Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

I'm a homebody.

I don't have an annual pass to the Children's Museum. I take my kids to the zoo once a year, maybe. If you were new to the area I really would not be the person to ask about indoor playgrounds.

When I was younger I was the kid who really didn't like sleepovers. I preferred weekends with my family and sleeping in my own bed. And I really haven't changed that much as an adult.

Sometimes, especially in the winter months, Tuesday is the only day I leave the house with the kids. That's the day we have our weekly Early Childhood class. And I signed up for it specifically to make myself get out of the house.

I realize that too much of something isn't always good. We can get pretty short-tempered with each other by sitting and staring at the same four walls every day.

When Lucy came along I thought for sure I would never be able to leave the house with both kids just for the heck of it. Grocery shopping and Target runs started happening in the evenings. I canceled my gym membership. Extra curricular activities were extinguished all together. And we still did manage to make it to our Early Childhood classes but we were always grotesquely late.

But then a few Saturdays ago something changed.

I was a poker widow that weekend. It's an annual event that Brian's brother puts on. It lasts from about 11 a.m. on Saturday until the next morning. It's great for Brian, but for me and the kids it usually means we go without anything that feels like a weekend.

At home all day with mom? Oh wait, that happens every other day of the year.

So I decide that wasn't really fair. The weather was nice and the kiddos were getting antsy so I plopped Lucy in the stroller and together William and I walked to a malt shop that's just a few blocks from our house.

I was a little nervous about handling a restaurant situation all by myself so I made it easier by going about a half hour before the normal dinner rush.

Things went beautifully. William was treated to a chocolate and banana malt. Both kids split a veggie sandwich. Even I was able to sip on my chococoffee malt without feeling rushed.

And when that went well I thought for sure I could go to the grocery store on Monday morning with both kids in tow. I made sure to go to the nicer grocery store (same chain, just different neighborhood) which is three extra miles from the not-so-nice store. (A clean store with baggers makes all the difference, don't you think?)

William walked, not always beside me but he was just trying to be helpful. He would race down the pasta aisle to find his favorite shape of noodles. Things like that. And Lucy was just happy to be perched in the cart watching every one and every thing.

I realize that a few developmental things have played a big part in getting me out. One, William is completely potty-trained. And by that I mean I don't have to ask him if he has to go constantly and if he does have to go, he can hold it long enough until we get home.

And two, Lucy doesn't nurse as frequently as when she was a newborn. Who wants to try to find a place to nurse in the middle of a grocery store when your baby is screaming? Not me.

I think I'll still always lean to the staying-at-home side of things but it's nice to know that we've finally arrived to a point where we can live the house if we want to without a whole lot of stressors.


  1. I haven't been there in too long. I love the malts, grilled cheese sandwiches, french mouth is watering. I might have to stop there next time I'm in the neighborhood.

  2. Oh sweet Jenny,
    My fellow sister and I just had this conversation not too long ago about how much we love being at home. Sleepovers, no, thank you, I like my bed and my breakfast cereal. I'm proud of you for spreading your wings! Nice work! Maybe soon you'll be going to Sesame Street Live sans Brian...gasp...that's nonsense! I love my spaces and places!

  3. Funny...Ash was invited to her first sleepover and I knew fist down that she would not be up for it, even though she was so excited. Sure enough, I called at 7pm and she was laying on the couch ready to come home. :)
    I go to the grocery store with both, but it's only if I have a very short, detailed list! Otherwise, sometimes I just go for the fun of it - they like being out and about. Maddie and Ashley live to charm complete strangers. Again - not sure if that's good or bad! (no idea how or where they got this from...Josh and I were so shy!!)

  4. I relate to this post 100%. We stay in almost every day of the week and we like it that way. We've actually still never taken our kids to the children's museum or the zoo (gasp!) - and we avoid indoor playgrounds as much as we can (so many germs!).

    That said, we have started making a weekly trip to the library on Wednesdays. My 3-year-old really looks forward to it...and so do I.

    As you know, my kids are the same age as your two and I agree with what you said. My older one is potty-trained and my little one doesn't nurse much (if at all) during the day. Both of those factors make outings so much easier.


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