Tuesday, May 23, 2006


By Deana Nall
The Baytown Sun

Published May 24, 2006

Summer's almost here!

That means it’s time for snow cones, sunscreen and waiting in line for the Bolivar Ferry.

It’s also time for stay-at-home moms like me to have their kids home. All day. Every day.

Let me be honest. My 20-month-old’s last day of Mothers’ Day Out was last week and, oh, how I grieved that day.

Of course I love my children. But I also recognize the fact that I am a better parent if I get a break from them every once in a while.

Apparently, the schools need a break from our kids, too, because they all shut down for the summer. Tomorrow is my 7-year-old’s last day as a first-grader. Then she and her baby sister will be mine. All mine. For 10 weeks. Ten weeks that will, in large part, be unstructured.

This is part of my problem. I thrive on structure and sticking to a schedule. I didn’t know this about myself until I gave birth to Julia and then stayed home with her for six weeks. There is no structure involved in taking care of a new baby. They just sleep and eat whenever. I don’t do well with “whenever.” I nearly lost my mind.

For this summer, I’ve tried to plan things to keep us busy. Julia has two weeks of swimming lessons coming up. She also has lots of friends with which to arrange play dates. She’s going to camp for a week in July. We’re getting a membership at our neighborhood pool. We’ll also be participating in the summer reading program at Sterling Municipal Library.

That should take care of Julia. It’s her younger sister that I’m worried about.

If you haven’t met Jenna, picture blonde curls and blue eyes. Now, put them on the Tasmanian devil. That’s my child. Who can demolish her bedroom in mere seconds? Who lets us know she’s done with dinner by hurling her plate against the wall? Who grabs knives out of the drawer and runs through the house with them? Who throws my grandmother’s heirloom jewelry in the trash? And who is so dang cute that she gets away with every last bit of it? Our little Jenna. And believe me, sometimes I need a break.

The problem is that it’s hard to find summer activities for toddlers her age. If they did have a weeklong baby camp, I’d be the first to sign her up.

The next best thing to baby camp, however, is Granny and PaPa’s house. It’s just a short drive across Houston, and it’s staffed by a couple of people who have an uncanny ability to forget how draining a 20-month-old can be.

“Please, please bring her over,” my parents plead on the phone.

“We’ll be right there,” I yell, frantically throwing stuff into the car.

Jenna really is a very sweet child. She’s just ... well, “active” is a good way to put it. And she won’t even hit her “Terrible Twos” until August. But by then, she’ll be back in school two days a week. I have her first day at school already planned out. I’m unplugging the phone and going back to bed.

Just wake me up when she turns 3.

Deana Nall lives in Baytown with her family.


  • At Tue May 23, 10:55:00 PM, Blogger americangerman said…

    You make me laugh!!
    Latest Baby Shirt sighting: Daddy's Laptop

  • At Wed May 24, 09:55:00 AM, Blogger stuckinthe80s said…

    Hey - do what Robin and I do. Find out when each church (church of Christ or non-church of Christ -- WE DON'T CARE!!!)in town has their Vacation Bible School...AND SIGN THEN UP!!!

  • At Wed May 24, 01:21:00 PM, Blogger "Snapshot" said…

    I know it sounds old fashioned, but before you can turn around they'll be teenagers and want nothing to do with you. Enjoy while you can.

  • At Thu May 25, 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    okay, this is a totally random comment to leave, but I've been working at the acu library this week, and of course it's slow because it's summer. anyways, i've been reading through your blog, because it's so entertaining!! The Madonna confession made me have a memory of you- I remember having a slumber party with you in like 5th grade and seeing a madonna cassette tape in your room, and thinking "i thought madonna was bad, i guess she's not" haha. I love Madonna now. Well, thanks for providing me with entertainment, and thanks for having slumber parties with me when I was little!! What a great blessing it was to have a cool college friend like you that would go the extra mile to make me feel special!! Hey, what session of camp are you guys coming to?

    -Casey Lewis

  • At Thu May 25, 07:48:00 PM, Blogger ML said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At Fri May 26, 01:23:00 PM, Blogger SJ said…

    Two-year-olds get a bad rap, but it is the "terrible threes" that nearly did me in!

  • At Sun May 28, 08:57:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Hey, Casey! I had no idea I corrupted you! I'm guessing you're talking about the night you and Lauren stayed in Sikes with me. I had actually been out of college for several years -- I stayed in the dorm that summer so I could start my job at ACU while Chad finished up his job at A&M. That night was so much fun! We dyed our hair with Kool-Aid, played Truth or Dare, made prank calls, wrapped Lauren's house. Anyway, we'll be at K3, and Julia is doing KidQuest again. Can't wait to see you!


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