The Rewards of Choosing Quality Time

Today was a lesson in quality time, another family milestone, and accomplishments.

Let me start by explaining the genesis of today. San Diego has had very unusual weather this past week (well, unusual for us). Pouring rain, thunder, hail, crazy strong winds, tornado warnings, power outages – and that was before Friday! We San Diegans are not used to weather. And today I did what I never thought I’d have to do – miss work due to weather! Yes, I called in “weather” today.

You see, my daycare provider lost electricity around 12 Noon on Thursday. Turns out it was such a major outage that the electricity was not returned until about 24 hours later. Needless to say, her home was freezing and probably not the best environment for toddlers. So Friday morning, she called to say that daycare was closed. We’ve all heard of Snow Days, but Rain Days? Now this was new!

I suppose I could have called on one of the grandmas to watch Sophie. Or Bryan and I may have been able to take shifts in order to watch Sophie and work. But then I thought, this was an opportunity to spend quality time at home with Sophie. Why not enjoy it!

With Sophie still in her pajama, I changed into sweat pants and thought, “Wow, a free day! What should I do?”

It was a strange feeling. The day was not a planned vacation, nor was it a sick day. After catching up on work e-mail and checking voicemail, I decided to break open a scrapbook project that has been sitting on the shelf for many, many years.

And here we come to the milestone.

While in the midst of scrapping, Sophie wanders into the downstairs bathroom and starts playing around with the potty seat. We’ve had a training potty seat and toddler potty cover for the big toilet in our bathroom for quite some time. Sophie has shown some interest, but has never really embraced potty-training.

I go into the bathroom to see what she’s up to. She and Bryan are looking at the potty gear. Then she asks to take off her pajama and her diaper. We strip her down to see where this will lead. She wasn’t keen on the little potty. Instead, she starts climbing on the toilet with the seat cover. Bryan and I are in the bathroom, not thinking much at this point. When all of a sudden, there it is – the sound of water hitting the toilet bowl! All three of us sat there with open mouths. Then Sophie – with a bit of shock – said, “I did it!” Sophie was so proud! We were jumping up and down, clapping. I grabbed the camera. It was an unbelievable and amazing moment. Here is my little girl who just last week transitioned to a toddler “big girl” bed. Now she decided to use the potty on her own?! I’m still in shock!

I knew I made the right call to stay home and spend quality time with Sophie. Maybe she felt so comfortable being home today that she was ready to embark on this new challenge. Either way, the day felt like such a reward.

Aside from the milestone of Sophie’s first successful potty experience, I managed to finish two scrapbooking projects. I was a scrapping maniac the majority of the day. But I had such a great time doing it. And what a sense of accomplishment I feel now!

Today was a lesson in the reward of quality time. The unexpected gift of staying home due to weather brought me the joy of spending time with my family, being present for Sophie’s next big milestone, and accomplishing something for myself. Bring on the next big weather storm!

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