Friday, January 23, 2009

And then, sunshine

Yesterday, as Kittenpie celebrated a perfectly ordinary day, I envied her. A little tongue-in-cheek, possibly, she narrated the miracle of her morning: a cooperative child. As I wrote in my overlong, hysterical comment, I was jealous. I asked her to send the vibe my way.

By God, it worked.

This morning, Munchkin woke up sunshine and smiles. She let me remove her diaper and jumped happily up onto her 'special stool' and from there obligingly made a tinkle in the potty. We played for a few minutes and picked out some clothes and then when she wouldn't put them on, diving under her covers in a fit of mad giggles, I calmly told her that I would go downstairs and eat my breakfast until she was ready. And, amazingly, as I measured coffee into the filter, a stark naked toddler wrapped herself around my leg and pronounced herself ready to dress up "like a butterfly in my tights and I will flap my wings, ARF!"

She let me dress her. Let me do her hair. Helped make breakfast. Lavished us with kisses. Put her winter gear on. Left the house in Daddy's arms, waving bye to Mom.

Toddlerhood is a wild ride, not least for the parents, I think. I keep starting this paragraph and erasing it. What am I trying to say? That our girl, having inherited our stubborn disposition and demonstrating strong will from the womb onward, is wearing us out? That Pynchon and I are frantic from never getting to work on time, never getting to the gym, never getting out with our friends because toddler management is such an intense activity this week? That Munchkin is having a hard time and needs all the love her family can give her? That I hate who I see when I step outside of myself and view the scowling woman in earplugs pulling tight on a bedroom door to make sure the screaming toddler can't get out? That my girl's soft curls and tiny belly button melt my heart? That I resent my job and Pynchon's job for ratcheting up the pressure on our mornings and evenings? That Munchkin toilet trained herself and learned to put her own shoes on and can accurately count quantities up to at least five, and I'm proud to bursting?

Wednesday night she told me, "No, Mom, go away. I'm going to find my father. Daddy will come home from the gym and HE will love me and HE will kiss me and HE will brush my hair and tuck me into bed and I will go to sleep with NO whining and NO crying and I will put you in the machine and you will be GONE FOREVER."

Thursday night she patted the couch cushion beside her and said, "Mom, will you sit beside me and watch Dora and I will snuggle you and you can hold my hand? I love you Mom." Absently, she picked up my wrist and dropped a light feathery kiss on the back of my hand, before placing it on her thigh and holding it.

I don't know. We're all overwhelmed. It's a wild ride.


21 comments:

Denguy said...

Ugh! We parents must be thick of skin, mustn't we?

Love the flower dress.

Jenifer said...

Oh Mimi, if I had a nickel for every lousy thing my kids said to me I would be rich and to be fair I have said my share too...I think I am the adult! I should have the thick skin! I should know better than to engage with a child! And then I do.

We all have our moments and the good (or bad depending) thing is Munchkin is better able to tell you what is bothering her.

I was told this morning by Rosebud that I ruined her dream when I woke her up and only a terrible mother would do that. I was then told that I was more terrible because she was still tired and needed her rest...and so the morning begins.

Hang in there, we all totally get what you are saying.

Cloud said...

Sometimes I think I should not read these posts, so that I won't know what is coming!

But then I think: forewarned is forearmed.

I have a stubborn little girl, too (she gets that from her Daddy- honest!) who is coming up on 2. Gulp.

Bea said...

That's one dangerous machine you've got there. Do they sell those at Future Shop?

Omaha Mama said...

Wow - look at that gorgeous blonde hair. She's such a big girl suddenly. Soon we'll be swapping stories about our preschoolers.
Honestly, I haven't posted a lot about my little guy lately because I can't seem to stop the urge to write all about how nasty he is. Nasty, nasty, nasty. With the hitting and the kicking and the screaming. He's trying it all out. Sometimes I handle it well, sometimes I don't! I just keep waiting for him to come out of the other side of this "phase". He'll be 3 in April, which I remember being harder than two with our girl. Which makes me wonder how it could possibly be worse for him than this. Then I get a little frightened. Sigh.

