Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How Sweet

Yesterday was one crazy Monday! I’m back to a little bit more normal schedule today. There are so many cute E stories that I want to share with you. They keep piling up on my virtual desk and taking up valuable real estate in my overloaded brain. So, forgive me while I let them all spill out into my blog this week in what won’t be the most elegantly written story… but comes from a place of sincere mommy love and appreciation for this little person we’re raising.

E has been… kind of, um… how should I put it…? WILD lately. She’s like a puppy in human form. She wakes up in the morning and says, “Mommy, I need new pants. You put Chissmiss twee on? I’m hungry. You play dolls wiff me? I want my milk. I go to day care now?”

“First, you need to put some clothes on,” I say, “and let’s focus on 3 things: One, you need a diaper. Two, you need pants and a shirt. Three, I’ll put the Christmas tree on.” Then we move on to the next 3 to-do items. I take a deep breath.

The other day, (which was a no-nap day, in-coincidentally) she had a complete meltdown. She wanted so many things at once that she could barely function. They were: a gray t-shirt, Mommy’s glasses, and a sneaker. I calmly worked through the list with her as she fought me, arms flailed, and tears rolled down her face.

“Hold on, hold on… Let’s start with your shirt.”
“NO. I do myself.”
“Okay, okay,” I cooed, as she put her shirt on upside down, got her arms tangled in it, and screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Wait, wait,” I tried to soothe her, “Let me just help a little bit.”

She threw the shirt off, threw herself on the floor, and cried hysterically. I sat next to her and rubbed her back. Where does this patience come from? Oh yeah, doing this every day for the last 2 years… “Listen,” I said, “Maybe teddy bear would like to help you with your shirt.”

“Okay!” she said happily. Teddy bear sat with me while I pretended to have him help put her shirt over her head, right side up.

Ok, gray shirt mission complete.

“I need you glasses, Mommy!!” She crawled into my arms tried to rip them off my face.
“You can’t have my glasses. They’ll hurt your eyes, and you might break them. We can’t afford to buy new glasses right now.”

Cue the temper tantrum.

“Let me get you your own glasses.” I grabbed an old pair that I had popped the lenses out of and handed them to her.
“No, no, no!! I want you glasses!!” she screamed, as she tried again to get them off my face. When her attempt failed, she arched her back and squirmed to get out of my arms.

By now, I was so frustrated I just wanted to cry. I know that I can say, “Forget it – you’re acting like a brat. Go find something else to do,” but I really was determined to calmly help her get what she felt she needed so desperately – despite the sleepy-toddler chaos that ensued and despite the fact that I had no idea why these items meant so much to her.

She finally agreed to use her own glasses, though angrily. Then she sat down to put on her sneaker – a hand-me-down from her cousin Julia, two sizes too big.

She stood up happily. (I must have absorbed all the bad toddler mojo, because she was fine, and I was now shaking, ready to have my own fall-on-the-floor-and-scream temper tantrum.)

“There!” she said, “I broke my toe.”

She walked off across the living room, clomping on her one big shoe (like mine that I wear since breaking my foot), her gray shirt (matching the old, wrinkled one I had on), and her glasses (I pushed mine up on my nose).

Even the awkward sound of one bare foot and one clunky shoe echoed my own as I chased after her. I picked her up, kissed her little cheeks, got teary eyed, and said, “You just want to be like Mommy, huh?”

“Yeah!” she said grinning.

All of the things about me that I feel make me the most awkward (broken foot, wrinkled clothes, goofy glasses) didn't matter to her in the slightest. In fact, they meant more to her -- they were even worth fighting for -- just to be like me. How sweet is that?

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