Have Shaker Egg. Will Dance.

Ah, the ongoing tug-of-war for the working parent!  We work hard to feed, clothe and house our family, but that necessity of work has a tendancy to limit the time we have with said family! And with our new childcare situation and adjusting to having Beads and Bunny in the home while I'm working, it's... interesting. Our nanny is great, and I can tell this was exactly the right answer for Bunny. Beads is slowly acclimating to being home every day after spending her entire life in day care. She doesn't always agree with the rule that when Mom's home office door is closed, that means, "Do Not Enter - On Pain of Death!"  And although we have a recurring "appointment," as she likes to call it, where she is allowed to come into my office and do a brief activity with me nearly every day (10-15 minutes tops), she is still very clingy and needing lots of attention. From me.

While I love that my darling girl needs me, I get frustrated that she doesn't seem to be convinced that I need her, too. Granted, it's been a rough year for her. I was, for all intents and purposes, an absentee mother during my pregnancy, and with the long-awaited birth of Bunny, Beads often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to attention.

So, in the name of family and balance, I have started allowing Beads to accompany me on Saturday grocery shopping trips. It's not easy, and it is rarely fun. She sees food and/or toys that she wants, and I feel like I'm mostly telling her, "No."  She begs me to push the GIGANTIC shopping cart/kid car that is the equivalent of driving a MAC Truck down a medieval foot path, and then about 10 minutes into the trip, she tires of riding in the kid car part and wants to help me push. There is a lot of whining and battle of wills involved. And yet she continues to ask to accompany me, and I continue to say yes, knowing that these are important opportunities to spend quality time with my fast-growing daughter, and these trips must CERTAINLY improve someday, right?

This weekend, when I announced we were going to the store, she told me to wait while she grabbed her purse. This was a new development. The purse in question is actually a purse that my Aunt Sue made for me when I was just a little older than Beads is now.

The shopping trip itself was a little better. I made a new rule that if we used the MAC Truck cart, she had to sit in it the entire time or there would be no bedtime story that night. She decided a regular cart was just fine. I congratulated her on a wise decision. There were a few 'moments' but everyone survived. We got into the check out line, I unloaded the contents of the cart onto the conveyor belt and waited for my turn to pay. And that is when my 4-year-old Beads reached into her purse, pulled out a red Shaker egg, and proceeded to dance, straight-faced, in line.

It's in moments like these where I'm truly grateful to be a parent. Kid, you can come with me to the grocery store any time.

Chapstick - check. Bracelet - check. Dice - check. Shaker egg - check!

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