Last week, I was on vacation. Glorious, stress-free, vacation…AT HOME. I have always wanted to take a full week of vacation time and just sit at home, eating nachos for breakfast, watching Kathy Lee and Hoda, reading Us Weekly and wearing yoga pants with zero intention of actually doing yoga (or any physical activity, for that matter). Now that we’re parents, a week of time at home gives me a peek into the life of a stay-at-home mom.
I learned a few things in those 7ish days; some of those things are valuable life tools. And some of those things involve The Wiggles.
Top Ten Things Learned During SAHM Week…
10. You’re an anti-TV parent until you are forced to become a TV parent. Let me clarify this by saying we are still anti-TV parents; however, when you need 15 minutes to vacuum, take a phone call, find the cat or just poop, well…plopping Miles in the Jumperoo and giving him some PBS was the answer.
9. Your coffee will probably be cold by the time you finish it. Every morning, I would play with Miles on the floor in the living room and attempt to drink my coffee. This worked fine, until he noticed my coffee mug. Once the mug was in his line of sight, it was game over. He would stop at nothing in his attempts to grab my mug, because suddenly that mug of coffee was more important than anything in the entire universe, ever.
8. All electrical cords belong to Miles. I thought I could work on our family Christmas card while Miles was playing with one of his favorite toys (a measuring cup). He was intently putting his orange monkey under the measuring cup, scooting it over, then picking it up again to see if monkey was still there. He had no idea I was even in the room. I quietly plugged in my laptop, and started working. That was the moment his spidey senses kicked in…realizing an electrical cord was nearby, Miles immediately stopped playing with his cup. After 10 minutes of attempting to work, I gave up. A similar situation arose with the vacuum, steam mop, and phone charger. Some of you may be wondering why electrical cords are so awesome. Like all awesome toys, you can BEAT THEM ON THE FLOOR AND MAKE NOISE.
7. A majority of children’s programming is frightening, or created by people taking psychotropic drugs. I thought I’d check out that BabyFirst channel, only to find some terrifying show with three large and incredibly realistic looking mice singing and dancing, with no movement from their mouths. Just these blank, vacant stares from their beady costume eyes.
And now you can share in my nightmare.
So that ended up on the “do not watch” list. Then I tried something called Lazy Town, but found most of the actors had rubber masks or weird hair, and added that to the list as well. These very strange shows also seemed to lack any educational value.
Not good role models. Also, questionable fashion choices.
What made the cut? The Wiggles, Barney and Friends (YES, THAT IS STILL ON THE AIR!), Sid the Science Guy, Sesame Street and The Chica Show. Good stuff.
6. A majority of new children’s music is also frightening. While I am anti-TV, during playtime we do have music going…Miles loves music. We usually listen to jazz, but I decided to venture into the world of children’s music. There’s a lot of good stuff out there. For instance, Caspar Babypants (you can’t make this stuff up) is now in my regular playlist. He’s like a Jack Johnson for babies, and it is awesomesauce.
How can you not love this guy?
SERIOUSLY. He’s awesome. I would listen to him even if I didn’t have children.
However, when a group called “Preschool Popstars” came on singing a song about a daycare dance party, I decided I did not want my eight month old in da club. You would also be amazed at the number of adult pop songs (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, etc.) that make it to the children’s station because they are being sung by THE CHIPMUNKS. This type of torture should be saved for Guantanamo. Fun fact: These tunes will also make your ears bleed.
Sippin’ on juice. Just juice.
THIS IS AN ACTUAL SONG.
Yes, I could have made the entire post about this one thing.
It’s like a train wreck, I just can’t turn away from it.
WHY IS THAT TODDLER WEARING SUNGLASSES?!
5. You can wear the same clothes five days in a row, and no one will know. Except the UPS guy. And maybe the mailman. Also, employees at Publix, depending on how many times you visit the store. Fashion be damned, I wore the same yoga pants and Grateful Dead t-shirt ALL. WEEK. LONG. It was awesome.
4. You get to eat lunch with your kiddo! Feeding Miles while simultaneously feeding myself is nothing new, but eating lunch at 11am is. So at 2pm, when I was suddenly hungry in a way that can only be akin to a bear waking from hibernation, I would usually binge on something sensible, like an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers and half a jar of Nutella. Don’t look at me like that.
3. You finally see why all the other moms won’t stop talking about the blue Wiggle.
Oh, you think he’s kind of lame?
2. You get to read a book! And a magazine! And watch re-runs of SATC! Miles’ longest nap usually happens around lunch time…two hours of glorious, uninterrupted ME TIME. Choirs of angels sang the first time I sat down to read.
1. YOU GET TO TAKE A NAP…EVERY SINGLE DAY! Oh my gosh, naps. I haven’t taken a nap since…how old is my son? That long. It was awesome.
Besides these learning moments, I also really, really, really enjoyed just getting some downtime with my kiddo. These are the days that go by quickly, where he seems to still be swaddled one minute and somehow riding a tricycle the next. It happens that fast. So having many, many days of “just us” was an incredible, tremendous blessing. I cried The Ugly Cry three times last week, just sitting there watching him play, because I suddenly realized he was no longer my teeny, tiny little baby. He’s a big boy. An amazing, smart, funny, snuggly and loving little guy.
Dropping him off at school on Monday was like that first day, all over again. Only this time, Miles eagerly crawled to the basket of toys and immediately began dumping them all over the floor, totally oblivious to the fact that mom was standing there, teary eyed, watching her baby grow up. I kissed him goodbye; he bopped me on the nose and tried to take my glasses, then he gave me a hug. A real hug.
I left before my morning at daycare turned into a Publix Thanksgiving commercial.
You cried when the pilgrims were separated at the table, right?
Working parents, if you get the chance to take some vacation and spend it at home with your young ones, I cannot encourage you enough to do it. In the blink of an eye, kids are off at college, getting married, giving you grandchildren…these days are precious and brief. Even when you’re tired, distracted, running a hundred miles an hour…stop, and make the most of these days. You will appreciate these memories so much as your children grow.