Sunday, March 31, 2013

So, I Know...

...that I haven't been writing as much lately, but you have to understand that my life has suddenly been taken over by a Tasmanian-devil baby.

She is mischievous, sneaky, and moves like the wind!

Last week, I poured her a glass of milk, and when I turned back to pick up the cap to the milk jug, both E and the cap were gone. My first concern was finding her. Luckily, there aren't many places she can hide. I found her sitting in our little hallway, in front of the bathroom door, holding her prized possession, cradling it in both hands in a very "My preciousss" kind of way. After prying it out of her vice-like grip, the temper-tantrum started. It was as if I had taken her most cherished item, her one reason for living. The screaming, the tears, the kicking.

Then, when she looks up at me to see that I'm not giving in, she throws her head down, presses her cheek against the wood floor and cries as if her life is over. All for a cap to a milk jug.

I'm absorbing the entire scene, internalizing it in some part of my brain that keeps me sane, and I say, calmly, "Find something else to play with," to which she sobs, "Noooo..." I walk away, barely holding it together.

Then, every 20 minutes for the rest of the day, the scene repeats itself. There's always something she wants that she's not supposed to have. She'll spot it across the room and suddenly decide it's more valuable to her than the rarest stone, the most sought-after prize.

A marker on the kitchen counter
A glass jar
Some eyeshadow on the bathroom sink
Nail clippers

It's not enough to just baby proof the house, I feel like I have to keep everything hidden from her view.

Yesterday, while driving in New York, she threw one of her temper tantrums in the car when I wouldn't let her play with a crochet hook. She screamed so loudly that the car seemingly got smaller and smaller, and I finally had a meltdown. I grabbed the door handle and breathlessly told Mark to pull over. I kept my seatbelt on to keep myself from jumping out at 60 mph. Then I started crying uncontrollably too.

When the car stopped, she calmed down (probably thinking she was going to get out and find something new to claim as her own). This gave me time to think of a plan as I gave Mark the go-ahead to drive on, and she started to cry again realizing we were staying in the car.

Your mind goes to weird places during times of high stress. The solution: I acted out Raiders of the Lost Ark, with her stuffed dog as the fearless Indiana Jones, meanwhile trying to channel my own inner-Indy to make it through the last part of our trip without killing myself. Humming the theme song helped. As long as the dog was scaling the back seat of the car, taking a "leap of faith" from the headrest to her carseat, or fighting off snakes, E was perfectly content.

And between the tantrums, so was I.

I'm so content, in fact, between the few minutes of misery, that the rest of the world just fades away. I'm only called back, when she points out some new object she's found -- a bird, a star. The rest of the time, I'm lost in her smile.

It's almost like being in love for the first time, but it's real love, pure. It isn't clouded by weird relationship troubles or insecurities. It's simple. I'm hers, she's mine. We have to make it work.

Side note: She makes my marriage feel like this, too.

An hour later, after we both got bored with the dog's antics, she grabbed my hand, held it against her cheek, closed her eyes tight, and said, "Oh, Mama..." with a happy sigh.

Oh, E, what am I going to do with you?

Today, in the restaurant, she licked a spoon, then hit a waitress with it. After a stern talk with her about respecting people's spaces, the rest of the meal went well... Sticking to the 20-minute rule, she only had one other meltdown when she snagged a butter packet, and I had to use the jaws of life to get it out of her clenched teeth. I gave her the Mama-means-business-and-will-not-stand-for-screaming-in-here look, and that seemed to do the trick.

After we were home for awhile, she politely asked me for a baby fruit bar then proceeded to put the entire thing in her mouth, while gagging. I told her that I would hold it for her, so that she could take bites. I turned my head to say something to Mark, and when I turned back, I was holding a dime-sized piece of fruit bar.

The chaos and baby antics continue, and in between, I'm smitten. There's hardly time to write, but I will as I can!

Much love to you all,


Unknown said...

I think she is super smart, which often requires lots of patience, and much Godly wisdom from Mom. She sure is very special like her mom. I think you are doing a good job!

Unknown said...

Thank you!!! I love her so much!! :-)