Under-scheduling

This last week has felt weirdly busy, especially considering how intentionally under-scheduled it has really been. Last week was my first Thanksgiving with Tiny without a looming term paper due date. I chose to continue in that vein this week; no term papers meant more time together. Instead of writing a #tbt post, I chose to spend extra time with my Tiny human. I’ve been so super thankful for the extra time this week, even though there have definitely been moments that I’ve overwhelmed by the sheer force of energy that is my Tiny. We’ve also had three really special moments that would not have happened if it had not kept this week intentionally under-scheduled.

The first two special moments have to do with how hard we’ve been working on using ‘big girl words’ to be understood. First, on Tuesday I made a pot pie from scratch and used the leftover Cornish hens from Thanksgiving. Now, I do make a mean pot pie if I do say so myself (and I will share more about that in the New Year) but this one was exceptional; the smoked hen really made it. Tiny, however, did not like it. And by not like it, I mean there was much weeping. This is fairly unusual as Tiny will try most things and has been conditioned to have a fairly adult palette. After much consoling and question-asking, Tiny finally said that she just didn’t like the green beans ‘all mixed up’; she wanted ‘clean’ green beans and turkey. I really felt like that was a parenting win. She was so very articulate about why she didn’t like the pot pie. So I pulled more green beans and some fresh turkey from the local deli out of the fridge and she had her own little feast. If she doesn’t like green beans mixed in a homemade, gluten-free cream of chicken broth, who am I to stop her from eating her ‘clean’ veggies? Especially since we’d kept our day intentionally free, actually had a fairly early dinner, and had the time to work through Tiny’s aversion to ‘mixed up’ veggies.

The second also has to do with using big girl words. For a while now, Tiny has been telling us when her emotions are too big and she’s ‘having a hard time.’ Today on the playground she was playing with some new kids on some spinning equipment. She got scared when she couldn’t stop it and called for help. The big deal, though, is that she was able to tell me that she needed to take a break and proceeded to describe the form that break needed to take. She told me she needed me to sit with her. Then she told me when she was ready to go back to play with her new friends at the park. This really felt like a breakthrough, especially since we don’t usually have time to just chill at the park on a Friday afternoon. We had the space and time to allow her to have a fun – and scary – experience and work through that with minimal coaching.

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Finally – and this has nothing to do with vocabulary – we had the time to visit some extended family for an extended day-trip. We had the time and space to drive 1.5 hours into the country and had a delightful visit filled with good, not-so-clean fun. Tiny really and truly got her hands dirty, along with everything else, and completely wore herself out. She really was able to let loose and be a kid in every way. She was having so much fun that there really wasn’t much for me to do, which was delightful!

It’s so important to deprogram once in a while! We’ve had a truly wonderful week! As the busy holiday season closes in on us, I really encourage you to take at least a few days and intentionally under-schedule your own lives. You won’t be sorry.

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