Busy work. I had a love/hate relationship with busy work during my full-time office days. Those expense reports that took forever to enter, collate and copy after an extended sales trip; the video logging in advance of a script write; the media research prior to pitching a new reporter, publication or beat. Some days these tasks were torture. On others, they were a welcome respite after a day/week/month of back-to-back meetings; presentations; pitch calls and other high energy, interactive, bite my tongue that they are seriously asking me to pitch “Oprah” for THAT topic negotiations of business.
Today, I missed busy work. To actually be able to spend an hour or so putting together the neighborhood newsletter or create that binder of all peanut’s pre-school information? Heavenly. Instead, I’ve launched myself into a high-octane strategy of keeping peanut as busy as humanely possible during the days in order to avoid the cranky, obstinate, typical three-year-old behavior he’s been exhibiting lately.
I do feel that my engagement factor has been seriously off since becoming pregnant. The August heat and humidity certainly don’t help as the physical toll has been a bit more intense than I anticipated (how I did not miss you, Braxton-Hicks). Are any of these factors a direct cause of peanut’s recent acting out? Not sure, but if I can add in a few more activities or adventures or art projects to distract him while also staying consistent on the discipline front, I figure I better give it a try before any bad behaviors get out of control.
As a result, I took peanut on an impromptu baseball adventure yesterday. I saw a great deal for $1 tickets to see the Braves play a make-up game in the afternoon. Sold. Packed up the water and the bribe of a special treat once we got there and headed over to Turner Field. We made it through 4 full innings, an explanation of fair vs. foul (the ball has to “stay between the lines”), and seven Braves runs (“He DID it!”) before he started complaining that he wanted to go home. Overall, a success despite my depleted energy stores and sweaty maternity wear by the time we got home.
Today, I jam packed us full of tasks. We hit up a nearby, yet not often frequented by us, playground. Got peanut a haircut. Filled the gas tank (to be so easily entertained). Grabbed some thank you note supplies at Target. Came home and had lunch. Played trains. Played a round of Candy Land. Made chocolate-chip cookies together (our new favorite word: baking soda). Read what felt like 800 stories together, but was more like three really long ones. Set-up, executed and cleaned up the art project related to the thank you note supplies we purchased earlier in the day. Popped in a “Bob the Builder” video so I could sit down for a second. More trains. A puzzle. An I Spy game. Made dinner.
Did it make a difference? Well, even the hubby said that the kid is just as hyper as ever for the “witching hour,” but at least he’s in a good mood and not throwing his stir-fry rice all over the dining room. Me? I’m beyond exhausted, but realize we did have some small victories as a result: I said “yes” a lot more than “no;” peanut was extremely well-behaved at the playground (if you had been with us on our last three playground outings, you’d be as amazed as I was) and we had far fewer power struggles this afternoon than usual.
Can I keep up this pace? I’m not quite sure. We’ll see how much I can cram into the rest of the week (so send along any craft/art/game ideas for three-year-olds. I’m gonna need all the help I can get!).
But oh, for a day of inane, boring, sit in a chair, don’t have to talk to anyone busy work. Never thought I’d say that.
Then again, I never thought I’d say the words pee and poop so many times a day or know all the lyrics to the “Thomas & Friends” theme song either.