Emily over at Chatting at the Sky has made it a practice to record the things she learns each month. It’s a valuable habit, this habit of reflection, and so I’ve been joining her in it for the past year. If you’d like to join us as we remember, you can comment on this post with what you learned, or head over to Emily’s site and link up there.
1. Picking up lapsed habits is hard.
To be fair, this is more of a lesson I re-learned than it is a brand-spanking-new thing to add to my list, but I was reminded of how painful it can be to try to reintegrate habits into my routine this month. Because of new baby Palmer (set to enter the big wide world in August) growing inside of me, during the first two months of this year, I took a hiatus from everything except sleeping and … well, sleeping. I stopped running. I stopped writing. I stopped cleaning (except for the bare minimum). Trying to reestablish those things now that my energy has returned has been difficult, to say the least.
2. When a toddler enters the “I can do it myself” stage, everything takes 100 times longer.
It’s good that she’s developing a sense of independence, and that she wants to help, and I want to encourage such things. The trick is remembering to give ourselves lots and lots (and lots and lots) of extra time whenever we actually need to be somewhere at a particular time. (Like, ahem, church on Sunday morning).
3. Parents who can decipher the things their toddlers say aren’t magicians. They’re just … parents.
Seriously. I may have been one of those people who looked at those who understood the gibberish their kiddos said with a healthy mix of skepticism and awe. No more. All it really means is that they’ve spent lots of time around their child, picking up through gestures and other clues exactly what is meant. For instance, here are some common Katie-isms and their translations:
Poops: People (I must admit, there are days when I’m inclined to agree with her on this one)
Do me no: I did – or am doing – this thing by myself
Sit. Me?: I’d like you to sit next to me OR I want to sit here. (Similarly: “Eat. Me?” means “I want to eat” and “Bite. Me?” means “I want a bite of that” and so on and so forth)
Woofy: Our dog, Euclid. (This is specific to our dog. Dogs in general are just “woof!”)
Ka-ki (while pointing to her cheek): I want to do it (usually a response when asked if she wants help)
… and on and on the list goes.
4. Pens are not safe. Anywhere.
Katie can push chairs to where she wants them to be and then climb up on them now, and her favorite activity is “coloring.” If I turn my back for a second, she’ll be taking a pen to whatever paper might be in reach – library books, bills, my journal, you name it. We’re working hard to teach her that she may only draw in her own coloring books. In the meantime, I’ve taken pains to move all pens out of her (ever-expanding!) reach.
5. Terro is an excellent ant bait.
6. I feel like a new person once I hit my second trimester.
I no longer feel as though I’m sleepwalking through my days. Energy is such a wonderful, wonderful thing.
7. Having more family close by is a good thing!
My sister and brother-in-law moved in January. The drive to visit them used to be a full day; now it’s less than an hour. In March, we met them at a children’s museum for a morning of fun, and they came up one Saturday for hikes and hanging out. (They also came up this past weekend, but I suppose that doesn’t technically count for this post since it happened in April.) Katie, introvert that she is, is finally beginning to warm up to them, and it’s been sweet to get to see them more often.
Now that I read through these, I realize that all of them are lessons I’ve more re-learned – things I probably already knew, just needed to be reminded of. Funny, isn’t it, how so much of life seems to be learning the same things over and over and over again?
Those are my lessons from April. What about you? What did you learn?