So, I’ve been uber blah this last week. Uber tired and uber in need of some “me time”. I’m starting to wonder if there ever will be a time when I can take a little “me time” and not feel super damn guilty about it. You would think, as I presume most people do, that a working mom gets a break when she leaves the house for work. Well, let me set the record straight.
That is not the case. Work is not a vacation. Work is not a walk in the park, wind in your hair, sand between your toes. Work is stress. Work is tiring. Work is down right annoying. For any working mom. Period. Work is not a break.
And to think, with all this need for “me time” the thing that got me out of my funk was a weekend out with Punky. Literally, we spent all weekend together and it was refreshing to get out of the apartment. It was refreshing to do things with her. It was refreshing to see her little face light up and to have her all to myself.
Saturday, we went to the very first birthday party she was invited to. Now, that doesn’t seem like a whole lot of anything, I’m sure. But, being the Mommy I am, I’m all about firsts.
I learned from our time at this party, with six or seven other two or almost two year olds that Punky isn’t really very social. She doesn’t really have the need or want to play with other kids. She’s content to read a book in the corner or play with a small toy by herself. Chaos ensues around her and she’s just sitting there, reading a book.
I haven’t decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet. But, it does make me think she may need to go to a daycare or a pre pre-school or something soon. I think it has a lot to do with her not being around other kids. I find myself wishing I was still working night shift so that I could take her on more play dates. So I could expose her to more people and adventures and experiences. If only to get her socially less awkward when it comes to other kids.
Punky shares naturally and frankly, she doesn’t give a shit if another kid takes her toy. She just gives them a weird look, like she’s not sure what just happened and moves on to another toy. So, in that way, she’s pretty darn awesome. But, I also want her to stand up for herself. Not in the way that I was raised, with violence, but at least to assert herself. This is something we can’t really work on right now, because she’s not even two and she’s really not vocal enough to be assertive. But, it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
Worried Mommy Syndrome kicks in sometimes, when we are these types of situations, and then suddenly she finds a toy she really likes, that all the other kids are also excited about and like magic, she interacts. And it reminds of that she’s going to be just fine. She’s just finding her way. She’s just two and she’s just trying to figure out herself and others.
By the way, did you notice that the toy she gravitated to was a toy likely geared towards boys. That’s becoming a theme lately with our budding toddler. When I ask her which shirt she wants to wear, I give a choice of blue ‘boyish’ designs, pink ‘girlish’ designs and usually a neutral type shirt and she generally goes for the dinosaurs, the cars, the blue and greens. (Speaking of colors, this kid knows her colors!!) Am I concerned my daughter likes boy things? No, not really. I think the gender stereotyping is ridiculous. Do I think it’s too early to tell if she’s ‘gay’ or ‘gender creative’ like sweet little CJ on Raising My Rainbow. Yes. I do think it’s too soon. I haven’t even really given it thought. We make joke here and there that “Mama dressed her” or “My little tomboy” or whatever, but seriously, she’s too small to make assumptions on what labels she will have and who she will be when she grows up.
But, when I tell people we are going to have a “Cars” themed party for Miss Punky for her second birthday, just today I got a sideways glance and a snarky tone accompanied by the “For a little girl?” Like it was the most foreign concept we had ever heard of. I don’t think it’s absurd. I don’t think it’s out of balance. Punky likes her babies and her stuffed animals, she loves Doc McStuffins and reading. She also loves cars and trucks and playing with Mommy’s shoes.
For crying out loud, she’s a toddler. She doesn’t know, nor does she need to know the difference in what ‘genders are supposed to play with what.” Its all a damn marketing tactic anyway.
Anyway, we went to the zoo yesterday and got to see the animals. Our zoo just got a penguin exhibit and it was by far her favorite place to be. She kept banging on the glass and screeching at the penguins all delighted. Of course, it really kinda made me think of ‘Finding Nemo’ and the poor fish in the tank and what the penguins must be thinking and feeling about an overgrown toddler (she’s kind of a giant) banging on the window of their home!
We fed some sheep and some deer and had a conversation with a goat. She has also gotten so very good at her animal sounds. You know, they weren’t kidding when they said it would feel like overnight when your toddler decides to start communicating with clarity. While there are days I have no idea what she’s saying, there are other days, she walks around the house saying things like “Oh God.” and “Way Cool.” or “Oh Man.” I have no idea where she got these phrases, perhaps from her moms, but I suppose I’m grateful the ‘naughty’ words aren’t sticking in her brain!
Instead she’s getting excellent at when and how to use “please” and with prompting, she wows people with her “thank you.” Anyone who says a kid needs to grow up with religion to be a good person, is mistaken. This kid, the kid with two moms and no religion, has better manners than I have seen in a lot of kids her age. She also shares like nobody’s business, she gives hugs when she feels they are appropriate and has been known to pat the head of a person who may or may not need a good toddler spirit to brighten their day.
Throughout the day, we took a few pit stops to have snacks and rest Mommy’s feet. We stopped to have a chat with Buddha, but well, Punky wasn’t really interested in rubbing his belly or even sitting next to him. Though, I thought it would be a cute picture, looking back, I can see why the overweight bald man may terrify a young child. She just wasn’t having ANY of it.
Instead we moved on to greener pastures and better things to do while at the zoo.
It was a little chilly and Punky had no nap, so a tantrum was sure to happen. She found the opportune time to do so, while riding the tram to Africa.
However, it was short lived before we had a nice walk along the path and a dance with her shadow. Complete with twirls, wiggles AND a little march around.
A ride in the wagon, some animal crackers, a few animals that were finally out in the chilly weather and we were finished for the day and on our way back home. We made a stop at the gift shop and got an elephant and a new zoo sippy cup to take home. Fell asleep on the way home and the weekend was finished.
While I am sure I could have used a little “me time” – spending time with this little one has renewed my spirit, added a little calm in my life, even with her chaos and tantrums. We spent time out of the apartment and it was nice to spend that time with her. In the end, we had a great weekend and this Mommy is renewed and refreshed for a new week.