Mimi said...

OM -- that's exactly it with me too! I love her to bits, but all my posts are coming out angry and she sounds like a real jerk, which isn't fair ... and I'm afraid of 3, too, for the very same reasons.

Bea -- yup, i have asked her where she keeps this machine and if i can borrow it ...

cinnamon gurl said...

I know exactly what you mean. Swee'pea will be three in a couple of weeks, and sometimes I find myself thinking, "I LOVE this age! This is so much fun." and then the very next moment I'll be all "ARGGGH! This age will be the DEATH of me!" I think the word ambivalence was invented just to describe motherhood.

kittenpie said...

They get themselves so confusedwith the storms of emotion sometimes. The other night, Pumpkinpie screamed at me that she hated me, and when I mildly replied that I was sorry to hear that, but that I wanted her to know I loved her, she broke down even further, sobbing pitifully that she loved me and I was her favourite person in the world. I noted that she seemed a bit confused and she snuffled and wobbled that "she both, she both."

Mimi said...

Kittenpie: that's so weird -- exactly the same happened her. She wants me to go away forever, I tell her I love her, she completely collapses and needs more snuggles. So wild.

Kyla said...

Parenting is hard. Kids aren't perfect and neither are we, but we all do the best we can. It is a beautiful, messy, painful, joyful, wild ride.

She is SUCH a doll, Mimi.

Janet said...

One of my best friends never got mad at her toddler/preschool-aged children. Her mantra was that they didn't know any better. I always envied her calm disposition because, even though I have been through it twice already, I still get so caught up in the shit storm of emotions that swirl around 2- and 3-year-olds.

Bon said...

just...i want that machine whenever you guys are done with it. and if you're still here. and if Munchkin promises NOT to tell Oscar about it, 'cause then i'll be gone too. and then he'll cry to bring me back.

they're two. i think two is a state of nature before our human bipolarity learns balance. if it does.

Beck said...

I was pretty thick-skinned to start with, which helps parenting tremendously. But the first few times that each of my kids said something awful to me, I was still pretty gutted.... well, not with The Baby. With her, it was "Yeah, yeah, kid, get moving."

Even though I don't work, mornings still freaking SUCK here. You'd think they'd be all relaxed and stuff, but noooooo. I think mornings and getting everyone out of the house is just an awful (I actually wrote "shitty", which more accurately reflects my feelings) thing for everyone, and once that is faced squarely it can be dealt with, right?

ewe are here said...

Wild and entertaining... and sometimes seemingly cruel.

My Ramekin is much the same... I get told all the time he's going to put me in the bin, that I am Evil Mommy, and then laughs hysterically... grain, salt and all that.

Country Girl said...

Seriously? As the mother of three? You need another kid because...somewhere, sometime, somehow, they learn...it's not all about them. And the best way to learn that is when there is someone else who is JUST AS IMPORTANT. If you're like me? The only way you can shut the door is to protect the other child.

Mad said...

I never take what Miss M says personally but OH MY the unpredictability of the day, of her emotions, of my emotions... Sometimes all that leaves me flattened. Even though 3 was hard, it (motherhood, our children) keep getting better and easier. Hang in tough.

Magpie said...

Oh lord yes. This morning started with a tantrum in my bed. I left and went downstairs. She came down, all sweetness and light, only to have another tantrum on the way out the door to the bus. ROLLER COASTER.

motherbumper said...

Wild ride indeed.

Glad she didn't put you in the machine. I get a variation of that every so often and I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt.

No Mother Earth said...

It's worlds different when they actually cooperate isn't it? Hope it happens more often than not.

No Mother Earth said...

It's worlds different when they actually cooperate isn't it? Hope it happens more often than not.

the new girl said...

I want that machine.

It is a fascinating age where so much is happening for them internally. The loving holding environment is the best thing and you're doing that so well.