class was great and my one-month-old slept the whole time, which made our time there much easier. We sang songs and played and danced. We even made a paper turtle. When we got home, both girls were just as exhausted as I was from our little field trip. It’s no wonder they both knocked out. I thought about the things I could do during this golden hour – fold the laundry, watch TV, sleep, do the dishes that have been sitting in the sink for 2 days. But instead, I choose to write. I write because it gives me a chance to collect my thoughts. I write because nowadays, more than ever, I feel the need to be creative. I write because I want to remember. And as I write I wonder if my house will ever be clean again (it’ll just get dirty again tomorrow), if I should just give up on folding laundry altogether and start a “clean clothes” pile on the floor of our guest room (our laundry piles are endless), and whether or not I should clean up the toys strewn about the dining room turned play area (she’s going to throw a fit when she realizes her Doc McStuffins doctor bag is put away). I also start to wonder if it is normal to miss my kids when they are sleeping. While I type the conclusion of this post, Dylann is already up and calling for her baby sister. Devynn answers back with a loud cry. And just like that the golden hour is over.