comfort food days.
junk food days.
sous chefs choice days: tomato soup.
more of the norm.
It’s no surprise that food is a pretty big focus around here. I live in food. Our home revolves around food. (I typed “our food revolves around food”—- I think I proved my own point there). But really, our schedule is very much based around food— and sleep. After daycare, we try to get in a quick adventure like the zoo or the park, and then the next few hours is dedicated to meal time. Most nights, Marlowe helps me prepare dinner. Sometimes I don’t have a lot of patience with things, especially when I’m a bit more stressed, short on time, or just– I don’t know… when the mood isn’t right, but every time she wants to help me in the kitchen, my patience is on high. I know, that it will take a bit more work and time, but thats okay, because that time, is our time. It’s the time I get to share one of the things I love most with her. She knows the first and most important step in the kitchen, is washing your hands. She knows all her produce, grains, and beans. She’ll correct you if you tell her a plantain is a banana– she knows better. And she’ll always be sure to tell me to use the spoon and not my hands, when I stick my fingers in the salt jar. Got it, kid. I ask her most nights, what she wants for dinner, especially when I can’t make up my own mind. She almost always chooses soup, which works for me, because it’s a favorite for both of us. She comes in the kitchen and says “Mama, I want to help. Where’s my knife?” And sometimes, I give her, her toddler knife for her to hack away at the mushrooms, but usually I just distract her with another task. We cook dinner, pull up her highchair, she grabs napkins, her spoon or fork, and we (I) bring the food to the table. And we eat. It’s something so simple, mostly necessary, and filled with a lot of love.
I received a lot of feedback on my daycare post. I appreciated all the different thoughts and opinions, a lot. Many people brought up different points that I either didn’t know or didn’t think about. (Thank you). A few people advised me to create a daily schedule. I know without the daily posts on our daily life, it’s hard to know what our real life is like behind this blog, but our days (except for sick days) are very scheduled. After reading everything through and giving the matter a whole lot more thought, I decided I would be keeping Marlowe in daycare. Two days later, she woke up with a fever, and I was done. I know not everyone will agree (but that’s okay, we all looks at things differently, and have different ways of doing things) but I had enough. Enough. I decided it’s time to pull her out of daycare. It’s tuesday now, and I have a snoring, congested, sick kiddo next to me. That’s two days of daycare missed. Tomorrow is wednesday, the day she doesn’t go to daycare anyway. Then thursday, where she usually stays home, but not always. Then friday: that will be one day of daycare time, if she’s feeling up to it. That means, another week of daycare paid for and not used, while she’s sick at home, with me trying to make up a new routine, based on her sickness level. To pay part time (which, mind you is only 30$ less than full time) to have her attend maybe one day, is not worth it.
I’m mostly okay with the decision, but I know a lot of things are going to have to change around here. A new schedule and routine will have to be set— for her and for me. I’m not nervous about it, really. A lot of people mentioned her being in daycare gives me, “me time”, but unfortunately, it didn’t. It just gave me work time. Most days I still couldn’t find the time to allow myself to shower, because so many other tasks were far more important. She’s been going off with at least one set of grandparents, once a week, for the past three weeks now. That’s given me one night of (very much needed) me time. Other than that, my time is her time or work time. And from now on all my work time, is her time. I’m going to continue putting pressure on myself to put less pressure on myself. Does that make sense? I think so. Playtime, might still be the same time. Nap time will still be work time. After dinner time, will still be bath, tidy house, book, sleep, and then work work work until one in the morning time. A new regular play date or class will have to be joined. And lunch time, might become the new dinner routine, giving our meals shared, a lot more sunshine, and keeping our evenings a tad bit simpler. But I don’t know, I’m still sorting it out. Like I said, she’s sick, and all rules go out the window during sick time. Either way, I’m going to be sure to (try to) keep the focus on the important things: sleep, food, and love…. and showering later… or I guess right now. Yes, right now.

9 Comments

  1. You know what's right for you! It sounds like the being sick all the time REALLY threw a wrench in things for you guys…I wouldn't want to deal with a sick toddler / have my toddler have to be sick all the time either! Well, now you get to spend more sunshine time together! Enjoy, mama. You're doing a good job.

  2. I have five kids ranging from 10 to 24 and I wouldn't trade one minute of my time with them at home with me! I could have a lot more money, but I have no regrets now, time goes fast and it is something you can never get back…she will be in school before you know it! I did send mine to preschool and it wasn't so bad with illness and a lot cheaper than daycare…many churches have nice programs.
    Do what is right for your family and what your heart tells you, mothers are good at knowing what to do for their children! The me time is highly over rated once they are big and gone from your home, you have way too much of it and just wish for them to be little again!! 🙂

  3. yeah, daycare sickness seems like a drag. maybe you could look into some inexpensive classes to keep her occupied for a few hours a week while you catch up around the house. or do you have friends with kids? maybe you could take them for a half day or something once a week, and trade off? i don't know. this parenthood balance business is hard! 🙂

  4. First of all – Marlowe's hair is beautiful, especially a bit messily tided up or let loose 🙂

    Shared meals – there's nothing that can beat a mealtime with everyone talking over each other putting their hands out to reach the food, laughing and creating silly arguments. A chaos worth living for.

    Daycare – I wouldn't trade those three years Nadia has spent with me for anything. If that's the next thing for you girls, make the most of it! xx

    http://www.todaymyway.com

  5. Hi Drea,

    I think keeping kids home as long as you can is a great idea, although not for everyone I am sure. We have had the luxury of having both kids home until they started preschool at four years old, our thinking being that once they entered "the system" they'd be in it for the next seventeen years or so. So, the time when they are off the radar is so precious to us, and we were fortunate to be able to do it (by working from home, etc.). I don't think it's a bad choice for her at all, especially with a mom who does as much as you do. All that social stuff will come, as long as you have a few friends she can see from time to time. My two cents! xoxo

  6. Regarding daycare, it sounds like you really thought about it and made the best choice for your family. I might revisit that post when we're forced to make a decision in a few months.

    Isn't having grandparents nearby great? They get to build a solid relationship with their grandchild and you get time to yourself, win/win.

  7. You can try putting her in a weekly class or bible studies class which is only once a week? That way she can still make friends and learn how to socialise with other children around her age. 🙂

    Hope ur little girl feels better soon! Take care. 🙂

  8. I am right there with you. The sick thing derails life in such a powerful way. We don't do daycare, but just going to three story times a week at the library plus a children's museum day here and there (it's much less sunny here in Portland right now) has my boy down for the count way more often than I'd like. I can't imagine germ exposure on such an intimate level and then having to pay (!) because someone else brings their sick kiddo to infect everyone else. No thanks. School is right around the corner!

  9. i don't blame you on the daycare thing. we had our son in for a year, and looking back now, i'm not sure that it was worth the expense. i could have done as good a job myself, i think, saved some money, and had a not-constantly-ill kid to boot. so i hear you.
    i love that you two cook together–that's a very special thing. my son and i do sometimes…he sort of wanders off and wanders back in. it isn't a very focused procedure.