December 15, 2016
We have a problem over here and it is not the huge pile of snow that just got dumped on our city an hour ago- I have this tiny semi-violent person living with me and I don’t know what to do.
Baby, I’m talking about you. For whatever reason you have begun this fun stage of hitting me and when I say fun I mean a bit painful and slightly intimidating. First of all, you literally only hit me and second of all, you are pretty damn strong for such a peanut (or I am really really weak which is also possible… ok fine, I am weak but still, you are 1/8 my size.)
So tonight when I put you down for bed you began to smack me in the face while I tried to cuddle you as per our usual bedtime dance. You were not interested in cuddling, only hitting. WTF. Your dad was so happy because last night when he put you to sleep you began to gently and lovingly stroke his face as you nuzzled into him. Where was that baby tonight? I want to be nuzzled! Who wants to be pushed and hit by a tiny little hand?
Moreover, what the fuck am I supposed to do about it?
I’ve been reading up on how to stop this kind of shit while adhering to a gentle, positive and pro-attachment style of parenting and while I am prepared to follow it, it is kind of unhelpful. The advice is to talk it out with you. So I calmly explain that I will not let you hit your mommy because hitting hurts. As suggested, I show you alternative things to do with your hands such as clapping or making “nice” to mommy. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE RATIONAL AND THOUGHTFUL CONVERSATIONS WITH A BABY. I am going to continue to try because I appreciate the principles of what this kind of “discipline” is going for. I do strive to have good emotional connectedness between us and for you to understand consequences and not to feel like I am your dictator. I want us to be partners in helping you navigate the world around you…. BUT…. for now, having these reasonable chats with you is like talking to a fucking wall.
After all my efforts and all the talking, you still whacked me in the head and laughed.
But this is a lesson to both of us in patience and persistence. It is a lesson on sticking with something for the long con, not the short term gain. Sure, having emotional heart to hearts with you when you don’t truly understand them may seem futile but in the absence of harsh words, yelling and punishment that you likewise won’t understand, we create trust and love. This is something that is happening now but it is really something that we will see strengthen if I can just stick to it.
Because sometimes Baby, it is really hard to stick to what we commit to, it hard to be patient and kind when we are a bit frustrated and it is hard to keep doing something that doesnt seem to be making a difference. But when you believe in something- whatever that thing may be, you have to trust yourself to know what’s best and have the gumption to stick to your guns even when you are up against a wall (or tiny fists.)
I hope that when you read this blog you think to yourself, “self, mom was right and now we do have this really awesome connected and open relationship filled with trust and love.” I know that the chances of you ever saying something like that are slim to none but at the very least, I hope you feel in your heart how much I truly respect you as your own person and how much I want to continue to be your active partner in growing and learning.
I’ll also take the fact that you choose to hit only me as a compliment. True? I guess we will never know… seriously, don’t tell me.
So if you could pack away those mini weapons attached to your arms ASAP, that would be swell. Or clap. Whatever.
I know that one of these days you are going to tell us you hate us or think that we hate you (which may momentarily be true) and when you have these thoughts of serious dislike remember this:
You have pooed in the tub twice this month and your dad and I have cleaned it up.
It began with me. Mine was a “should have known better” situation where you had a huge dinner, a huge bottle and then I hurried bath. It was sort of unsurprising to see your little scrunched up face push out that poo a la tub.
I was of course home alone so I had to strategicallly get you out of the tub, clean you up in the sink, drain the tub and then come back and figure out the poo. Thankfully it was minimal and mostly loose. Too much info? Are you gagging? Well at least you didn’t have to experience it in the flesh. K?
Your dad laughed a lot when he heard the story so I laughed a lot when it happened to him- home alone. He was tickling you in the tub and shaking your legs to make you laugh when…. poo.
We as parents do a lot of gross shit. There is a lot of body fluids and a lot of icky ness involved in parenting but there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Although it was pretty gross, even your poo can’t deter me from loving you.
So when you have that haterade for us, think back to time you won’t remember when we did a lot of really nasty shit for you and get over it. There’s a lot of love here and we have both been through a shit storm to prove it.
December 10, 2016
Another weekend come and gone. Your dad is upstairs putting you to sleep and I am here reflecting. Saturday you slept in (yay) and we had a lazy morning around the house. I have to say that of your many many many amazing qualities, your ability to be entertained by basically nothing is one of them. I feel like you must have a great imagination.
You were so content to just hang out, read books and be sweet and from what I hear, a lot of kids need a lot more activities to keep them busy. I seriously hope that you are always happy to be entertained at home by just family and friends and a good book. Enjoying quality down time is a great thing to master.
