Friday, April 25, 2014

Mommy Marble

We put in a particularly rough morning today. E cried and screamed over every little thing. Each time, I calmed her down, and got her to speak to me without whining and with big-girl words.

Before she left, she begged me to just cradle her in my arms and rock her. She hasn't done that in months. I held her close and cooed to her about how she would have a good day, that after day care I would pick her up, and we'd do something special like go to the park or blow bubbles.

I reminded her that tomorrow we're planning to go on the ferry boat, across the lake to see Grammie and Great-Grammie for a visit in Plattsburgh. That made her happy, but she still begged me to hold her before she left.

I pull out every creative idea on mornings like this. I give her a special "toy" to take in the car with her -- a few playing cards, or a stuffed animal she hasn't seen in awhile. I make him talk to her in a funny voice and ask if she'll please take him with her to day care. That usually works, but not today.

Finally, I grabbed a red marble from a dish on the kitchen counter. It had been hanging out there for weeks -- left over from a random, "let's just spend $1 to make her happy and make it home in peace and quiet" shopping trip from the Sugar House.

I tucked it in her hand, held her close, and said, "This is, um... uh... a Mommy Marble! If you keep it in your pocket, I'll be with you always." I waited for her reaction.

She got a huge smile on her face, reached in her pocket to hold the marble, asked for one more hug and kiss, and ran out the door happily.

Then I prayed like crazy for God to keep her safe, to bless that marble, to keep my spirit with her -- my voice of reason, my calmness when she gets upset.

I sat on the floor concentrating long after she and Mark left. Then it occurred to me:

I just gave my two-year-old a marble. She knows not to put them in her mouth. She's really good about it and pretty much completely past that stage of putting things in her mouth. I let her play with a lot more smaller toys now and haven't had any problems. Still. She'd be in the back seat. Unsupervised.

I tried to put trust in my two-year-old, got ready, and came to work, but as soon as I got a little break, I shot Mark a quick text (right). My reaction: "Oh, thank God."

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