Being a teacher, like any job I’m sure, has its ups and downs. One of the ups is the ridiculously awesome schedule. I mean, come on, 196 work days a year? Not a bad gig. Especially if you’re like me and go to great lengths to not have to take any work home to do on the other 169 days. Anyway, today was the first day back to work from the glorious vacation known as Spring Break and I thought I’d take a moment to reminisce about the fabulous week I had.
First of all, let me say that I love my little tastes of being a stay at home mom. I kind of feel like I have the best of both worlds. I get lots of time off to spend with Emma, but I also get the break and release of having a career. Most of the time I do enjoy my job, and I can admit that spending every waking moment with a one year old can get a little tedious. The breaks I have from work though are just enough to make the time I spend with her precious and exciting, and I find myself longing for those moments once school is back in session.
I like spending time at home, but I am not really a stay at home type of person. After a full day of being in the house, I am desperately trying to come up with some reason to leave. Luckily I am easily entertained though, and a trip to Target is enough to refresh me. Emma and I visited Target exactly three times during my week off, not to mention the mall, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Babies R Us once each. I still love shopping, but it has admittedly become much more difficult now that Emmalee wants to “walk” wherever we go (see Walk Already!). She seems to be entering a phase were shopping is mostly a boring chore that interferes with her playtime, which is unfortunate for my personal aura, but very fortunate for my bank account since perusing with a kicking, squirming, whining toddler in my arms just doesn’t have the same allure (though apparently that didn’t slow me down this week!).
Emmalee and I managed to get out of the house a couple of times during our break that didn’t involve shopping, once to go to Sea World and another time to visit Typhoon Lagoon. This was our third trip to Sea World, but because we usually only go for a few hours at a time we are still making all kinds of new discoveries. This time Emmalee was most enamored by the underwater dolphin viewing area. She was able to stand with her hands pressed right up to the glass, giggling with glee each time a dolphin swam by. She also had the opportunity to meet Elmo, who I didn’t even realize lived at Sea World! Though Emma does not watch Sesame Street, she does have a couple of Elmo bath books and the mirror I use in the car to be able to see her since she is still rear-facing is adorned by the lovable red creature. To my delight, Emma wasn’t scared in the slightest and though she didn’t exactly smile, she waved and seemed to be truly intrigued by the Elmo encounter. Which is fine. I’ll take intrigued over screaming in terror any day. We can work our way up to smiles and hugs when meeting large, costumed individuals. It was a pleasant day with the exception of Emma’s lunchtime meltdown where she threw an epic fit in her stroller and I, awesome mom that I am, didn’t have her strapped in so she almost fell out of it. In front of a whole line full of people in a crowded restaurant. At least I didn’t see the looks of horror and disapproval as I was too embarrassed to make any attempt at eye contact. At that moment I sure felt like an inadequate teenager, so at least the judgmental thoughts that I’m sure were racing through everyone’s minds weren’t completely inaccurate.
We also visited Typhoon Lagoon, a Disney water park, for the first time and Emma and I were both pleasantly surprised by what we discovered. First of all, we got to meet Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch. While I enjoyed this more than Emma, since she has no clue who he is, she still studied him and seemed amused when he started playing peek-a-boo. Typhoon Lagoon has a decidedly beach like atmosphere, with white sand, a sloping pool, palm trees, and tropical flowers to give the overall feel of being in a somewhat crowded tropical oasis. Emma had never even been swimming prior to this trip, but she loved the sand and laughed with delight when we waded out into the water. She was still mostly preoccupied with picking up flower petals and leaves, but at least she enjoyed herself. She was also incredibly pleased by the lazy river where she sat in a float and watched the world pass by. She was not a fan of the cold jets of water that fell on us here and there, but after a few moments of irrational, as if we’d been doused with acid screaming she calmed down. We only stayed a few hours, partly because I was worried that a meltdown was on the horizon and partly because I am super paranoid about Emma getting sunburned (as temperamental as she is, I don’t even want to think about how she’d handle that level of discomfort). I wasn’t sure if a water park would have much to entertain a one year old, but I’ve found that it really does. Which is good since I bought an annual pass so that we’d have someplace to frequent over the summer.And that pretty much wraps up the week, other than doing a bit of laundry and some half-hearted attempts at spring cleaning. It was a fun week, but it passed way too quickly, a teaser for the real prize that lies ahead: Summer Break! Eight weeks of uninterrupted bliss. 41 more school days and counting…