Thursday, May 17, 2012

The joys of mommyhood

For the most part, this parenting thing is very rewarding. It ticks all the boxes for "you get way more than you give". When Lucy sees me for the first time in a while, be it first thing in the morning, coming home from day care, or when I come downstairs after a moment in the loo, she lights up and either reaches for me or now that she can, runs to me. The "I'm the greatest thing in the whole world" meter ticks pretty high at those times. Sure, it's a bit narcissistic, I'm aware that a dog who is beat frequently will continue to love and adore his master, but this isn't the same kind of relationship. I seldom make Lucy sleep outside or beat her with a stick. She gets all the fresh water she wants and a 1/2 cup of crunchy food in the morning. She's a happy girl.

I wont fall!
Actually, there are numerous things she does that are adorable and bring me joy. Small things such as when she's done with her milk it is important that she (and only she) put the lid to the bottle back on. She does NOT want help. She has embraced the art of 'kissing' and while she blows kisses to all the teachers and classmates at school, she saves the special kisses for Mommy and Daddy. These kisses are mouth kisses, but she leans in with her mouth open and makes contact while saying "aahhhh". We are working on teaching her to kiss with her mouth closed, but every now and then it is my treat to take a milky, open mouthed kiss from my little peanut. She dances, but doesn't shake her booty just yet. Thus far, when the music moves her it is a head shaking and arm twisting joy. I think the booty moving will come when she's more solid on her feet. Speaking of... as she's zipping around the house on her two feet there are times when her center of gravity gets out of alignment and she will make every wild move to avoid falling over. Every now and then we catch her in a I'm-not-falling-off-this-balance-beam arm flail that makes us giggle.

Her love affair with the stairs is waning, but that just means we have to be on high alert. Our original idea of keeping she play world limited to the kitchen/family room area was not an achievable (dare I say a delusional) idea, Lucy is everywhere in the downstairs and we spend our weekends and evenings in a constant two person parade around the house. We take turns with her while the other parent does fun things like make food, clean up food, and other life chores. Laundry happens during the week while Jason & Lucy are away. That perk is reason enough for me not to change jobs. I can see how people who work outside the home and have one or more little people have piles of laundry in various stages of completeness.
Lucy's other 'cute' trick these days is a fascination with any gadget with buttons. The little cd/radio player in her room is an amazing toy. This little 7 inch square cube has no less than 20 buttons that she can click, click, click. This morning she somehow set a snooze alarm that nearly caused my heart to stop when it finally went off. The alarm was so loud that it sounded like the walls were shaking. I know someday she will set the thing to go off at three in the morning and we'll go crazy trying to figure out what it is. As buttoned items go, the tv remote use to be the #1 coveted toy, but the iPhone is now the top 'want!'. This brings me to the ugly truth about parenting.

Kids are jerks.

I didn't make that up, Christopher Walken said it in his interpretation of the classic story "Where the Wild Things Are." He also said 'kids like George Wendt', but that didn't resonate with me as much as the declaration that 'kids are jerks.'

Lucy expresses her jerkiness in lots of special ways. Her inability to cope when things don't go her way is a small sign of this fact. I will do something horrible such as not give her the phone, not let her walk in the middle of the street or change her diaper after she's made a 'boom boom' (that's grandpa's term) and she will hop up and down, cry, with actual tears and hit a pitch with her voice that moves the water in my inner ear to the point that I'll have to lay down to get my balance back. Other tricks include slapping, and the oh so cute body flop and kick. I've read that all kids go through this and we are working on "identifying our feelings" so that when she CAN talk she can calmly say "damn it mama, I want the remote or I'm going to feel angry." We are very much working on making it clear that slapping and grabbing are not ok, but unlike a four year old these are lessons (for Jas & I) in being consistent, firm and calm.

She's not a possessed child (all the time.) We have figured out that most often when she's acting up something else is wrong, and it usually can be remedied with sleep. However, those moments of wickedness on her part wear on a person. I can see where parents with out other coping skills (aka GIN) can forget themselves and respond to the toddler temper tantrum in like fashion. I'm aware that these frustrations will lighten up and then be replaced by some other trauma like having to eat peas when pizza is wanted. The naming of feelings feels a little bit like parental mumbo jumbo, but when she's able to express the difference between mad, scared and hurt it will make calming down a bit easier.

The things that Lucy wigs out about seem to change daily, but then so does her world. This morning she was pissed that I wouldn't give her my coffee cup, but then she also explored the upstairs bedroom, closet, bathroom loop on her own for the first time. (This reminds me honey, we MUST put the cupboard door safety locks on the cabinet in the laundry room this weekend. She doesn't know those cabinets are there yet, but she'll find them and all the cleaning stuff is in there.) We were able to do our morning routine with her doing laps. Well, my modified morning routine anyway. I use to shower in the morning and do my hair - now, i shower at night and if I'm lucky I get to wet my head down to do my hair, but more often than not...ponytail. I can see why after having three hundred children Kate Gosselin opted to chop of the ponytail to save herself some time in the morning.
Sure it looks stupid, but it's not a mommytail!
Back to our story,  every day is something new and the 'good crap, she's a jerk' moments are fewer than the 'oh, I have the sweetest baby in the whole world' moments.  Both are probably a slight exaggeration.  Also, I've met some of your children and they are also sweet angels who are above acting up because you don't happen to have seedless jam on hand, so don't go all crazy on me any say that I'm disparaging YOUR child.  I'm only speaking a truth that few parents will admit.  It is a GOOD thing we love these little beasts because there are times when a kennel could come in handy.

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