As the majority leader of our house (much of the time), I made the executive decision this week that we (me and the girls) were going to do some serving today (Saturday). Ben is gone basically all day today, and these kinds of days bum me out because, much like my daughter, I really miss the boy, too. I miss the time that I could otherwise have to myself and the jobs to do with only one daughter hanging on me rather than two. Selfishly, I decided that we were going to do something to prohibit me from being in a funk all day because historically, it happens far too often. Plus, it's definitely time for all of us to be reminded or learn about serving others before ourselves around here.
So Abby and I came up with a game plan for today. On the list of daily activities:
1. Buy dog & cat treats and take them to our local animal shelter.
2. Make ___________ and take to some local firefighters.
Right now, it's in the middle of naptime and we're one-for-two. "We" made chocolate chip cookies this morning. In actuality, we both needed some time to ourselves to just chill a little, so we both reverted to our zen defaults--I cranked up the mixer and Abby hooked up with PBS Kids. Normally, I'd be all like "Oh NO you 'aint!!" about having screen time while I was doing the service project. But today, it was needed. If the spirit of the project was going to succeed, the most important part--taking the cookies to the station and actually giving them to people, we both needed our quiet time.
And it worked! The never-fail delicious cookies were produced and Abby came away relatively happier and more willing to socialize in a civilized manner. We packaged up the cookies together, and Abby pulled out some of her tried-and-true, no-fail ways to keep Audrey happy while I had to re-install 2 carseats at the last minute. This was a deciding moment in the morning. It was closing in on lunchtime (i.e. toddler-melt-down-at-any-moment-potentially time) and Audrey was fussy crying for lack of action after getting all packed into her seat. Abby doesn't always tolerate crying well. Those are fun times...
But we made it without incident to the fire station, and (tear) my ever-so-painfully-shy daughter walked in not only in front of me but also without burying her eyes to face a pantheon of strangers with 2 Halloween bags of cookies. Her valor was rewarded with some stickers and a close-up look at a fire truck, and she even managed a quiet but audible thank-you to the very nice firefighters.
We are going to do this again. Count on it.