I have discovered The Secret, at least for my tot and me. No, not that “secret” where you wish and intend for things to happen in your life and they do … I’m talking about the parental Ace card that is elusive and ever-changing. I’ll explain:
This past weekend, Daddy-o had a very serious work commitment, so it was me and Boopsie for the long-haul (with some respite at Grammie and Grampie’s). And all week last week I had a severe case of the doldrums. It was bad. I felt crushed by the routine and responsibility of everything in my life. I was feeling terribly bored — not with the people in my life, but by the day-in, day-out patterns. Get up earlier than I want to, fight my two-year-old to get ready to go, go to work, pick up two year old, make and eat dinner, fight to get two-year-old to bed and chill or try to do something productive. Go to bed later than I should. Repeat. (First-world problems all the way…) I was getting desperate trying to bust out of my dull downer mood. So these are some of the things I tried:
- I bought an aromatherapeutic candle called “Be Amazing.” (Yes, really.)
- I re-started listening to classical music.
- I bought and read Dream Save Do by Betsy and Warren Talbot from Married With Luggage
- I impulsively bought Boopsie a spring jacket because it has bikes on it. Thankfully, it was only $15.
- I tried cooking new things like vegan chili (delicious, actually).
- I went shopping for myself. Spent quite a bit more than $15.
- I decided to clean my closet. I didn’t actually clean out my closet.
Basically, heading into a long weekend of single parenting (woe is me, I know), I was a little panicked about HOW TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT THINGS and MORE EXCITED ABOUT LIFE. Add to this a wily two-year-old bouncing off the walls and I was worried about not snapping. But then… magic happened. First, we received about four inches of fresh snow on Friday while Boopsie was at day care. Second, the weather was nice for February — mid- to high-20s. Finally, we were both healthy enough to play outside. The mythical winter trifecta was attained for only the second time this whole season (good snow + decent temperature + healthy). I picked up Boo and we went to a sledding hill I’d never been to before… It. Was. Awesome.
If someone would have told me last week that the cure for winter doldrums was to play outside in the winter weather I may have punched them. But sledding down a too-big-for-me-and-my-tot hill and following Boopsie around while she marched through the park discussing how she was going to the “li-blaly” (library) to get more “llama books” shook me out of my stupor.
And the best part… the BEST part… is that she burned off so much energy that she went to bed like a dream and slept for TWELVE HOURS. The bells and whistles went off in my head and we’ve dragged her outside to play every day since. On Saturday we went on a walk looking for turkeys near my parents suburban home. On Sunday I took her to the park where she went down the slides at least 20 times. Today Daddy-o took her back to the park for more sliding, swinging and general exploration. Granted, her bedtime wasn’t as smooth tonight, but she ate chicken enchiladas like a champ at dinner. WINNING.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring… a chest cold? Biting wind? I hope to hell we can get outside after work and day care. And I don’t know if I’ve really beaten my doldrums or just beaten them back for a little bit. But I do know (at least for now), my secret to survival is getting outside with this kiddo. Look out, world!