On Saturday morning, while Scarlet was ready and waiting to do errands with Cassidy, she crawled into my arms in her coat, boots, hat, mittens, and red heart purse. A bit unexpected, I held her as she wanted to be held – like a newborn baby. As I leaned over her, humming, I stroked her cheek as her eyelids fluttered, looking near sleep. I stopped and her eyes flew wide open. “More!” she said, and more I did. Just held her and stroked her cheek for several minutes, softly talking to her:
“Every day I find out something new about you.” I said and her eyes opened again.
“Yeah,” she chuckled.
Then it was errands time and she slid down to the floor and dashed out into the white van. And it struck me how darn interesting she is these days, and I wanted to write about it on the eve of her half birthday, marking her as two and a half.
For a long time in the past few months, my relationship with Scarlet felt displaced. She, as most toddlers do, goes through “Mommy” and “Daddy” phases. In my own insecure mind, the “Daddy” phases are perhaps harder on me than need be, since this is such a normal toddler behavior yet I take it personally. I often think “Daddy” phases are stronger during my times of anxiety and weakness. I may be right or I may be more insecure during those times. During the last heavy “Mommy” phase as I heard her scream at Cassidy that she wanted me to read to her, me to hug her, me to put her to bed, I told myself, “Remember this and put it in your pocket. You will need to take it out again one day.”
Well, I was right. I have needed to take that thought out of my pocket. I had “morning sickness” with this current pregnancy from about weeks 7 – 15. I had good days but was mostly constantly experiencing low grade nausea from morning until after dinnertime. I suffered a lot although I realize people have it MUCH worse than me and I say a prayer of thanks for the lack of vomiting, and the fact that mine ended at the three month mark. However during this time, I felt very worthless and useless in this world. Lifting my head off of the couch was difficult. Being held accountable to do anything was challenging and since I’m a full-time mom, I was held accountable nearly ten hours a day. Neglected she wasn’t, but my temper was short and my energy was low and I couldn’t blame her for being elated when Cassidy came home from work. An actual lively, fun person!
Those were dark, dark days, in more ways than one, and I’m so happy to say that they’re over and that I feel good and our relationship hasn’t suffered for the long term. Eight weeks is just a slip of time but when you’re in what feels like a two month stomach virus, it’s hard to imagine a way out of it. Then like a light switch, you find yourself bathed in powerful light, and your daughter’s eyes light up to see you standing tall and laughing and happy again. It’s good for her to know me again.
It’s just so good to get to know her again. The ever-changing her. I never looked away for a second, but now I’m once again drinking in all of her fascinating qualities.
– The terms and phrases she gets from who-knows-where. Like the time she curled up into my arms, sighed and said, “I have nossing to do! Nossing!” The time we sat having an imaginary tea party and she jumped up, said, “Oh, dear! Look at the time. I’ll go get started.” and ran out of the room. The way I sigh sometimes when I’m tired and she’ll pat my back and said, “Oh, honey. Honey, honey, honey. It’s gonna be alright.”
– Her forever fixation on emotions. It’s all about happiness with this one. Two nights ago she would not stop eating on our new couches so I finally got fed up and said, “YOU are not listening! Why not? Please stop eating on the couches!” She sulked and sank into her toddler-sized rocking chair and didn’t say a word for a half hour. When Cassidy came home she said, “Mama is sad! She is mad at me.” I desperately had to talk to her about that one and how I wasn’t mad at her. At least..not for more than a minute.
– Her fixation on last names. She likes to think of everyone she knows and asks if they’re a Bowman or a Dillon or a Klein or a Jacobson or….
– Her fixation on eye colors. Since I can’t for the life of me tell you what my own daughter’s eye color is, I told her she has rainbow eyes. Everyone else has hazel or blue or gray or green or brown eyes but don’t you dare try to label her eyes as anything other than rainbow.
– Her sense of humor. It’s so advanced I can’t even share half of it because you might think us terrible parents because our kid can laugh at AND tell dirty jokes. And I’m quite certain I had very, very little to do with it. She can also affect lisps and accents when reading books back to us or trying to make us laugh.
– The way she told Cassidy, “You are amazing” out of nowhere. The way she constantly starts to call us by each other’s names and then corrects herself so I become “Da-Mama” and Cassidy becomes “Ma-Dada” and those pretty much become words of their own. The way she made up a term I can’t pronounce – something like “Schlack schlack.” When we ask her what it means she says, “It means your ears don’t work.” ??????
I remember writing her “Two” post on the eve of her second birthday and feeling overwhelmed by her changes. Now I feel it even more, if possible. Six long months. A new home I’ve grown to love. Such a different season from last time.
What will three look like?? How will I find the time to write the “Three” post since I’ll most likely have a one or two (or more)-week old on the eve of her 3rd birthday? Gosh, their birthdays will be close. I’ll write it, I promise.
Dying of cuteness overload yet again.
Neither of them have a mean, malicious, or anything but gentle bone in their bodies. Two peas in a pod. Lucky me.
More bubbles. Bubbles don’t get old.
I’m certain she has discovered her reflection in the mirror many times, and before now(ish), may not have even known it was someone other than herself. I think she gets mirror reflections now but she was having a really fun time talking with her mirror self the other day.
She’s such an intriguing kid and studying her and helping her advance is a great, great joy in my life. I love her and I don’t even think I have to like her quite as much as I do. It can be hard to “like” two-year-olds at times. But I really, really like her.