We went to my parents in the afternoon to drop you off for your sleepover. From the play by play I received the next day, things went south after we left you and you had a tough time going to bed. I know that everyone does their best with you and something I have to always practice is letting go and allowing other people to have their own individual relationships with you.
It’s hard to give you that freedom.
In the meantime, your dad and I went out, he proceeded to get pretty sloppy and it may have been a rough night if you were home with us since your dad has no mute button (nor a quiet one.)
We came to get you today and stayed for a very early Chanukah party. I love watching you engage people and how much you love to be around new faces. You were a fucking delight in your little tutu.
And with an afternoon spent reading books and playing in your tent and with some new toys, our weekend is over.
I want to just say again how really special it is that you can just be. I hope that you are always as happy with your own company as you are now. I have spent years trying to hone the skill of being content doing nothing and it is a great skill to have. To enjoy your imagination and thoughts, to enjoy music and listening, to enjoy reading and learning. All of these things will be a great offset to your obvious love of socializing and people. A fine balance of busy and calm.
Just like our weekend.
December 9, 2016
Ok. To start. One thing must change. I simply cannot abide by having the word “one” in all your blog post titles. It is sucking the inspiration to write out of me and I think it lost its cute after baby. Can we agree to ditch this? Ok, great.
This week began a bit rocky. Tuesday you woke up and for lack of a better word were a total bitch. You were mean and whiny and violent. It was unlike you. Of course I assume teeth (fucking teeth) and couldn’t get to the Internet fast enough to google “how to properly and gently help your baby understand that hitting is not ok.”
I am all for gentle guided discipline and I am going to try my very best but reasoning with you (gently) while you stab me in the eye is basically a study in how to make someone insane.
Thankfully, this bananas day was just a day and by Wednesday morning you were your usual happy self again.
We ended the week with a trip to the ROM and I must say that taking you out now that you can walk is so much fun. You were all over the museum in your clunky little converse. Your walking has significantly improved in just a few weeks. You went from zombie walking, shoulders up and stumbling to basically cat walking with a sashay in your step- that’s not quite true but you are way more confiendent and relaxed now so it looks way more graceful.
Walking is also awesome because- spoiler alert: you are fucking heavy to carry around and were not thrilled about checking out animals and biodiversity from your stroller.
Walking is also super awesome because you are literally falling on your face exhausted from your walking workout by the end of our time out. Putting you down for a nap is as easy as can be (poo poo poo) and you sleep long and hard to recoup from your energy well spent.
And now we are here and it is Friday. Fri- yay!!
I don’t have any wisdom to impart on you tonight except that I hope you always have this curious and excited spirit. Watching you enjoy the museum was the highlight of my week and if you promise to always love to learn I promise to show and teach you everything I can.
December 4, 2016
The weekend is coming to a close now and frankly, I’m not ready. I live for time we spend together as a family without any programs or schedules in our way of doing whatever the fuck we want to.
This is a kind of funny thing for me to say because we spend a lot of time together. Far more than most mom’s and babes I know. We are together full days at least twice a week and every single afternoon. I am not lacking in quality you time. But the thing is that you are so damn delicious that even that is not enough. Plus, we don’t get your dad during the week and he is the missing piece to our puzzle of awesome.
This weekend we spent a lazy Saturday morning in bed together, went for dim sum with a bunch of friends (yours and ours), went to a friend’s house and checked out and awesome Christmas tree, hung out with your cousin, hung out with your grandparents and just relaxed. It was perfect.
Now you are in bed (albeit very reluctantly) and I’m so sad that tomorrow is Monday again.
Your dad and I watched this movie over the weekend called “This is 40” about a couple who are turning 40 and their life. They have this daughter who has just hit puberty and just can’t quite manage her emotions (a feeling I know and you will know too.) We had a good laugh (slash I haven’t stopped crying about it) because one day that will be you slamming your door, not wanting us around and possibly telling us to fuck ourselves (although I would prefer if that never happened) and these wonderful weekends will be memories.
And this just reinforces how much we want to keep our weekends free and family focused. You will have a zillion years to take classes or busy yourself on a Saturday but for now and while we can, we want to spend the time together having fun and exploring this world you live in.
And if I can leave you with anything today- please please please still hang out with us sometimes when you are older and too cool. I promise we are always just as fun as we are to you here and now and that we will always be happy to spend a day making you smile.
K. Going to go continue bawling my eyes out now.