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The other day I saw a woman at a Ralph’s with four kids. A tiny baby pulled tight to her in a wrap, a little girl about Fernando’s age sitting quietly in the cart and two older kids. A boy and a girl, about 5 and 6 carefully picking out items from the shelves and playing. The mom was dressed. Hair and make up done, and she made motherhood look good, and easy.
Meanwhile, I was a post-yoga hot mess rushing around Ralph’s, trying to get through my to-do list before I had to pick up Fernando. At least, I can pick up everything I need from groceries to the baby care items in one trip to Ralph’s.
I envied that mom. For those few minutes that I saw her she didn’t seem overwhelmed or stressed.
But I also quickly reminded myself that it was just a few short minutes, and who knows what her day looked like a few short minutes before.
That’s exactly what motherhood is. Fleeing moments of intense happiness and belly laughs, and then suddenly a complete meltdowns.
Tantrums on the floor and instant wailing. Sometimes me, sometimes him 🙂
Followed by giggles again.
In the two plus years that I’ve been a mom, that’s what I learned.
Motherhood is filled with these up and downs.
It’s easy to beat yourself up for all the ways you failed, but I try not to. Fernando is quick to forgive, and I try to be too.
We have time outs, we have hugs and we have lunches and play dates and treats. We are in
a rhythm, and as I am writing that sentence I inevitably know this rhythm will change. That is motherhood.
What We’re Working On
We currently speak to Fernando in three languages, so it’s no wonder he is a little behind on speaking. Parenting a trilingual toddler is definitely interesting. But the more literature we read on raising a trilingual child, the more we are certain we are doing the best thing for him.
He definitely knows how to communicate with his entire body though to get what he needs. So I’m not too worried.
But, one of the best ways I’ve learned to try to get him to pay attention is during bath time.
Because Fernando is so physically active we make baths our time to practice and learning body parts, shapes, colors, numbers and letters.
When I’m giving Fernando a bath with JOHNSON’S® Baby head-to-toe® Wash, now with 50% fewer ingredients, that are over 90% naturally derived I use the time to teach him his body parts.
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What’s a bath time without bubbles, though?!
We also use the Bubble Bath by JOHNSON’S®, and it’s dye free, sulfate free and worry free, so extra long baths are no problem.
I love that Fernando thinks he is just playing in the tub, while we’re actually getting a pretty solid Russian lesson in there.
On nights when Mauricio gives him a bath, they practice Spanish. Fernando is able to point to his body parts and surroundings and identify things in both languages. It blows my mind!
A few pumps of the COTTONTOUCH™ baby bed time lotion, and our routine is complete. I really like the lotion, it’s fast absorbing and not greasy and super soft to the touch.
JOHNSON’S® products were what our hospital used for Fernando when he was a tiny baby, and it felt right to continue to do so at home. Plus, his long locks really need some extra TLC, so the no tears, gentle formula is a life saver.
Right now Fernando attends pre-school two times a week for 3 hours. We started when he just turned 2, and I love the school we chose, his teachers and the Montessori curriculum. He has already learned so much from attending and I’m thinking of adding one more day.
It’s also done wonders for me. I’m able to have some free time and I plan my entire week around to maximize this freedom. Some days I frantically work through my to do list. Other times, I go to the store to just browse!
On Fridays we have a swim lesson and in the Fall, Fernando is going to start soccer. He is extremely active and typically I try to take him out twice a day, so he can get some energy out.
We can be found at a rotating number of local parks, the beach and toddler times around the OC, as well as all the local eateries. Especially on Taco Tuesdays 🙂
Next for us is to continue immersing Fernando into our respective cultures and languages and allow him to soak it all in. So far he has a few words in all three languages, and it’s pretty funny how he chooses to communicate. “Agua, please”
We definitely want to keep him involved in physical activities like swimming and soccer, but also toddler time is something we want to continue to attend so he can learn to listen and maybe sit still for a few minutes.
Each time I write a motherhood update, I re-read what I have shared in the past. It’s such a fun time capsule to think back on all of my worries and stresses over the last few years. I’m sure a year from now, I’m going to really regret urging Fernando to speak so much, because other moms are quick to remind me there will be no off button once it happens! And, I can already tell I will definitely miss bath time.
Cheers to motherhood, and thank you for coming on this journey with me.