One of the perks of being a college or professional school student is the long holidays. I didn’t get much time off in graduate school – my second (evil) graduate research advisor let us take off Sundays, a week over Christmas, a week over the summer, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving. That was it. In contrast, even though my PharmD program is a year-round “accelerated” program, I get three weeks off over Christmas, one week for spring break, two weeks off at the beginning of May, and four weeks off in the fall (either August, September, or October) = 10 weeks total. Not to mention all the bonus holidays like Marin Luther King Day and Columbus Day and President’s Day – days I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking off as a graduate student.
Kathie is great, but Peter usually whines in disappointment when he has to go back to day care after a long weekend home with Mom and Dad. I worry that after all the fun we had over Christmas break, he’ll put on a dramatic display of displeasure when I drop him off at day care next Monday. I can’t really blame him; I like vacations, too.
Son left for Vietnam before I was even done with finals, so it’s been just Peter and Mom for the past 3 weeks. Compared to last summer, Peter has been more comfortable with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Kelly and Uncle Kyle; he’ll let them pick him up, and he’ll even ask Grandma to read him a book or Grandpa to throw him in the air. But if he doesn’t know where Mom is, he still gets anxious. He searches in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in the basement… by the time he starts heading down the stairs, I’m usually back.
Grandma’s kitchen is the best room in the house. It’s spacious and has many cabinets for Peter to rummage through. His favorite is the Tupperware cabinet; Peter never tires of stacking and sorting the colorful pieces of plastic. The Christmas tree is also in the kitchen and breakfast area; Peter enjoys taking the ornaments off the tree and the bows off the presents.
We took Peter to many new and fun places. We went shopping at the Galleria (Creative Kidstuff was his favorite store), the Mall of America (though Peter slept through most of that excursion), Ikea (Peter probably would have enjoyed it if he hadn’t been overtired), Barnes and Noble (Elmo books!), Costco (tasty free samples!), and BestBuy (ooh, ooh! tablets!). We visited the library, which was just as fun and toddler-friendly as the Beaman Library at home. We went to Como Zoo and Conservatory (the primates, fish, and sea lions were Peter’s favorite animals.) Finally, we saw the Christmas display, “A Day in the Life of an Elf,” at the downtown Macy’s on December 30, the last day it was open (15 minutes of enraptured fascination).
Unfortunately, on New Year’s Eve, Grandpa had to leave on a trip and Peter came down with a cold. I suppose I should just be thankful that he was healthy up to that point, but inconsolable sick toddlers are never fun. Long bubble baths helped Peter recover, though; he started feeling better yesterday.
We’re heading home tomorrow. I’ll consider myself lucky if I can fit all the Christmas presents in my suitcase and if Peter sleeps for at least part of the plane ride. While I’m not looking forward to the flight, it will be good to see Son again and sleep in my own bed.
I did promise some New Year’s predictions in my last post, so here they are:
- Peter’s hearing is normal (given that he does not have a cold).
- Peter will be discharged from Early Intervention in April.
- Peter will weigh 23 pounds at 2 years old, not quite 9 times his birth weight. (His weight gain as of lately has not been impressive.)
- Perfectionist that I am, I’ll get lots of ‘A’s in my classes.
- I’ll continue my campaign to raise awareness about and support premature babies by participating in the March for Babies again and by coordinating a new community outreach project at my school, Packages for Preemies.
I suppose #5 was more a resolution than a prediction. Both charitable and within my comfort zone, I like it better than the alternatives (use the gym at school, learn conversational Vietnamese, and spend less time on the Internet).