Packing My Bags

So this past weekend, my husband and I packed our bags. No, we didn’t walk out on Annalise (at least not indefinitely). She went to my parents’ house while we went out of town for a wedding. We had left Annalise overnight before, but not for THREE nights. I was a bit nervous, but I knew that she was in good hands. My mom watches Annalise once a week, and we regularly go over to their house. So there was a familiarity there. So, the wedding became an excuse for an escape a break from Annalise.

While Jason and I slept in (till 7:30), stayed out late (past 7pm), and leisurely shopped, Annalise had her own vacation at Mawmaw’s and Pawpaw’s house in the country. She could run around their acre of land, swim in their pool, roam freely in their ranch-style home, and basically have no rules.

The results? Jason and I realized we were still friends reconnected. But Annalise? When we got back into our daily routine on Monday, I realized a few things. Yes, she was more disobedient (which I expected, coming from a land with no rules), but there were two surprising positive changes.

First, my mom somehow got my child to brush her teeth. Since Annalise began teething her molars about two months ago, teeth-brushing went from a challenge, to an outright battle. Most days, I relinquish after getting one good swipe on one tooth. After a weekend with my parents? She happily sits (albeit with her feet in the sink, so water splashes them) and complies while I scrub every tooth. Even the molars in the back! I am still in shock. Her dentist will not rob me without a fight!

Second: Annalise is now a milk-drinker! For you childless readers: once your child is weaned (around one year old), cow’s milk becomes a primary source of calcium and vitamins. Annalise has always hated cow’s milk – and I’ve tried introducing it on several occasions. Picture a sour face, followed by a spewing. But last week, she saw her toddler friend drinking it. And then at my parents, she saw my nephew drink some. She kept asking for it, so my mom gave her some in her own cup. So now? Annalise loves milk, and will drink a full serving at each meal. Complete 180. Why the sudden change? Because of peer pressure, and it was her idea.

Moral of the story? Leaving town is a good idea. Leaving your child is too, but only if it’s temporary and with trusted caregivers. Did we miss Annalise? Of course. But we knew we’d get her back. We are still her parents, after all.

So take it from me, all you new parents out there – you’ll appreciate the escape break!

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