Monday morning. 6:41AM, house still quiet. Babies sleeping, husband back from trip, still sleeping. I feel like the babies and I just returned from a trip too. We had a weekend getaway at home. Just the three of us. We had so much fun. Jack and Fiona behaved perfectly, no tantrums, no problems taking naps or going to bed at night. I did keep a tight schedule, morning breakfast, then long walks, outdoor play until lunchtime, even in the rain, then lunch, nap, afternoon snack, creative activities, cartoons, dinner, bath time, bedtime. The key is to make sure they are tired enough physically and mentally, but not “wound up”. You have to keep it mellow, especially in the house. Also I’ve become a master at recognizing cues, for example; Jack will start throwing things he’s not supposed to, like food, Legos, and books, when he starts this behavior I know he’s tired. He needs a change, it’s usually time for reading books and going to bed. Fiona starts whining, a horrible annoying whine. At first when they would start these undesirable behaviors I would try to tell them to stop, try to teach them it’s bad behavior. Then I realized that just feeds the fire. They want attention, they are tired. Scolding them sends us in the wrong direction, into negativity. The only problem with this method is when I have to finish something, like cooking dinner for my husband! He eats later, when he gets home from work. The babies and I eat early, around 4:30 or 5:00. I need to figure out a solution. Crock Pot?
Yesterday morning the babies, Billy, and I went for a big adventure. We walk to the coffee shop. I brought the stroller but let the babies walk as far as they could. On the way down the hill, Gasp, “Mama Mama” Jack says; on the ground there is a potato bug. I try to get the bug to curl up, I want to show Jack this trick, but the potato bug won’t curl. As a little girl I loved finding potato bugs and watching them curl up. I use a wet piece of bark to let the bug climb on, I move the bug off the road. The bug tips over and we count his legs. Six. As I set the bug down I see little bugs with wings in the wet mulch. The babies investigate too. It’s wonderful, nature right outside our door. Then we say “Good bye potato bug” and continue on our journey. The babies stop at each neighbors’ yard, examining pin wheels blowing in the wind, turtle sculptures, people working in their yards, people on their way out or in. Each person, each thing we stop to examine. We say “Hi” to the people and “Bye” We say “Bye” kitty cats when we see two cats curled up in a garage. I keep saying, “Come on Jack and Fiona” or “That’s private property, you need to be invited to their house to go in” But they don’t understand that concept. They don’t understand private property or strangers. They don’t understand hurrying or not stopping and investigating interesting things, they can’t walk by a rock and not climb on it. I tell myself to enjoy it, not expect them to walk in a straight line, or not to jump in puddles. Rain comes and goes, sun too. Cars drive by, white blossoms cover the ground blown down from the storm. When we get to the coffee shop Jack and Fiona are hungry, they split an egg sandwich, drink chocolate milk, eat fruit and a butterfly cookie. They stay seated on their stools, watch people, wave hi. Billy waits outside guarding the stroller, she doesn’t bark. She’s a good dog. We head back, but this time I keep the babies in the stroller. We stop at the park to swing and play on the slide. By the time we get home it’s already 12:40! I offer the babies more food, but they aren’t hungry. I take them to the nursery, change diapers and say “goodnight, time for your nap” They play together for a while but take a good nap, I take a shower and work in my studio. Perfection.
I hear them waking now. Time to start the day. Lindsay’s working today and Alan’s home because of the rain. I told Alan I need to do laundry and work in my studio for part of the day! But then we are going to the movies. I want to paint bad! Back to real life.
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