Imagine this: a hotel room, curtains drawn, tv off, sweet little girl tuckered out in the bed next to you, and computer keys typing. Well, you've just imagined me at this very moment. Click. click. clickity, click, click. Our daily event is napping, and Ryan has been on a very loose schedule since we've arrived here. She's been really easy overall, but I've noticed the last two days she's needed earlier and longer naps. It's easy to say, "Oh, it's okay, she'll catch up later." However, when I know it's my fault that she's running on E, it's hard to remember that she still needs discipline.
Ryan and I were catching up on our chores yesterday. We made a day of it since the weather was terrible- rainy, colder, and super windy. Ryan and I took our first adventure to the laundromat. Sounds fun, huh? Well, there were some interesting humans there, and I had to make sure I kept my surroundings in check. I didn't feel unsafe, but for some reason, I have a really hard time not being polite to everyone. So a few times, I politely had to excuse myself, and "tend to Ryan." Otherwise, Ryan helped me do our laundry. She helped me separate and wash all three of our clothing. She helped me put them into dryers, and she helped me fold them.
There were several older couples in the shop, and Ryan was keeping them interested. The best thing happened, too. I got that compliment that just makes a mom feel outstanding. One nice little ol' lady said, "My goodness, for as long as you have been here, she is just so well-behaved." Thank you. Oh, lady. Thank you. I have to say, parenting is not easy. And, I am a firm believer that I am raising an adult. I don't talk to my child like she's a child. I tell her what's going on, and I tell her what I expect. And, sometimes she's right on target. Yesterday, our talk went like this:
"Ryan, girl, we're going to wash clothes today. You know, like we do in the basement at home. But, today we have to do them where other people wash clothes too. So I need you to stay close to me and help me, and please listen to me when I ask you to do something, Okay?"
Sometimes I don't get a response, but sometimes, when the circumstances are right, Ryan says, "Okay, Mommy." And, yesterday I got it.
We flew on an airplane a few weeks ago, and same scenario. It was beautiful. Ryan understands that she's required to do something, and I try to acknowledge when she's really unhappy about something. I have to admit, two's are challenging, but that key right there has saved us from a few HUGE meltdowns. Acknowledgement is huge.
Do other people acknowledge your feelings? Do you acknowledge theirs? I'm guilty of not doing this all the time. Sometimes to the people who are the closest to me, I lack in this. I would like to try to get better at it. When someone feels wronged, it's hard not to become defensive. It's hard to not talk and listen. Why can I do it so well with Ryan? Shouldn't I do it to everyone?
Last thing, we went to Mitzi's Bookstore today. And, it reminded me of 'The Little Shop Around The Corner" from You've Got Mail. It was so darling. I've never been to a real storytime. Even when I was little my mom worked, and that wasn't something we could fit in. I always read, but it wasn't really a routine in my childhood. The stories today were cute, and Ryan was intrigued by watching the other children. It was fun seeing it through her eyes, and enjoying a simple story together as a group.
I have to say, I love reading to Ryan, and I've become a pretty good storyteller. Do you change voices in the story or become animated? I do. I think it's key. We have a few books that we've added sounds to, like Where the Wild Things Are, and When I Went For a Walk in the Forest. I'm not afraid to be silly. It makes the stories more memorable.
I sure do love books. And, This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen was particularly cute.