|Taking Starfish and "Bat Ray" out for a stroll.|
Above is Bean, last weekend, with the stroller she conned my sister into buying for her while looking for shoes and the rubber starfish and manta ray they got at Michael's. My sister, Dawn, was taking care of her so I could travel south for a speech and debate tournament. She was supposed to be going with me, via car, but we had a rather traumatic end to that idea - which included Bean being locked in a car for about a 1/2 hour, having to be removed by AAA coming to pop the lock. Embarrassing, yes. Not as scary as it might sound because Bean loves to drive the car, so she spent most of the 1/2 hour doing just that, snacking on yogurt snacks she pulled out of a bag I had packed for her, etc. She got a little upset towards the end, but overall she handled it relatively well. I, on the other hand, had a slight breakdown after we got her out and decided I couldn't really deal with the drive to Southern California. So, my sister volunteered to keep her for the weekend.
Dawn has been a lifesaver this year. With my travel schedule often colliding with Jason's travel schedule, and Bean being at an age where hanging out at a speech and debate tournament all weekend is not all that exciting, there has been a number of weekends where we needed someone to watch the Bean. And it makes it nice that Bean loves Aunt Dawn - they go to the park, lots of walks and she usually gets to go see Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) while visiting her, they've gone to the zoo, the insect museum at UC Davis, and lots and lots of parks. I realize that Bean is not an easy child to take care of - she takes multiple medicines multiple times every day (she is much better at this - she often gives them to herself with a little help now), for a while she was snoring like a chainsaw during the night (this has also gotten better - we now think she had a bit of a respiratory infection because once she got on antibiotics, she is sleeping so quietly we often have to check to make sure she is breathing regularly), she is about as belligerent as they come (she is in that stage where she says no to everything - and she has now taken to throwing things when she gets frustrated). But, Dawn has never complained. She always says she is good. She never says anything about her not sleeping well or hogging the bed or kicking her while she is sleeping. She deals with the fact that I am often an organizational mess and forget a coat or the right shoes or pajamas. And she never asks me for anything in return. Its really something that I don't take for granted. It makes my life so much easier than it would be if I had to take her with me to all these places or find child care for a whole weekend.
So, today, in honor of what I will call Thankful Thursday, I would like to thank my sister for all she does and all the love she showers on Bean. As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been thinking about the many, many, many things I have to be thankful for, but this one really jumped out at me as I looked at the picture of Bean above. So confident, so happy...with the stroller, starfish and bat ray that Aunt Dawn got for her while spending a weekend taking care of her to make my life easier. Thanks Dawn...it doesn't go unnoticed!