Because some days require documentation

by Katie on August 25, 2015

I single parented most of last week while Brandon had the incredible opportunity to accompany another farm on their employee fly fishing trip in Idaho. At no cost to him. I mean, even though work is crazy busy right now, that is not something you pass up. Not to mention he always enjoys the company, and it gives him the chance to spend time with a good friend (who actually works for the company).

Anyway, none of that really has anything to do with the rest of this, because the rest of it is just about our kid. Imagine that, right?

But really, when you’re single parenting a 2.5-year-old for five days (who is still adjusting to not sleeping with a pacifier – sleep training a two-month-old was a million times easier than sleep training a two-year-old), there are some less than stellar moments. But when they’re topped off with days like Friday, where you just can’t get enough of them, you almost forget the face-down-in-the-floor-tantrum the day before. Almost.

To begin the day, the third sentence out of her mouth that morning (“Where’s my milk?” and “Can I drink it now?” are always top priority) was, “Where’s my daddy? Is he here?” Not that this was much different than the preceding days (Sister loves her daddy, as we have well established), but it was just the first sweet thing that came out of her mouth in what proved to be a lineup of a day.

IMG_7913Not long after getting her up, we hit the road for her second day of “school”, where she proceeded to once again run right into her classroom without so much as looking back at me to make sure the door didn’t slam in my face. Don’t get me wrong, this is much preferred to her crying and clinging to my leg, but a little glance back wouldn’t be so bad.


We sent Daddy this picture after pickup and his response was, “She looks seven years old. Stop doing that.”

I let him know that I specifically selected clothing that was very much “little girl”, but that she had also grown an entire size in just the past three months. I mean, I wish that was something I could stop, but to my knowledge, no other parent has figured out how to freeze time yet.


On the way home, she let me know a few things about her day. One of these was, “I sing a song about Jesus, Mama. But I sing in my class, not in the church.” Her “school” is located at her church, so she felt the need to clarify that she did not go sing about Jesus in the actual church where we attend worship service as a family.

After a nap that afternoon, we decided to get out of the house and have a little date together. She’s been insistent on wearing pajamas for naptime lately, so we had to make a wardrobe change before we left. Her selection? A long-sleeve shirt. Because, you know, Arizona requires that in August. Her shirt has camo in the center, and when she put it on she said, “It’s my hunting shirt!” Her daddy would be so proud.

She also insisted upon applying multiple hair clips to her head (another new thing she’s into these days). When she had successfully stuck three hair clips, she announced, “I’m beautiful. I need to go look in the mirror.” Yes, Sister, you are. Keep that confidence, okay?

IMG_7917 Because we live in the thriving metropolis of Buckeye, our supper selection was none other than Cracker Barrel.

And yes, Mama sure enough managed to remove the extra hair clips before we ventured inside. There are some fashion statements I can embrace (I mean, I went with the long-sleeve hunting shirt), but we’ll save the head decorations for home.

After we escaped the parent-of-toddler-nightmare that is the Cracker Barrel general store, we had the most pleasant meal and Leyton was actually pretty much the epitome of sweetness the entire time. She was more than troubled by the fact there was an extra hole in the little pin game on the table that didn’t have a pin to go in it. (OCD toddler to the max.) But other than that, our restaurant experience was lovely. And Leyton loves fried okra just as much as both her parents do.

We had decided in advance to go to dinner and then the frozen yogurt shop nearby, but after we loaded in the car, I asked Leyton if her belly was too full for some froyo (knowing full well what the answer would be). So we talked about full bellies for just a minute before she blurted out, “Your belly is full of babies and food, Mama!” And other than the plural part (thank goodness!), she was right. Baby is definitely already taking up some major real estate.

IMG_7918When we walked in, I asked her what flavor she wanted, and she ran right over to the correct machine and exclaimed “Birthday cake! I want birthday cake!” Mind you, we’ve only ever filled her cup with vanilla to this point (at her request), but the last time we were at the shop (weeks ago), Brandon sampled the birthday cake flavor and gave her a taste. She not only remembered this flavor existed, but also exactly where it was located. Not gonna lie, I was a little impressed.

So she had her usual mix of M&Ms, gummy bears and sprinkles, and ate every bite (as well as a few of mine) before we called it a night and headed home.

We’ve had a problem lately with our outside dog sneaking inside when we open the door. I mean, she’s nine years old and it’s consistently been closer to 120 than 100 for weeks straight now. So when we returned Friday evening, she ran in the door right behind us and made her way to the bathroom for a quick drink. Leyton found her in there and shouted, “There’s a wild animal in here!” Wild animal. I can’t even make this up. Especially when it’s referring to our gray-haired family pet.

We got home from our little date, and I couldn’t help but send her daddy a message letting him know his girl was an absolute joy to take out for the evening. Tip and all, we spent a total of just $15, and had the best time.

And then, as if our little world couldn’t get any better that day, we were getting pajamas on for bed when she crawled in my lap, snuggled up to me, and said, “You make me happy, Mama.” Y’all. Days later, I’m still in a puddle over here. One of the sweetest parenting moments I’ve experienced to date.

With all the challenges 2.5 has brought to our house, it sure has balanced them well with sweetness.

If there is anything we have been more than reminded of the past couple weeks, it’s that babies don’t keep. I am so thankful we have been blessed to do this all over again in just a few short months.


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