I'm really glad weekends are two days long. Especially this weekend. Just enough time for Anna to prove to me that she's got a really good side and a really bad side.
Days like this are why I wanted to be a mom:
Saturday started out kind of perfectly. I'd done most of the grocery shopping after Anna went to bed on Friday night so there was no pressure when I woke up. Anna and I had breakfast, played for a while, sorted through her old toys, cleaned up the kitchen and did a quick run to Sam's Club. After that, she and I went to the West Allis library for Anna's first library experience
The West Allis Library has a great children's section. It's upstairs and a little secluded so I didn't feel too paranoid about Anna's constant vocal stream of "WOW!" and "BOOK!" Needless to say, she liked it quite a bit. There were puzzles on little tables with little chairs, all her size, scattered around the children's section. The board books are all in little bins right at her level. She didn't know where to go first. We spent about an hour exploring and picking out books. After we checked out, I let her put a couple in the bag that she brought along for herself and then she carried it by herself all the way to the car. We had to sit down immediately when we got home and read all six books that we brought home. I had such a good time, I actually wondered around 3 if it was too nerdy to go to the library twice in one day. (For the record, I decided that YES, it is too nerdy and we baked instead.)
Anna and I both took long naps on Saturday afternoon and then we baked a homemade pizza together. Mostly Anna just snuck pepperonis out of the bag while I was spreading out the pizza crust, but I think that's a crucial (possible the MOST crucial) part of homemade pizza making. The girl's got it down.
Church with a toddler: an exercise in frustration:
I'm not going to dwell on the particulars of today other than Anna has been throwing tantrums ALL DAY, beginning with the mother of all tantrums in church this morning at the end of the service. Definitely my most embarrassing parenting moment thus far.
Just another "I had no idea how easy I had it" moment - Right after Anna was born going to church became a significant source of stress for me. I think it was a combination of sleep deprivation and an uncomfortableness with nursing in public. After all, if I wanted to sit in a room by myself trying to coax this new little human to eat, why should it be in public at church where lots of other parents (and their nosy children) could witness my frustration? It was just easier for me to be at home. TODAY me wants to smack THEN me on the back of the head and tell her pipe down, sit in the rocker and enjoy the fact that I could at least listen to the service!
Church with a toddler is an entirely new sort of unpleasant from those initial days of parenthood. Now instead of stocking the diaper bag with diapers, changes of clothes and burp cloths, I stuff every toy, book and crayon conceivable in that bag that might possibly hold her attention for more than 2 minutes (which, of course, none of them do). Snacks, a sippy cup, stickers, coloring books, board books, baby dolls, puzzles...it doesn't matter. I always spend the service the same way - walking up and down the hallway with Anna who just wants to RUN! Or on weeks when she's feeling particularly generous, we'll get to play in the nursery. Nevertheless, I find myself thinking that same thought from the first few weeks of being a mom - why am I chasing a screaming toddler at church when I could be doing this exact same thing at home and getting the same amount of spiritual fulfillment out of it?
This is not to discount Hubby, who does his best to grant me reprieve when he can. But even on weeks that he takes Anna out when she starts getting antsy (usually during the opening hymn), I can't focus because I can still hear her or I am worried about what she's doing.
So how about it, fellow moms? Will she ever sit through an entire service? When does church start to be fulfilling rather than frustrating? Because I gotta tell you, it's nice of Hubby to give me the rundown on what the sermon was for the week, but I haven't gotten much more than that out of a service in almost a year. And after the "show" she put on this morning, Anna can wait until she's 19 before I take her ANYWHERE in public again. Any tricks besides those I've mentioned above?