7 Days Down, 5 To Go. Yup, E and I have made it a week on our own unscathed. A few minor mishaps, but all in all unscathed. For those of you just joining in, Jer’s new assignment is on a large Coast Guard Cutter where he’ll be gone for a few months at a time. As of now, he’s away for two weeks at a class. Hence our Practice Deployment.
Over the last week I’ve learned a thing or two about living in an unknown place with a toddler by myself, and a few tricks for surviving the lifestyle deployment will bring. I imagine I’ll acquire a few hundred more in the next two years and beyond. But for now, my weekly words of…wisdom??
1. Don’t Run Off With the Neighbors Trash Can: I was all sorts of proud of myself for first remembering trash day (though the other trash cans out all over the street may have given me a heads up), and then actually putting out the trash and recycling, and finally bringing said cans back to the backyard. If you’re a rural lady like myself who’s family drove their garbage to the dump, then this new fangled suburban affair of trash day can be deceivingly tricky. No one mentioned having to note WHICH side of the mailbox you put yours on. My proud moment turned into me trucking four trash and recycling cans back and forth and hoping no one saw my suburban faux pas. Here’s to a better trash day this week.
2. When It’s You Versus a Toddler, Day In and Day Out, The “Rules” You Once Adhered to Do Not Apply: Limited screen time. Encouraging only good behavior. Boxed mac n cheese only in a pinch. Save the good wine for dinner parties and date nights. All out the freakin window. E now knows the theme song to the Sprout network, as well as the word “Sprout”. She got a balloon today at the grocery store in response to a tantrum over bananas. I’ve hidden meat and other sources of protein in mac n cheese on a daily basis, and the good wine is pouring nightly. Survival people, this is survival.
3. Remember That Sweet Furbaby You Have That Was at One Time Your World? No really, Remember Them. Like That They’re in the Back Yard: Like most Sundays, E managed to sustain an injury between waking up and the time we needed to leave for church. Not like last week’s bloody and bruised lip, but a decent knee scrape none the less (hence the BandAid in the picture above). After the crying and the well-vocalized hatred of wound care, I was able to distract E and get her in the car, happy, tear free, and off to church. Half way through the service, I remembered poor Meatball. In the backyard for his morning outing (albeit fenced in, but he’s not the outdoors type). Thank God it wasn’t a hot morning. If you’re not used to having a fenced in yard, take note the dangers as well as the perks.
Meatball was just fine, in fact he was happily playing (with E’s soccer ball). Though it wasn’t one of my finest moments as a dog parent, E did get to make this sweet Dove of the Holy Spirit for her first Sunday School Project.
4. Make Your Bed: When it’s you, a messy toddler and a slobbering dog it’s easy to get lax about daily chores and upkeep (both household and personal). Start the day off with discipline by doing something as simple as making your bed. The meaning of that simple task will trickle down into all you do that day. Rules of toddler engagement may change, but our personal daily rituals should be kept sacred despite the company.
5. Making Friends is Like Dating: It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of patience to sort through the crazies. Find the good ones and make it a point to make time for them in your day. Like how I look for the school bus to arrive in our neighborhood, as I know my fabulous new friend and neighbor will be gathering her kiddos from school. Time to go play in the front yard E, mommy wants to play with her friends too! (Totally not stalking, right?)
And so you have it, 7 days down and many more to go…next up, our meal plan of dinners, toddler approved! (According to today’s preferences and favorites….)